In a post-apocalyptic world, Ruby embarks on a treacherous journey west in search of her older brother Henry. Along the way, she encounters an enigmatic old woman who holds secrets of the past.
In the vast landscape of cinema, the post-apocalyptic genre has witnessed numerous interpretations. Yet, “Along Came Ruby” emerges as a novel spectacle.
Hey FilmmakersWorld fam, today we are having a conversation with the brilliant independent director Riccardo Suriano about his latest short film “Along Came Ruby”.
Riccardo Suriano is from Roma (Italy) but actually is living in Sacramento (California).
He mixed sapiently the Italian crafts and sensibility with the energy and the California vibes, creating a really interesting film, and last but not least he produced it with a super low budget.
Let’s delve deeper into its universe through an extended Q&A session.
Hey Riccardo, welcome on board! As usual please introduce quickly yourself and let us know how you start your journey as a director.
I am Riccardo, an Italian filmmaker deeply passionate about crafting narratives that echo the complexity, beauty, and resilience of the human spirit. Each frame I shoot, each story I tell, is influenced by a rich tapestry of experiences that began in my youth.
What is “Along Came Ruby” about?
“Along Came Ruby” is an evocative tale set against the desolate backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world. The narrative follows Ruby, an 18-year-old survivor, who embarks on a perilous journey to find her missing brother, Henry. As the plot unravels, she crosses paths with a mysterious older woman, and their interconnected memories lead to a deeply emotional, and perhaps even spectral, climax. It’s a story of resilience, hope, and the unyielding bonds of family.
How was the film’s unique concept conceived?
The genesis of “Along Came Ruby” is deeply personal. While it’s true that the project culminated through collaborative efforts, its concept stems from my own imagination and experiences. Growing up, I was enamored by films like “Donnie Darko” and “The Butterfly Effect.”
Moreover, video games with intricate plots and time-twisting mechanics left a profound impact on me.
This film is a labor of love, amalgamating elements of the media that shaped my formative years. It’s a reflection of my intrigue with time travel, multiple timelines, and the complexities they introduce into the human experience.
What locations served as the canvas for this film?
To bring the haunting aura of a post-apocalyptic world to life, we needed settings that evoked feelings of desolation, isolation, and eeriness. The scenic locales of Sacramento, California, emerged as the ideal choice.
From its abandoned structures to its expansive landscapes, each location was handpicked to mirror the emotional depth of the narrative and provide an authentic feel to the story’s ambiance.
Could you elaborate on the film’s ensemble cast?
The film has been blessed with an ensemble of incredibly talented actors from Sacramento’s thriving artistic community. While each cast member brought their unique flair and depth to their roles, the protagonist’s portrayal stands out, evoking a sense of authenticity and gravitas.
The dynamic between the characters, their struggles, and their moments of vulnerability truly highlight the caliber of the cast and their dedication to the craft.
Which camera equipment played a crucial role in capturing the film’s essence?
Visual storytelling demands cutting-edge equipment. Which camera equipment played a crucial role in capturing the film’s essence? We utilized the Arri Alexa 35 and the Arri Alexa Mini LF cameras, known for their unparalleled image quality.
Paired with the Atlas Orion SE and DzoFilm Gnosis lenses, these setups enabled us to capture the breathtaking visuals and the intricate nuances of every scene, ensuring a cinematic feast for the viewers.
Every film has its set of challenges. What hurdles did “Along Came Ruby” encounter during its production?
Filmmaking is an intricate dance of creativity and challenges, and “Along Came Ruby” was no exception. Set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world, ensuring every detail was authentic was a Herculean task.
From the logistical issues of shooting in remote or abandoned locations to dealing with unpredictable weather patterns, every day brought its own set of hurdles. But it was the passion, resilience, and unwavering commitment of our cast and crew that turned these challenges into stepping stones, crafting a world that resonates with the vision I had envisioned.
Can you share more with the community about creating an independent short film? We mean how you thought from scratch and how you brought it to life.
Creating ‘Along Came Ruby’ was not just a leap of faith but also a calculated risk, informed by my past experiences. A couple of years ago, I made a short film called ‘Long Pig’, which served as my ‘boot camp’ in no-budget, time-critical filmmaking.
That entire film was shot in just one night, forcing me to maximize every resource at my disposal. It was a critical learning curve, teaching me what could be accomplished under constraints. Armed with those lessons, I tackled ‘Along Came Ruby’ with a blend of vision and realism.
The first step was to materialize that vision into an intricate pitch deck, which became my key to securing sponsorships from esteemed brands like Atlas Lens, DZOFilm, Maxon, and Videovillage. The support I received from these companies was nothing short of extraordinary—they recognized the promise in my film and generously offered their products to help realize it.
From there, I reached out to some of the most talented professionals in the Sacramento region to assemble a top-notch crew. Then I spent a few dedicated days scouring social media and other platforms to find the perfect actors and locations.
Time was still a critical factor. With the budget mainly covering essentials like meals, the entire shooting was squeezed into four days—meticulously planned and executed to utilize every minute.
Are there any renowned personalities associated with “Along Came Ruby”?
I had long admired the work of Walter Volpatto, a renowned colorist for Company 3 in Hollywood, known for his contributions to blockbuster films like ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Dunkirk,’ and ‘The Last Jedi.’
I took what some would consider a long shot—I decided to reach out to him directly. Armed with my pitch deck, a portfolio of scenes, and a narrative of what I hoped to achieve, I contacted Walter.
It was a nerve-wracking moment, hitting that ‘send’ button, but sometimes you must take those leaps of faith.
Walter’s response exceeded my expectations; he was impressed by the vision and the grassroots effort that had gone into the project. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, he was on board to lend his unparalleled expertise to color our film.
His touch brought a cinematic depth and richness that harmonized perfectly with the film’s narrative.
I could go on and on, but I can certainly say that if you believe in your project, have a clear vision of things, and are predisposed to problem-solving, you can definitely make it even with limited resources to pull off your first independent short film as well as I did.
With a plethora of post-apocalyptic films out there, what makes “Along Came Ruby” a unique experience for the audience?
While “Along Came Ruby” indeed draws from the post-apocalyptic genre, it carves its own niche through its exploration of time, human psyche, and interconnectedness of memories.
As viewers dive into the narrative, they’re not just watching a survivor’s tale; they’re invited to contemplate the intricacies of time, the blurring lines between past and future, and the often unexpected reverberations of memories.
This rich tapestry, inspired by my lifelong fascination with time travel, multiple timelines, and the influences of my youth, ensures that “Along Came Ruby” stands out as an introspective and mind-bending cinematic journey.
As viewers, what should we anticipate from “Along Came Ruby”?
“Along Came Ruby” promises a roller-coaster of emotions and thoughts. While the visuals are designed to captivate, the storyline dives deep into layers of the human soul. Expect to be challenged, to question, to feel, and most importantly, to introspect.
The harmonious amalgamation of haunting landscapes, poignant performances, and a narrative that oscillates between bleakness and hope ensures that “Along Came Ruby” is not just watched, but felt.
This film isn’t just a fleeting experience; it aims to linger in the minds and hearts of its audience.
For those eager to immerse themselves in the world of “Along Came Ruby”, where can they access the film?
While “Along Came Ruby” is making its rounds through various esteemed film festivals, viewers don’t have to wait to experience its magic. The film is readily accessible on Film Shortage’s website and their dedicated YouTube channel.
If you’re keen on a direct link, you can watch it
Thank you so much Riccardo for sharing your experience and these valuable insights with the community!
If you wanna learn more about Along Came Ruby and Riccardo Suriano, go check his official website and as usual we are cooking a new piece fam…
Stay tuned for the next and in the meantime, if you missed our latest article, go check it out. Much love