Neither and Both
Neither and Both, is an exciting new dramatic short from writer and director Scott Leger.
A conniving young woman - part private investigator, part call girl - is hired by a businesswoman to sabotage the marriage of her CEO.
Scott Leger’s new drama is funny, compelling, full of high intensity, and clever. Coming in at a runtime of thirty minutes, Neither and Both does a fabulous job of presenting a story that will leave audiences wanting more.
Rachel Hunter has a unique job: she exposes men's affairs, follows suspected adulterers, and in her own words, “provides leverage to those willing to pay for it.” When Rachel graduates from simple seduction to corporate sabotage, she jumps into a larger arena: one with better pay, larger stakes, and increased danger. As she soon learns, the greatest threat of all could be her own weaknesses.
The plot in Neither and Both, is a refreshing take on female archetypes not seen in most short films. Rachel Hunter is a character that is brave, cunning, and magnificent to watch as she gets closer and closer to her target goal. Audiences will be on the edge of their seat as they watch the stakes increase for our protagonist.
The acting is incredible in Neither and Both. The dialogue is witty and delicious. The acting talent of Hannah Marie Hines (Rachel Hunter), Zack Gold (Greg Ellington), Diahnna Nicole Baxter (Stephanie Wilford), and Mallory Mckenzie (Courtney) is more than able to bring it to life on screen. This ensemble shines whenever onscreen, and present the plot in a slow yet thrilling performance. Hanna Marie Hines does an especially amazing job when it comes to scenes in which her character is fishing for evidence. Her delivery is compelling, impressive, and is able to send chills down the spines of audiences.
Neither and Both is a short film that is framed beautifully. Throughout the film, the use of colors and light do a fantastic job of communicating a visual language that is both parts engaging and aesthetically pleasing. What the cinematography does especially well in Neither and Both is its ability to communicate mood. When comparing office scenes to intimate sex scenes audiences can get a firsthand look on how color pallet can present tone before a scene has begun.
Neither and Both, simply is an amazing film by writer and director Scott Leger. It explores a new and quite interesting concept, that is the quasi-escort/ private investigator world, while still not burying itself in aspects such as unnecessary exposition or cumbersome subplots. The narrative runs perfectly form beginning to end, without a hitch but instead with a breathtaking conclusion.
For a film full of wonderful acting, and more that wonderful cinematography dive into the world of Neither and Both.
INTERVIEW with Scott Leger (Writer/Director)
First, what's your story? How did you become a filmmaker?
I've always loved movies. One of my early memories is bringing a VHS Trilogy box set of Star Wars with me to daycare every day for a month. The other kids were younger than me and I entertained myself by watching those movies over and over again. I'm pretty sure the daycare lady tried to get me to watch other stuff but I wasn't interested - it's funny because as a filmmaker I feel as though I've learned 80% of my technique by watching movies over and over again and picking them apart.
Anywho, years later in high school I missed a season of basketball with a sprained ankle and got talked into making a highlight reel for the women's team. As soon as I pulled the footage into iMovie and layered in some stupid techno track, I was hooked on editing. The decision to go to film school came quickly after that. I didn't make a film until I was 18, and now a decade later I feel as if I've just started to figure things out.
What inspired this short?
Oddly enough, this film has a very specific starting point that I can trace back. In the spring of 2013, I was working a particularly soul crushing internship and was basically broke. I had a bunch of friends going to Coachella but obviously I couldn't afford to. So, I stayed at home and streamed the concert from my living room speakers. One particular song from the band Portugal The Man gave me a weird image in my head: a young woman standing underneath a fashion billboard. The image stuck with me and I reverse engineered a story out of it. Originally, the script ended with this exact image but we ended up scrapping it by the time we got to production.
Also, I was friends with this incredibly talented actress named Hannah Marie Hines, and I was shocked at how frequently she was being typecast as the naive girl next door. As soon as I had my couch bound Coachella inspiration I called her up and pitched her this very rough around the edges character who seduced men for sport and money. I was very nervous and expected her to politely decline, but she was immediately excited by the idea and I was excited at the prospect of creating a character that would let her show her range. However I never could have imagined just how amazing Hannah would be at inhabiting this character and bringing such a strong performance to the project. I've told her many times, we put this whole project on her shoulders and she carried us every step of the way. I'm so proud of what she accomplished in this film.
Any interesting production stories?
Oh man, too many to tell, but I will say that we had a hell of a time shooting an elevator scene in a working elevator in a hotel. Of course it was the last scene of the day and we were exhausted. After 2 hours of disaster after disaster and being called to the wrong floor or the doors randomly closing on us, we discovered that if you're sitting in an elevator and you hit the OPEN DOORS button, it does nothing. However, if you push the CLOSE DOORS button, they open. We figured that out on our very last shot. You can't make this stuff up.
What is it like film making now after having made this film? Has your approach changed?
Strangely enough, I feel like this was the first film where I was completely satisfied with the approach. I was fortunate to collaborate with a lot of really talented people on this film, and I often found that doing my job to the best of my ability simply meant getting out of their way. About a month before the shoot, my girlfriend (also the Producer / Editor / UPM) and I went out to dinner, and the restaurant we went to had a psychic doing tarot readings or whatever. Neither one of us really believes in this sort of thing, but we thought it would be fun to get our fortunes read. Without saying a thing, this psychic knew that we were about to embark on a project with a large group of people (the film) and that we had just had a financial blessing (successful kickstarter campaign.) Then this psychic grabs my hand and tells me "All you have to do...is make the team work." A sobering moment of clarity from the strangest of places. It felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders. And that really was my motto for the whole film, and I imagine that will be my motto for the rest of my career. Phenomenal advice.
Do you have any projects lined up for the future?
I'm finishing up a couple feature length scripts (one micro budget, one big budget) that I'll be aggressively shopping and I'm pursuing some leads to pitch Neither and Both as an 8 episode season split up into lean and mean 30 minute chunks. We're looking to be the first ever episodic 30 minute drama, I suppose. But also since this project has been a couple years in the making, I'm absolutely taking some time to smell the roses.
Any advice to filmmakers?
I feel like this is a good case of the blind leading the blind, but the biggest thing I learned from this shoot was the power of momentum. This whole project started with a writer/director pitching a character to an actor. Once that actor said yes, we were on our way and every single 'yes' from there on out gave us more steam, more focus, more expertise, and more desire. It's overwhelming approaching a film from the ground up, but if you just focus on one piece at a time and trust in the process and your collaborators, it's amazing what a little momentum can do for you.