About the film


Year    :   August, 2015
By    :   Ryan Paturzo-Polson
Tag Line    :   Monsters don't sleep under your bed, they sleep inside your head.
Genre    :   Horror
Time    :   15 minutes

Our film is an exploration of The Shadow People, a supernatural phenomena in which many people of our society are victim to. Who are these people? Time Travelers? Demons? Ghosts? What is their purpose and why do they appear?

Our story follows a young boy Charlie and his parents who take a fishing trip to Sorrento beach on a cold and wintery day. When Charlie reels in an old sneaker from the grimy depth of the bay, something else comes with it.

Cue Max, Charlies new imaginary friend. At first Max’s presence brings joy to Charlie, but his world shifts from solace to sinful when he is encompassed by dark and strange happenings.

Max consumes Charlies life and when the lights go out he appears as a stronger force in the shadows at night. Who is Max? And what does he want? Charlie must go beneath the surface to find out.

The Team

Meet the Director


Where does an idea for a movie usually begin for you?

I find that ideas come to me in a number of ways. When I visit a place. A lot of the time I will be travelling and stumble upon something beautiful. I feel that as a filmmaker I have the ability to show the world these places and create my own story to tell. The challenge is making setting fit the film.

I also love it when someone tells me something they heard from their best friends neighbors babysitter. It’s such an interesting way to interpret what you hear and mould into a fascinating piece of work. These stories to me have truth about them and I feel that brings a sense of reality.


What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

I love films that keep you guessing and make you think. If it has a good twist ending that you can’t see coming then that’s when I say “WOW, that was a good film”. I think Black Swan has really driven me to explore psychology, but I have referenced most recently the Australian horror film, The Babadook. I thought it was great. It was chilling, the tension built quite hastily and the characters were really well developed. I would love my film to pay homage to this.


Do you have any themes behind your work? What kinds of questions might you be trying to answer?

I want to explore the unknown, because how do we know what we don’t know? We don’t! I want to answer questions like, what is it that we as humans fear? What are our beliefs on subjects like the paranormal? These types of questions are what my current film Max explores, and I am using locations such as the beach, and the symbolism of water to go there. When you think about it, what really lies beneath?


How does your most recent project compare to your previous work? How does it feel different?

Max is similar to my last project The Ashes of Isadora Ivan in the sense that my protagonist has a negative encounter with a supernatural entity. There are so many differences in Max however. The ghost and main character are both male, where I have previously had female protagonists. I think I felt I needed to use a male to connect more with who I am, and so I could relate to the character more so. I am also developing the world a lot more in this film. The last film I made was set in one location, where as Max encompasses a wide variety of locations to show time has shifted, and will really enhance the world I am creating.


What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

You have to be organized and understand the story inside and out. The very first film I made I had no idea what I was doing. The whole thing was just in shambles and I felt I had failed. The DVD sits on my shelf as a reminder of what never to do, but also shows how far I’ve come. I’m definitely proactive about filmmaking now and I want to serve my story justice. A lot of time, energy and help goes into making a film so the challenge is improving on the last, and making it enjoyable for an audience.


What’s been the largest project you’ve taken on so far?

I think Max is the largest project I’ve taken on so far. I would like to shoot a feature film in the near future, and have plans on what I want to do for that, but this film I’m currently making is the largest scale. The film will be shot over seven days, which is the longest shoot I will have directed. This is allowing me more time to make a compelling story and get all the details just perfect.


What is your guilty pleasure TV show?

I have to say I am a loud and proud fan of My Kitchen Rules. I am a food snob and would love to be a contestant on it one day. It’s quite the opposite to making horror films, but I love cooking shows, so I think I’d try and make something about cooking once I’ve nailed the horror genre.


Contact: Ryan Paturzo-Polson