The Tree On Rod Lane

Jonah Ellis lives with his widowed mother on a southern rural farmhouse.
His father mysteriously disappeared when he was a small boy and his mother, obsessed with gourds and craft clubs, doesn't give him the attention he needs.
His mother also gets unusually upset and he was severely punished every time that Jonah got too close to a certain black walnut tree in their back yard.
Now, years later, and at the advice of his psychiatrist, Jonah returns to the farmhouse and his mother's gravesite to finally put his hatred and bitterness behind him.
Deciding to celebrate his birthday alone this year, he grabs a cupcake, sticks a candle in it and sings to himself, sarcastically dedicating his birthday to his mother.
But Jonah is interrupted when a mysterious wind suddenly blows his candle out.
Then he hears whispers in the wind that seem to say 'The Tree', and 'Release me...'.

So, Jonah follows his instincts and ends up by the forbidden tree once again. As he looks up into its evil looking branches, he trips (by accident?) on an exposed root.

After clearing his head, he sees a glimmer in a hollow of the tree. He digs around and pulls a rock out that happened to be blocking the hollow and discovers a knife! The knife holds long lost memories that we shall soon discover as the story ends.


The Tree on Rod Lane



"A surprise ending twist – you won’t see this
coming!"

- Catherine Pfitzer

(Program Director, Sidewalk Film Festival)







Starring:

WILLIAM BROWNELL III CARRIE SELF JOHN P. BUTKA

directed, filmed and edited by
JOSH SELF

production and set design by KIM JOHNSON

sound and grips JOHN P. BUTKA, ERIC PARADISE

written by
TEAM SUCTION HORSE

(JOSH SELF, KIM JOHNSON, JOHN P. BUTKA,
ERIC PARADISE, JOHN TERRY)

music by
NAG HAMMADI


The Tree on Rod Lane is a short film
that was shot over a weekend two day period (48 hours) for the
Sidewalk (Film Festival) Scramble using various inspiration items
given to us that Friday.

These items included:
incorporating a gourd into your film, showing a celebration, and
the action "someone goes to investigate a strange
noise". The short film was written, shot, produced and
edited in 48 hours and was screened competetively at the
"Fall '05 Sidewalk Scramble Screening" at the Alys
Stevens Center for Performing Arts in Birmingham, Alabama.