By LORI PINELLI - For the Star Beacon
Daniel Carberry’s “Sandbox” is not a safe place to play but will be thrilling to watch at the Cleveland International Film Festival at Tower City Cinemas, April 4 and 5.
“Sandbox is an action short film that opens on five exhausted, lost soldiers staggering through the bleak desert. Suddenly out of nowhere, they come under an attack that they were never prepared for. Through the chaos, we learn the true nature of their mission, which is something unimaginable,” said Carberry, the filmmaker who hails from Ashtabula.
His action short is part of the Independent Shorts Program 1 at the 37th annual CIFF (Cleveland International Film Festival). The Shorts Program includes several other short films made in the United States, as well as Spain and France. Carberry said that he plans on being at the screenings of “Sandbox” and at the question and answer sessions afterwards.
Carberry’s first films were shot in Ashtabula. When Daniel and his twin brother, Michael, were in elementary school, they began making films. As teenagers, they held premieres for two of their films at the Lakeside High School auditorium. The talented twins graduated from Lakeside in 2008. At 18, they moved to Los Angeles to chase their dream as filmmakers.
“My twin, Michael, was the editor on the “Sandbox” project. My older brother, Jeremy, did music. My brother, Jonathan, drew up concept boards for the film. A lot of family (is) tied up in this one. They are very talented. Working with them is great. I can trust that they are going to do their best for the project. We all think a little similarly, but are very different people and have talents in different areas as well,” said Carberry.
He said that having a film at the CIFF is his biggest cinematic accomplishment so far, though Carberry has had films in other festivals. He was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards in Cinematography and Editing for a music video featuring the group “Thirty Seconds to Mars.”
“I think people will enjoy “Sandbox” because it's a story that will swipe you off your feet. It was a day-and-half shoot in the beginning of July 2012. We shot in the desert for a day. We ran out of water twice for our 20-plus crew. We shot in Death Valley, about an hour and half from Vegas. The day of shooting got to more than 108 degrees and we got two or three cars stuck out in the sand. Shooting in conditions like this was hard, but well worth it. Capturing the environment and landscape turned itself into a whole character which you see in the film and that was worth every drop of sweat and blood,” said Carberry.
The screening of the Independent Shorts Program 1, containing “Sandbox,” will be April 4 at noon and April 5 at 5 p.m. It will also be a part of Film Slam 2013 in the morning, for students. Students from Northeast Ohio high schools will have the opportunity to see films participating in Film Slam and ask questions after the screenings.
Independent film fans can follow “Sandbox” online at www.facebook.com/sandboxshort and twitter @sandboxshort. Carberry is currently working on another venture that will soon be launched on Kickstarter, a fundraising website for creative projects. More information is also available at www.danielcarberry.com.