Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your romantic comedy short film, Uber Ex. For our readers who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of the film?
Matt Braunsdorf: The film follows a date between Kate and David who are in the early stages of their blossoming relationship. When they call a car service to take them home from a party, the driver turns out to be Kate’s long-lost ex-boyfriend, the one that got away. From there, we find our characters stuck in the car in a bit of a love triangle, where all bets are off by the time they reach their destination.
Jonathan Marballi: At its core, we wanted to examine a choice for Kate between choosing the comfort of the past that is known or the risk of the future that is unknown. In essence, to present a challenge for her arrested development, and also make some jokes and have some fun with how incredibly awkward it is to have all of this unfold in an Uber.
Its twilight and the door shuts behind them, drowning the cheers and laughter behind. Kate and David have just crossed a significant milestone in their relationship. Despite the early stages in their dating, David invites Kate to an engagement party to which she obliges. We witness their warming up to one another, the warm fuzzy feeling growing between them as they discuss, albeit cautiously of one another’s intent and future plans. As the date draws to a close and to an even more significant question; the destination of their night: whose place?
I first spoke with director Matt Braunsdorf a few years back when his short horror film John the Carpenter played at the New York City Horror Film Festival. I enjoyed the heck out of it and reviewed it for this site. Proving that he can excel in multiple genres, Braunsdorf’s latest short film is far from the monster-in-the-woods thriller of JtC, and rather a romance right in time for Valentine’s Day. Uber Ex is 16 minutes and makes for a good cuddle session with your significant other. It’s realistic, but ultimately charming, with three solid performances and an excellent score.
Set squarely in a world where technology has changed the rules of dating, Uber Ex is an absolute delight from beginning to end with a truly stand-out ensemble cast bringing to life a story that made me laugh frequently, made me tense up more than a little and, yeah, I'd dare say I may have even shed a tear.
All in 17 minutes.
We all know the machine uprising is coming. The day when artificial intelligence creates an army of robots to wipe out mankind—like in #TheTerminator! But it'll likely begin with a series of annoyances, as the #technology we trust to get us home or deliver us food, instead, brings us crashing back into contact with our exes. I mean, can you imagine anything more embarrassing? Uber Ex is that warning and serves as a sublime examination of #technology's influence and consequences on #moderndating.
I didn't really have high expectations for this one. I can't say why for sure, but I was bracing myself for a below average short film. Maybe it was the lack of media pages? Maybe it was the lack of a trailer to peruse? Whatever the case... man... was I wrong. As much as I hate using the word cute to describe a short film, for once it feels like the perfect word. "Uber Ex" is a cute little film that manages to hit all the right markers. It's eighteen minute length speeds along - and although director Matt Braunsdorf wraps things up nicely - I couldn't help but want a little more.
When asked “What is Astronomy Club’s most lofty goal?” the New York–based sketch group replied:
We’re not sure how lofty it is, because our group is straight fire, but our main goal is to have a television show. That’s step one. A sketch show would be great, but we are also developing ideas for a Reno 911! type show and an animated show. Our loftiest goal as a group, or should we say STEP TWO, would be to have multiple television shows that are awarded multiple Emmys, and then a box office smash movie. We ready.
Sounds insane for a virtually unknown sketch group to be talking like this, right? Well, not quite. Because they’re far from unknown. They’re just under-celebrated.
hot in contrasty black and white and filled with old timey music on the soundtrack, this funny and observant short is artistically realized by director Matt Braunsdorf. He directs his actors well; they give perfectly naturalistic performances. It’s obvious Braunsdorf and his actors come from a background in improv (Upright Citizens Brigade to be specific); you feel like you’re just hanging out with friends who enjoy talking in silly voices and having awkward conversations about Christopher Columbus, abortion, and Chinese food. The humorous, dialogue driven film feels inspired by the relationship comedies Woody Allen has wowed film nerds with for decades.
A few weeks back I was at the New York City Horror Film Festival, and one of the films that drew my instant attention was a short film called John the Carpenter, mainly for its fairly clever title. Written and directed by Matt Braunsdorf, the film is an exercise in minimalism. The film is less than twenty minutes long, has a script with almost no dialogue, a cast of three, and one of them is a co-producer who composed the film’s score. As I routinely found out at the NYCHFF, the short films featured were awesome. And John the Carpenter was just that.
Last October I was able to go to the Gateway Film Center’s first Nightmares Film Festival. I saw many films there but what stood out to me most was the fantastic selections of short films. One of my favorites was Matt Braunsdorf’s “John the Carpenter”.
A monster stalks the snow-covered woods in this effortlessly ‘80s-style trailer for the short film John the Carpenter. It’s not simply the title we love about this film; the trailer is mighty impressive with its 80s ambiance that channels an appropriately Carpenter-esque vibe. It will be no surprise to learn that the film won Best Cinematography at the Nightmares Film Festival, because the short trailer boasts a gorgeous use of light, darkness and striking colours.