2021 is shaping up nicely for Clare Cooney. With a feature film heading into production this summer, the award-winning actor-director-writer-editor-producer just released her latest short film on the prestigious short film channel Omeleto. PICK UP is off to a stellar start on the channel, already attracting nearly 150,000 views.
PICK UP is a microbudget romantic drama about two ex-lovers reconnecting on a car ride during the pandemic. Their ride begins masked and polite, but ends unmasked and vulnerable as they wrestle with the complicated nature of their relationship within the confines of the pandemic. With luminous, intimate cinematography, razor-sharp dialogue, and unsettlingly natural performances, PICK UP makes you feel like you’re riding in the backseat with the couple, eavesdropping on their conversation.
“People all over the world have been reaching out to share how much the film resonated with them and how authentic it felt, particularly in this current moment,” Cooney told SCREEN. “The response has been really unexpected and so gratifying.”
You can decide for yourself now as you enjoy your first look at the short film PICK UP, directed by Clare Cooney, exclusively on Omeleto…
The SAG project was filmed this past January with a skeleton crew and a shoestring budget. Cooney, who trained and worked in Chicago for many years, served as writer, director, editor, and actor on the film. While it was shot in Los Angeles, the small production team was almost entirely made up of Chicagoans, including cinematographer Olivia Aquilina and actor Chris Rickett. Says Cooney, “Chicago roots run deep out here.” The post-production team was entirely Chicago-based, with original music by Tony Scott-Green, sound design by John Wong of Periscope, and color correction by Jeff Altman.
“I wanted to make a Covid-Era film that wasn’t really about Covid at all,” Cooney told SCREEN. “This pandemic has shaped our emotional lives and relationships in uncertain and unpredictable ways — even when our masks come off, some emotional barriers (old and new) won’t come off as easily.”
PICK UP serves as a worthy follow up to Cooney’s powerful short form drama, RUNNER, which played at 15 film festivals, winning 6 awards and garnering Cooney a “Filmmaker to Watch” nomination from the Academy-Qualifying Atlanta Film Festival. Click here to watch RUNNER, also on Omeleto.
Back In Chicago This Summer
Up next for Clare Cooney is the independent feature film RELATIVE, to be directed by Michael Glover Smith this summer in the Chicagoland area. As usual, Cooney will be wearing multiple hats on the project, playing the lead role of “Evonne” in front of the camera, while also serving behind the camera as producer.
Check back here at Screen Magazine for more about the feature film RELATIVE as it forges ahead into production this summer.