Phillips Brothers Interview: Behind The Mediator

What inspired you to write this short?

Parker: In the fall of 2014 we were at a Chinese restaurant in NYC waiting for our dad to join us. Prior to him arriving at the table we were spit balling ideas for a short film without much success. Side note: it’s never easy trying to come up with a short film idea. For our list of rejected ideas feel free to email us.

Graham: Seriously, we went through a lot of bad ones…

P: Finally he arrived at the table and he went over his day.

G: For a little background on our father he is a retired federal judge and now a mediator…

P: Yes, and he told us about the heated mediation he had had that day and the refusal of both sides to make concessions and him having to go between the two rooms to try and get them to agree on some sort of compromise. It was clear they hated each other. Then it hit us. We’ll do a short about a mediation. All we had to do was raise the stakes and set it in 1890’s gold country.

How did you find your cast?

G: We actually cast it before we wrote the script. Luckily the actors said yes and jumped at the opportunity. It’s much easier to write when you have the actors’ voices in your ear.

P: Graham and I were drawn to these actors because of their tremendous talent. You have far less to worry about on set when you have actors that know what they’re doing. They were able to bring things to the characters that we didn’t know were there. That’s what you want.

Why a Western?

P: Who doesn’t want to direct a western? Especially write and direct one…

G: As this was our directorial debut we were drawn to a western because the genre is by its very nature pioneering and appealing to unique cinematic approaches in style and storytelling. This gave us an exciting and unconventional world we were able to work within. Plus we got to work with horses, rifles, tomahawks and a Colt Peacemaker.

What’s next?

P: We’re shooting another short this August in Europe then hopefully a…

G: Feature… Definitely a feature.

P: Absolutely.

July 14, 2015 /



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