FilmFunds Project: Thief

Blog By: Jessica Schellenbach


We are proud to announce that a FilmFunds original project, Thief, has been accepted to the New Media Film Festival, June 12-13 at the LA Film School!

Congratulations to director Alex Morissen and her incredible team on this awesome accomplishment! All you film lovers out there, this short comedy is going to be a treat for you.

Thief is about “Cheese,” an African American “master thief” whose tables are turned when he falls in love with the wrong girl.


The Technique

The film’s production itself is one of a kind. Using 688 still photographs, the result reminds you of early motion picture films, such as Sallie Gardner at a Gallop (Eadweard Muybridge) from 1878. That film was put together using 24 stills, showing the audience that when a horse runs all four hooves are off the ground at the same time. The movie was shown on one of Muybridge’s inventions, the zoopraxiscope and the result mimics that of a picture book.

From beginning to end, Thief provides something new and interesting to the world of cinema. What’s incredible about this film is that the budget was only 24 dollars! And guess what that was for? The money was used to pay for the meal the two actors eat in the diner. Talk about a low budget film! Also if you notice, the look of the film has a touch of animation elements almost with a comic book feel.

While shooting the photographs, the set was almost like that of the making of a music video. The actors recorded their dialogue ahead of time using Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR), then it was transformed to MP3. Morissen directed the actors to memorize it, as they would a song.  It was then brought back on set where the actors lip synched the words to the recording.

What’s so cool about Thief is that Morissen actually used purely photographs, then edited them together to create the short film. Muybridge used 24 cameras that took one picture each and used it frame by frame. Combine that with Morissen’s technique she used with dialogue and you have an incredible and new way to create film.
How cool is that!

The Stars of Thief

Thief’s dynamic duo consists of Turen Robinson, who plays “master thief” Cheese, while Vincent Bowman plays his incredulous buddy.

The beautiful thief herself is a fresh face from Russia, Guzel Zakirova. Because of Zakirova’s language barrier, she and Morissen managed to create her character with the help of hand gestures. Morissen herself is actually Zakirova’s voice in the film.

Michael Chase Mowen, who plays the “new victim” is a new actor and up-and-coming musician.

The first wallet victim is played by Da’Vone McDonald — sound familiar? McDonald has been in movies such as Forgetting Sarah MarshallFunny People and Get Him to The Greek.

Think Thief could be the next big Blockbuster in Hollywood? Let your voice be heard and “Promote” it on FilmFunds today!


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