Max Einhorn prepares his senior thesis framed around the father-son relationship.
Cara Trabucco was a journalism major searching for a seat in her mass media writing class. Little did she know that the man she would sit next to would change her life. That person was senior film and media arts major Max Einhorn.
“[He was] a guy with an impact personality whose wit and insight were outdone only by his passion for filmmaking. [Einhorn] makes connections quickly,” Trabucco said. “I soon found myself in [Einhorn]’s creative orbit and heard myself saying that I would agree to produce his senior film thesis.”
Einhorn made such an impact on Trabucco that she switched her major over to communications with an emphasis in film.
Einhornm, a locally-renowned director, not only inspires creativity and enthusiasm from his peers, but also ushers in public appre
ciation for rising filmmakers. He said proved that in “The Traveling Diamonds,” a showcase of Temple student films for the Middletown Area Arts Collective.
“I discovered my love for film in middle school and pursued directing my senior year of high school,” Einhorn said.
“Although I am not sure why people have always followed my vision, I would attribute their support to my communicating what I want from their efforts,” he added. “As a director, I encourage others to bring what they have to the table.”
Seated at the Einhorn production table along with Trabucco is his right hand man Dan Santelli, a senior film and media arts major.
Working as Einhorn’s producer, Santelli teamed with him as a sophomore to create his first feature film “The Back Lot.”
“We made ‘The Back Lot’ a black comedy because I like to explore the darker side of humanity,” Einhorn said. “However, developing ‘The Back Lot’ was overwhelming. Thankfully, I knew what I wanted and with my friends’ support, I was able to go for it.”
Two years later, the duo is working on Einhorn’s senior thesis, “My Father, the Old Horse,” a delayed coming of age story, Santelli said.
“Mack returns to his hometown for a hunting trip with his best friend, his son, and his domineering father, Donald. The one thing that sets ‘My Father, the Old Horse’ apart from other films is how we dabble into different genres quite successfully. Although the film is a suspenseful, character-driven drama, it remains a universal story with a parable at the center of the movie that will resonate with a lot of viewers,” Santelli said.
As a native of Middletown, Pa., Einhorn relied on his blue-collar town as the location for his fictional middle class family’s tale.
“Temple’s professors encourage us to write what you know because it is much more interesting than something made up,” Einhorn said. “[Middletown] is your traditional small town that has not changed much from the 1970s. The local folk have influenced true life elements in the film.”
The fourth member of this cinematic crew is Producer and Production Manager Kelly Beiler, an Eastern University alumna.
Utilizing social networking, the production team promoted their fundraiser for “My Father, the Old Horse” on kickstarter.com, where they were able to raise $2,500 in 30 days.
“Most students have used Kickstarter to get people interested and intrigued for projects in hopes of attaining the necessary funds,” Beiler said. “We were extremely satisfied because fundraising was a process of meeting deadlines and working to the last second.”
But the crew sought other tactics to fund the film.
“I went to high school with one of the co-owners of professional disc jockey syndicate Radiant Entertainment, LLC,” Einhorn said.
“He agreed to contribute funding in exchange for promotion of his company. Another sponsor that deserves mention is a woman from my home town named Barb who operates an errand running service titled B Loves Errands “N” Things. Barb will wait in line for concert tickets, do your laundry… any service imaginable. Thanks to her hours of assistance, she became our production mercenary,” Einhorn added.
Preparing to shoot in October, Einhorn has been asked many questions on how his relationship with his father influenced the film. He is still not sure how to answer.
“I would say my relationship with my father is good,” Einhorn said. “But what exactly is a good father-son relationship? Should he teach you right from wrong, or allow you to figure it out on your own? Should he be distant or engaging? This theme applies to any mentoring figure. After all, parents are our first role models.”
As the crew finishes touches its collaborative piece, they reflect on their hard work while anticipating the scheduled March release.
“We poured our hearts and souls into this film,” Trabucco said. “There is a vision that we can all relate to. Any person who has ever been mentored knows what it is like to love someone so much, yet you do not want to be like them.”
Beiler said she felt strongly about the film’s release.
“If you do not see this movie, we are going to hunt you down,” Beiler said. “Just kidding, of course. But there are a lot of emotions to tackle in this 30-minute film.”
With graduation looming for Einhorn, Santelli and Trabucco, they refuse to accept a teary-eyed goodbye.
As a matter of fact, the crew hopes to maintain their chemistry on the west coast.
“Half of my friends have moved to Los Angeles following their Temple tenure so I plan to join them for a reunion,” Einhorn said. “Temple offers a Los Angeles internship which I, along with [Trabucco] and [Santelli], have expressed interest in. Aside from having a good time, seeking job opportunities is my top priority.”
“It has been a journey,” Trabucco added.
John Corrigan can be reached at email@example.com.