“Run Rabbit” is a low-budget film that has played at film festivals all over the world and won dozens of awards. It is a dramatic thriller about a cult-related conspiracy around the Catholic Church. “Run Rabbit” was made with only three people on a budget of $500.
The writer and director is Justin Rose from Gilbert. Christopher Studenka is an actor, producer, assistant director and casting director. Greg Wave is an actor and producer on the film. While attending Kevin Smith’s Smodcastle Film Festival, filmmakers Rose, Wave and Studenka secured a distribution deal for the film.
Studenka spoke with Across the Street about the film ahead of the Jerome Film Festival. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.
<strong>How did you get involved in this film?</strong>
Justin Rose and I had made two short films prior, “Red Velvet Evening,” and then one called “Father’s Day” that I wrote. I was just an actor at that point. I had been in mostly stuff like I’d been in four failed TV pilots. I’d been in some movies, nothing major, and done a lot of independent film stuff that never got done, music videos, corporate work. I’ve done everything. Justin and I worked on the first film. It was his first film out of film school. When he and I met, I realized he really has super talent. He just has a different eye, a different view. I told him I had written this short film myself called “Father’s Day,” and he agreed to make it. As we made both films, we realized we had a good symbiotic relationship. During that time he’d been writing “Run Rabbit” and, of course, making a feature film is much more challenging than a short film but we thought we could do it. We brought in a fellow actor friend of mine, Greg Wave, who I had worked with on two of the failed TV pilots. We’d done a number of things and talked about doing something ourselves. So the three of us ventured out to make this on our own, all by ourselves, which we did. We did every aspect of it, the three of us.
<strong>How did you manage to put a feature-length film together with only $500?</strong>
The simple answer to that is we got all the actors for free and all the locations for free. Justin already owned the equipment, so it was just a matter of us being able to do it. I’ve worked as an actor for years, and I had a lot of actor friends and so has Greg Wave. This is a very heavy dialogue film and takes great acting. This isn’t some bang bang shoot ’em up film. Justin wrote it like a play, where it’s longer scenes with two or three people at a time so you could shoot it easier that way. It’s a very involved plot, so we needed people who could really act. If there’s great material, any actor that isn’t A-list will generally do it for free or for very little because they want to do good material.
For more information about the film, follow “Run Rabbit” on Facebook.