The story of six friends, who spend one last night together before the inevitability of their life choices pull them apart.
Running Time: 12 minutes
Directed By: Jake Cole
Written By: Christopher Haygood
Produced By: Stephanie Bunting
Production Company: Green Jack Productions
Edited by: Justine Roberts
Cinematographer: Jonathan Stromberg
Camera Operator: Eliot Roach
2017: Jack Lear enlists in the United States Navy and is scheduled to report for an eight month deployment. Preparing for their new life together Jack and his longtime girlfriend April Howser have purchased a house in the California mountains and call it a home. The weekend before he ships out, the duo throw a party inviting their closest friends to visit them in their new place to spend some time with and say goodbye to Jack. The same thing is on everyone’s mind. Maybe tonight is the last chance they’ll get to say all the things they’ve ever wanted to say.
In the United States, joining the military is a choice many young women and men decide upon as a career path. The armed forces oﬀers a multitude of beneﬁts along with promises of adventure for the not-so-faint of heart. Jack Lear is one of thousands who enlist every year and have to ultimately face the reality of leaving their loved ones behind when the time comes for their ﬁrst tour.
The decision comes easy for some and not so much for others but those who enlist each have a level of bravery not seen in the average person. We honor our veterans and praise those who risk their lives to keep us safe. This short ﬁlm is a love letter to those who make this choice. Our goal was to highlight something not much explored or seen in typical stories of military men.
We wanted to explore the time before the ﬁrst deployment. The truth behind what everyone faces. The nerves and worry that come along with this decision and everyone that it eﬀects, not just for the person joining but for those they leave behind as well. Maybe Tonight is a ﬁlm about this time, a window into the lives of a group of friends facing these realities and what it means for each of them.
“This latest project; ‘Maybe Tonight’ went through a ton of changes. We had a bunch of ideas we wanted to do for a short film and it kept evolving from one thing to the next. My writing partner and I kept coming back to this idea of a guy who decides to join the Navy and what that might mean for the people around him. You know, back in the day a lot of guys didn’t have a choice, they were drafted, so we were thinking, what sort of guy might want to join the military on his own free will? We decided my character ‘Jack’ would be the kind of guy who was just sort of sick of it all and needed a change. He moves out of LA, heads to the mountains and buys a cabin with his girlfriend. They’ve had some problems in the past (like we all have) and maybe he’s trying to find a new start with her and within himself. I’m from Texas and a lot of guys I grew up with chose this path so it isn’t hard for me to imagine making it myself. So we went with it. We explored the idea and worked on a few different versions of what you see in the finished project. What we really wanted to do was have a moment in time film where the audience gets just enough information to enjoy the story and get an image of these character’s personalities and lives and what they’re going through. It’s a very personal story to me and I hope we’ve created something that’s entertaining as well as relatable. It’s a divisive time in this country right now. A lot of us come from different places, grew up with totally different backgrounds, have all these different opinions on things but I know we can still find ways to make friends with others that we might not agree with on everything. I think a part of what I like about this film is that it highlights that idea. That we don’t have to agree with everything our friends think and say but we can still get along and love each other.” - Jake Cole
After months of searching for a leading lady, director Jake Cole stumbled upon Megan’s work in the play: “The Marriage Zone”. “I knew right away she was the perfect choice to play April,” says Jake. After a brief meeting, Megan joined the team and when it came time to shoot, blew everyone away with her subtle and exceptional performance. “April is a really complicated character. She and Jack are about to start this new chapter in their lives and she’s the one who feels the effects of this choice the most. She loves Jack and wants to be supportive but also sees that her closest friends are either getting married and starting families or at the very least not having to say goodbye to their significant other for such a long period of time. The complexity of her emotions are on full display in this film and make for a compelling performance that in my opinion not many young actors could pull off. She did her homework and came prepared. She was the perfect screen partner.” - Jake Cole
Ryan Barr has become a staple actor in Jake’s projects. “I’ll keep working with Ryan until one of us quits or dies. I trust him to handle any material he’s given. His realistic and seemingly effortless acting keeps me on my toes so I know that if Ryan’s around I have to be sure and step my game up. Which might be why he’s worked in all my projects.” - Jake Cole
About casting Kat, Jake says; “We were having trouble filling this role. The process was dragging on and starting to look bleak. Kat walked into the audition room and changed everything. There was no second choice”. Kat is an accomplished, skilled actress and has recently come off a wonderful stint playing “Helen” on the latest season of American Horror Story.
Joe plays Carmine Baker, longtime husband of Amy Baker and childhood friend of Jack’s. “I knew Joe from a commercial shoot we had done earlier in the year. I thought he was hilarious and I knew he’d fit right in with our cast. I was nervous during our meeting because he was so right for the role, the idea of him turning it down would have crushed me. Lucky he said ‘yes’ and I got to keep my sanity.” - Jake Cole
Stephanie Bunting joined the film as a producer early on. With only the script in hand she played a major role in almost every aspect of the filmmaking process. Her invaluable contributions in everything from casting to acquisitions of equipment and filming tools, she made sure everything ran smoothly and most importantly that the project was completed.
Jonathan Stromberg has been a professional Director of Photography for years. “Jon was amazing. He brought a level of professionalism and expertise in the art of filmmaking to this movie that was desperately needed. His confidence based on his experience set everyone at ease and I knew from the moment we met I could trust him completely.” - Jake Cole
Author Christopher Haygood made his move into scriptwriting after Jake approached him to help write a sketch for Green Jack Productions titled “Chef Charlie”. ChrisHaygood.com hosts much of his work and accomplishments, most recently of which has been a short story featured on the legendary online publishing website McSweeney’s.
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