Back to IndieWire

Watch: Exclusive ‘Melville’ Short Film is a Stunning Collision of the Past and Present

Watch: Exclusive 'Melville' Short Film is a Stunning Collision of the Past and Present

READ MORE: Attention, Filmmakers: Essential Short Film Tips

Texas filmmaker James M. Johnston wowed audiences at this year’s SXSW Film Festival with “Melville,” a 15-minute character study that explores a man’s unremarkable present and expressionistic past. 

The narrative short is Johnston’s latest turn as writer and director after “Knife,” “Receive Bacon” and “Merrily, Merrily.” Johnston also produced the acclaimed indies “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and “Listen Up Philip.”

Starring Rodney “F.Stokes” Lucas, Big Cliff Watkins, Ammie Leonards and Phyllis Cicero, the short centers around Marcus (Lucas), a distracted and quiet adult who spends his days withdrawn from life, lashing out at strangers and unable to sleep. When he runs into an old friend from his past, Marcus begins to reflect on his better days when he never had a problem expressing anything.

Johnston’s “Melville” is also headed to the small screen, and is currently being developed into a television series with some big name producers on board. NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, along with producing partner Constance Schwartz of SMAC Entertainment, will be executive producing with Red Entertainment and Sailor Bear Films.


James Johnston and SMAC Entertainment are both repped by WME.

Watch the gorgeous short film above.

READ MORE: 5 Tips On Making A Short Film as Powerful as a Feature

This Article is related to: News and tagged