OMEGA BETA (2020)
Cam is the last man alive after a virus turned every human on Earth into blood-thirsty creatures . . . or so he thinks. When he finally sees a woman in his neighborhood, he struggles to be polite and respectful in his newfound apocalyptic life.
Directed by Julia Mercer
Written by Alec Valdez
Hair and Make-up
Synthesisss by Bad Ronald
We Are Strangers by November Polaroid "Imminence" by Kai Engel
Music for Trailer
Just Around the World Kielokaz ID 362 by Kielokaz
Lately Kind of Yeah by Goner
This project might go down in Smadam history as a huge turning point for us. It was wildly ambitious, with the short requiring a ton of action to be done outside with actors who can dramatically act (and that's putting it mildly). Production was exhausting and post-production wasn't anymore forgiving. But we got a short finished and we felt pretty good about it.
Fast forward to October of 2020. Between a pandemic and civil unrest, it's been a rough year for Smadam. Everyone had big plans for 2020 and Smadam Productions was no different. We had pretty much lost all hopes that OMEGA BETA would get into a film festival, so you can imagine our surprise when we find out we've been accepted into the Portland Film Festival that was happening virtually. It was an amazing feeling!
OMEGA BETA was put into one of the sci-fi blocks of short films. We were just happy to be in the fest, but then to be in a block with so many breathtaking and mind-blowing films? A true honor. But it was also incredibly humbling to see our low-budget, super-indie short next to all of these other shorts. Here we were thinking we were trying to make our short look more cinematic, but it ended up coming off as campy. This wasn't a bad thing as we were clearly the comic relief in the block we were in. But it got us really thinking.
The way that Tell Us Your Secrets taught us a lot, so did OMEGA BETA. We learned that if we're going to shoot outside, it might be worth actually paying to block off a street. We learned that if we're going to do some intense action, that we may need to stretch production over a couple of weekends. We learned that despite all of the planning we do, we can always do more. We learned that we don't really know how to use our camera since we somehow accidentally made our short look like it was shot on VHS. We learned that we know how to do camp apparently. And so much more.
OMEGA BETA as a whole, from standing in the middle of a street in Evanston to seeing our film in the Portland Film Festival, was an amazing experience that will influence us for years to come.