Wiseguys with Fedoras in the Shadows: Why I Love Telling Noir Stories

A throwback look at to our attempt at a film noir movie trailer that didn’t quite nail the mood and thoughts on telling stories in the genre we love.

J.W. Eberle


I’ve always loved a good crime drama. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with the film noir classics — Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, D.O.A., Dark Passage. There is something about the tense atmosphere and moral ambiguity of the genre that fascinates me. A sense of doom permeated those films, especially the ones made during the years of the Hays Code, when the studios would not allow depictions of murderers and thieves getting away with their crimes. You knew that eventually, the protagonist was going to run out of time and be caught or killed, but didn’t know when or how they would meet their end.

I was so enamored with the genre that during my freshman year of college, I set out to make a film noir movie of my own. I never quite managed to finish the script (sadly, I cannot…

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What I Learned Making a Short Film on an iPhone

Our very own Jonny Eberle on the development and production of our newest short film, “The Closet” and our first attempt to make a film with an iPhone.

J.W. Eberle

Screenshot from the Closet. Photo by Jonny Eberle.

When I started making short films more than almost 15 years ago, a decent, mid-range consumer video camera was about the size of a brick and recorded either to miniDV tape or mini DVD, which was good for 60 minutes of recording. Tapes got chewed up during playback, DVDs got scratched, and in the general the process for making a film was tedious and technical.

In the time before YouTube, once you had finished your film — provided that you hadn’t lost footage to the magnetic tape gods — you had to connect to a tape deck to transfer your finished film to a format that could be easily shared, like VHS or DVD. Somewhere in a box, there’s a stack of old VHS tapes with handwritten labels documenting my early filmmaking efforts.

I bought my first digital camcorder when I was 18. It was a hot rod red Canon…

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