The inspiration for Golden came from a number of different personal sources. My first inspiration was having the good fortune of watching my paternal grandparents grow old together. The bond they shared was incredibly powerful to observe through my formative years. I remember a moment near the end of my grandfather’s life, he was laying unresponsive in a hospital bed and the when my grandmother spoke the sound of her voice caused his body to react as if he were trying to get to her. The moment has stuck with me all my life. I began to think that in this day and age of instant gratification and disconnected relationships that this kind of a bond might not exist any longer. When I met my now wife, for the first time in my life I believed that attaining and maintaining a bond like the one they shared was possible.
A second source of inspiration came from the desire to examine a subject from a new angle. So often I would see death or scenarios of odd behavior portrayed as disgusting, horrific, or creepy. I wanted to take that idea and flip it on it’s head and look at the beauty of human relationships. It struck me as a beautiful notion that we could love another human so deeply that their death could cause us to behave in such an unusual manner.
The path from script to screen for Golden was an interesting one. The short script was submitted to multiple short screenplay competitions and fared well. One festival director contacted me to option the script as soon as he had read it. I sold the script but maintained the rights to make a version myself and gave him a specific amount of time to complete his version. The time expired on our contract before he was able to complete production and I set off to make the film myself. We were incredibly fortunate to find an open weekend in both Bain and Wendy’s busy schedules and shot the film over a weekend. The film was selected at several festivals including, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, BendFilm, Dances with Films, and VisionFest NYC. It also picked up an award for best Minnesota Made Short at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, and would later be included in the See-18 exhibit at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport co-curated by the Minneapolis Film Society.
Interview at Dances with Films Festival. Filmmaker Kjell Kvanbeck and Producer Justin Newcomb chat about their short GOLDEN. Kjell spills about his personal connection with the material in his film and Justin talks about the similarities and differences of filmmaking and the military.