The Two Gay Geeks received this press release from our friends at ChicArt Public Relations about the new short film, Danny Boy, directed by Cory DeMeyers.We interviewed Cory on our podcast Monday September 6th, Episode 342.
Check out the info below and Ben’s review at the bottom.
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(Los Angeles, CA) – September 3rd, 2021. The Academy qualifying film festival Hollyshorts has selected Cory DeMeyers’ directorial debut Danny Boy. The poignant and thought-provoking award-winning short film is directed and produced by DeMeyers, a former Red Bull world champion athlete turned stuntman and the recipient of the 2020 Taurus World Stunt Award for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award-nominated film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The script was written by Sammy Horowitz and the film stars Jett Jansen Fernandez and Sammy Horowitz.
Visit www.Hollyshorts.com to book tickets for the in-person screenings at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and the virtual presentations happening from September 23rd to October 1st.
The 12-minute L.A. noir explores challenges the perceptions of friendship, loyalty, masculinity, and homophobia. Set against the backdrop of a heist in progress, Danny Boy delves on these topics through a very intimate lens.
The film tells the story of two low-rent criminals en route to a robbery and they don’t seem to be on the same page when it comes to life, love, and loyalty. Lacking the presence of their mutual friend Stevie B, their plan may be in jeopardy along with their safety if these two acquaintances can’t find common ground. Stevie B said they would make a killing, but never mentioned they’d get along.
“At its simplest form ‘Danny Boy’ is about not judging a book by its cover and not projecting your ideals, standards, and aspirations unfairly on others. Everything is not as it seems, especially in Francis’s mind, inside his ideal construct of masculinity,” explains director Cory DeMeyers. “Francis and Danny seemingly are both on the same level until Danny becomes a champion of the people and defends the lifestyle of non-heterosexual males” he adds.
As a former criminal, gang member, and drug addict, screenwriter Sammy Horowitz adds: “All of my stories come from lived experience and I wanted to bring something to the table so to speak which is raw and uncut and shows the type of nuances that exist in the criminal world. Danny is gay, Francis is old school. Both of these characters reflect shades of people I have known and had interactions with throughout my life. Their truths were important to me.”
The film that The UK Film Review rated Five Stars and is calling “a must-see” has recently begun its festival circuit, already winning Best Low Budget Short Film and Best Supporting Actor at the Cult Movies Film Festival. The Indie Shorts magazine gave it a score of 4.5 Stars and said: “It’s both remarkable and unusual for a story on crime, gang wars, and heists to tread upon sensitive subjects such as homosexuality and by defying the conventional, what DeMeyers essentially does is both challenge and amuse his audience into a unique experience.”
Danny Boy is an opportunity for creative duo Cory DeMeyers (director, producer) and Sammy Horowitz (actor, writer) to show that the skills they have acquired over the years working as stuntmen reach far beyond mindless action.
“I want to prove that although both Sammy & I are Stuntmen, we are at our core Storytellers. Working as a stuntman with some of the great directors and producers of the time has been my film school, and when given the opportunity, I can contribute much more to this art form than is expected of me,” concludes director Cory DeMeyers.
Associate Producer Sari Sanchez stated, “With a gifted group of artists involved, a tight timeframe, and access to some key film equipment, I couldn’t think of a more exciting endeavor. ‘Danny Boy’ was a collaborative process from its inception which enriched an already thrilling premise. The authenticity of Sammy’s dialogue and the clarity of Cory’s vision made it easy to come on board with these guys behind the wheel.”
Starring Jett Jansen Fernandez (Stranger Things & Street Shadows), Sammy Horowitz (Notorious Nick, L.A’s Finest & Chicago PD). Directed/Produced by Cory DeMeyers (Taurus World Stunt Award Winner for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood). The film was produced in association with Crash Site Films (producer of Street Shadows) and Create and Destroy inc (DeMeyers Production Stable). Associate Producer: Sari Sanchez (Actress; Signature Move, Lucifer & Empire). Edited by Jeff McEvoy (Project Power, The Lincoln Lawyer). Original soundtrack contributions by KT Bonez.
It was important for me to make Danny Boy because I believe in the man behind the story, writer Sammy Horowitz. He has such an incredible background that has given him not only unique points of view to draw from, but real-world experience from parts of life most of us will never see nor fully understand. This informs his scripts and characters with a type of raw authenticity that sometimes feels uncomfortable to the viewer but speaks to the truth of each of his characters and where they came from.
Danny’s story evolves and not only is he a champion for equality defending his family and friends, he becomes one of those that are targeted by Francis. Danny Boy will certainly speak to underrepresented audiences and by extension allow us to continue telling stories like these. Stories that often offer insight to underserved communities and individuals, bringing a human connection and empathy to people and places society has chosen to ignore or overlook.
As a writer, I want to explore the unexplored. I want to delve into the uncomfortable and talk about the things that many people today stay away from. Because of my background and the life, I once lived, I am in a place where now I feel obligated to shed a light on the dark places in humanity and society that often go unseen and ignored.
Ben’s BreakDown | Danny Boy
Scene: An unsavory-looking man is in a car parked on a shady street in what seems to be an equally shady part of some city. Another man walks up to the car and climbs in on the passenger side and they drive off.
Thus begins the short film Danny Boy about a career criminal named Francis (Samuel Evan Horowitz) and his partner-in-crime Danny (Jett Jansen) who are out to make an easy score. The heart of this film isn’t the score but the conversation these two men have as they are on their way. Sammy tries to strike up what starts as small talk about people they both known in common. It’s in the conversation that interesting characteristics about the two of them start to emerge that end up taking this night in an unsuspecting direction.
Written by Horowitz this film is directed by Cory DeMeyers who has worked in the industry for quite a few years, including that of a stunt performer in Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood. The spirit of Tarantino is all over this short film particularly in the dialogue between Francis and Danny, hearkening back to the lunatic car conversations between John Travolta’s and Samuel L. Jackson’s characters from Pulp Fiction. What makes the conversation in this film so powerful is the sense of organic honesty about it. The dialogue isn’t just prepared exposition that so many other movies utilize. Instead, it has a chance to breathe. The dialogue has inhalations and exhalations, as well as moments when the dialogue seems to hold its breath. It comes off as so real that I felt like I was intruding on a genuinely private conversation.
The actors, Horowitz and Jansen, are no strangers to the film industry and they put their talents to amazing use culminating in a moment that had me holding my breath as something most unexpected happens to one of them. The acting in that particular moment was so intense that I felt pulled into the car and witnessing something that I shouldn’t be seeing. The power of the writing, the acting, and the directing, all come together in a moment of collaborative balance creating the perfect, albeit disturbing, moment in the film.
Danny Boy is not the type of movie that is for everyone, but that does not minimize the power, intensity, and even artistry that is present throughout this independent short film. Danny Boy is a violent and raw work of art.