This year, we at Land of the Nerds , have entered into the IFP Phoenix Breakout Challenge with an exciting short film entitled Westside Bully.
The challenge is this: Create a short film (five minutes or less) based on a provided theme. The competing teams then had twenty four days to prepare a script, find actors, film, edit, and submit their piece to the competition. Prizes for the challenge include free submission to a variety of film festivals.
The theme the Land of the Nerds team had to work with was “Empowerment.” Lyle Dillie, Land of the Nerds webmaster and co-owner of Desert Sea Design remembered a time in his life when he felt empowered. In middle school, Lyle was often the subject of bullying, and one day, he found the inner strength to stand up to his bully. Taking his concept, and working out of their own middle school memories, scriptwriters Mandy and Morgan Oviatt took the story and focused on the other side of the tale: what could motivate a young man to bully one of his peers? This film offers a poignant view from a bully’s perspective.
Here is the trailer:
Sometimes, an empowering moment is the most humbling moment of your life.
Westside Bully is a story told, all in narration, by a man looking back on his years in middle school and remembering his difficult childhood. Our protagonist is a young, underprivileged boy who is struggling in school. He finds that while he has a good stable of friends he is demeaned and belittled by some of the smarter kids in school. One day, our protagonist seeks empowerment by lashing out at another student, only to discover that the other student is not as weak a target as he initially thought.
For the filming of Westside Bully, our parent site, Desert Sea Design supplied technical equipment and editing. The script was prepared by Land of the Nerds staff writers Mandy and Morgan Oviatt. Lyle Dillie, Desert Sea Design co-owner and Land of the Nerds webmaster, wore many hats in the production of the film: Director, producer, editor, and he provided the narration for the film.
There are a lot of little facts about Westside Bully. The narrator is telling a story of his childhood throughout the film. In real life, the narrator and the protagonist are portrayed by father and son: Lyle and David Dillie. Lyle’s oldest boy, Joshua is in the classroom scene. The “Nerd” of the film, portrayed by Garrett Erickson, is one of David’s closest friends. The music was recorded especially for our film.
The film will premiere at the Breakout Film Challenge Screening and Awards, February 6, 2014 at 6PM at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Tickets can be purchased (for $12/piece) at the following link: