Kill the Baby
Incest, baby killing and burning soup…. These three perfect elements combine for this short and hilarious dark comedy entitled Kill the Baby. The brainchild of co-writer/ co-director duo Alex Kavutskiy and Ariel Gardner, Kill the Baby is a twisted take on what it’s like to be a stressed out father of a newborn. Told through the inner thoughts of a father, Kill the Baby tells the tale of one man’s journey to finally shut up his annoying crying baby. His plan is half-baked, his reasoning is kooky, and the turn of the events in this short film is a bellyful of laughs.
The use of black, white and Scoreses-esque camera techniques create a film that looks frightening and dramatic on the outside. The darks are rich throughout the film and the picture looks beautiful on screen with its use of grain and contrast. Where the cinematography, especially shines is in its ability to add to the comedic brilliance of the short. The dark dramatic outside of the short sheds its self to reveal a satisfying center filled with nice chewy nuggets of dark comedy gold. Essentially the cinematography creates intensity in each scene of this short, while the content diffuses it in the best way possible!
The writing is sharp! It cuts the audiences right down the middle with its bizarre and twisted take on parental life. Despite basing a comedy on such a taboo subject (wanting to murder one’s own child), the short decides to stray further left field and in the end the taboo is not even the most bizarre subject of the short.. Alex Kavutskiy and Ariel Gardner have created a short that shines in its writing.
"We tried to come up with a title that made us laugh. After that, everything came easy. The directing, music, and editing was inspired by Scorsese (particularly the last day of being a wise guy sequence of Goodfellas), PT Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, and a little bit by the filmed comedy shorts by Kids In The Hall like The Affair and My Pen."
- Alex Kavutskiy and Ariel Gardner
The acting is top notch and the characters are just interesting enough to keep your interest every time they appear on screen. David Geis’ comedic timing is wonderful, and in the end he is able to create a character that is incredibly relatable and fun to watch.
Like with any good short film, Kill the Baby will make the viewer anxious and hyped for the inedible conclusion of the film.
Will the protagonist succeed? Will he fail?
Not many directors can make you juggle such feelings when watching a five minute short, however Alex Kavutskiy and Ariel Gardner successfully do, and the resulting movie magic is satisfying.
For laughs and an all-around funny short, check out Kill the Baby.
But wait! Lucky for you there’s more, check out Kill the Baby 2 viewable on the director(s) YouTube page for more dark comedy fun.
INTERVIEW with Alex Kavutskiy and Ariel Gardner (Writer/Director)
First, what's your story? How did you become a filmmaker?
We started making silly videos in high school and fortunately never had to stop. And hopefully our production value and storytelling abilities got better since then.
Any interesting production stories?
I don't know if this counts as "interesting" but we weren't planning on making actual borscht on set but Erin, the actress who plays Julie, showed up and decided to learn and make actual borscht. And it tasted great. And for episode two, she made a really delicious birthday cake. So I guess we'll just keep writing in food we wanna eat.
What is it like film making now after having made this film? Has your approach changed?
When you make no-budget internet videos with friends working for free, you put priority on making things as fast as possible and having people give up as least amount of their time. With an idea like Kill The Baby, we felt it relied on an interesting and unique tone/perspective for it to work at all. This put us in a position where we got the chance to embrace a more creative approach to film form and language in all facets of production. Now we feel like every story requires its own specific, unique and interesting approach in order for it to work on a level that is satisfying to us... From this point forward it's going to be difficult to go back to approaching a story with a less assured perspective.
Do you have any projects lined up for the future?
Kill the Baby 3, baby! Got a few other shorts in the works we're also real excited about (including one we just shot starring Randall Park) and working on a script to make a feature soon. Our goals right now involve getting a constant steady stream of cinematic ideas from our brains to yours until we become stale and everyone hates us. If you've read this far in the interview, you should probably follow our YouTube or Vimeo page or something.
Any advice to filmmakers?
If there's any filmmaking/writing tip that Kill The Baby confirms, it's writing clear goals. If in every moment, the goal of the protagonist is clear and more-or-less relatable, you're fine. Whenever it gets vague is when you lose people. You never know when a good idea will hit you and you never know which idea will resonate with people. For us it was at a coffee bean in Santa Monica and it was the idea of killing babies. If you have the energy, just keep making stuff until something works.
Please keep the episodes coming!
Justin Van Hout CEA