Filmmaker Erik Carlson takes his love of classic adventure and turns it into a night at the movies
Erik Carlson’s path to filmmaking began when his grandmother introduced him to the comedy stylings of entertainment icons like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and The Little Rascals. From that point on, he knew he loved watching movies, but it wasn’t until high school that he realized he might also love making them.
“What clinched it was a creative writing class, where some of my classmates happened to be filmmakers,” said Carlson. “They had a sense of friendship, collaboration and camaraderie that I really admired and wanted to be a part of.”
Since then, he has found inspiration in the works of dozens of filmmakers, including Michael Curtiz, Joe Johnston, Robert Zemeckis. His admiration of the classics shines through in his latest production, A Night at the Movies.
The film opens with an avid, but shy moviegoer, Mike, trying to build up the confidence to ask out the concessions person at his favorite movie theater, Anna. Mike fumbles the ask and escapes into the safety of the show, where he is magically pulled into the world of the adventure film on screen.
At times, A Night at the Movies plays like a love letter to classic adventure movies, like Indiana Jones and Around the World in 80 Days, with its characters adorned in adventurer khaki, searching for a mythic object and carefully sidestepping boobie traps. “If it’s an idea you’re passionate about, then go for it,” Carlson says regarding short film. “You have nothing to lose and all you can do is give it your best. If it fails, you can brush it off and take what you learned this time into the next experience. It’s the best of both worlds because not only are you continuously learning from your experiences but you’re also working on something that you enjoy and nothing can take that away from you.”
Erik is currently writing a feature version of his sweet, campy short film.
From Audience Awards to you, Erik, good luck! We look forward to seeing more of your work!