Chicago filmmaker Eliaz Rodriguez drove to the suburbs, locked himself in a Motel 6, and wrote a hilarious, violent, and relationship-driven script for a short film called Think Twice.
Since then, the film has claimed twelve awards and enjoyed a 50-festival run, including a screening at Cannes.
Think Twice begins when Tess (Tamara Chambers) rushes into a skyscraper to discover her boyfriend Tony (Javier Fernandez) struggling with a man over a gun.
From there on out, it plays an old trope in all the right ways.
After directing and editing Think Twice, Eliaz Rodriguez rented out his Chicago apartment through Airbnb to finance his travels to 30 festivals around the world. Despite eventually being locked out of a motel in Maine and spending the night sleeping on a bench, the director explains that the tour taught him “the value in attending any film festival” as a networking opportunity.
In many ways, the film serves as a prime example for filmmakers working on short films. There is a temptation to pack a wild and mysterious storyline into five minutes. In the process, craft and clarity are often lost.
Think Twice presents a clear story with seamless technique.
While the film has screened at high-profile celebrations like the Cannes Film Festival, Rodriguez says that small-town festivals made a big impression on him because “everyone is so excited” and that energy “encourages you to keep making films.”
The make-up, special effects, and production value are all high quality, but what really makes Think Twice so entertaining is the humor, fatal drama, and relatable relationship issues of Rodriguez’s tight narrative.
It also does not hurt that Tamara Chambers and Javier Fernandez deliver hilarious and convincing performances as partners in what Rodriguez calls a “traditional Midwest couple.”
Before shooting Think Twice, Fernandez and Rodriguez fine-tuned their comedy skills as longtime members of the comedy group Wood Sugars, and Fernandez previously flouted his acting chops as a stand-up comedian who bombs an open-mic night in Rodriguez’s Just Cause it’s a Tweet Don’t Make it a Joke.
Rodriguez also worked with Chambers as the Director of Photography for Our Quick March. For her role as Tess in Think Twice, Chambers won Best Actress at the Blue Whale Comedy Festival.
Most importantly, Think Twice completes the goal of all short films. It leaves audiences wanting more, and anticipation is building for Rodriguez’s upcoming films.
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