There are an awful lot of short films being made (not to mention a lot of awful short films), and few short films carry the technical and emotional wallop of E.B. Hughes’ Harsh Light. A stunning 26-minute drama, shot in grim black-and-white, Harsh Light offers the uncompromising tale of a mediocre aging boxer who is offered a chance for financial redemption by returning to an old job for a drug dealer. However, a detective leans on the boxer in order to break the drug dealer’s ring, which leads to a stunning conclusion which obscures the clear-cut definitions of good and evil and leaves the audience gasping at the film’s unexpected rabbit punch denouement.
For 33-year-old E.B. Hughes, Harsh Light has provided a handsome collection of honors including awards at the Long Island Film Festival, Euro-Underground Film Festival and the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival. The film can be seen on three top webcasting web sites (iFilm, ALWAYSi.com and 01Films), and it also helped exorcized inner doubts and unhappiness which arose with his first attempt at filmmaking, a short drama called “A Distant Chord” which focused on a small-time jazz musician’s struggle with his art and love life.
However, E.B. Hughes’ career has yet to receive the green light for a full-speed-ahead into A-list writing/directing stardom. His screenplay “Life’s Back Pocket” won a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, but never made it to the big screen; he also authored 14 other screenplays which have not been produced.
Yet Hughes has not been one to stay idle. He has been an active behind-the-camera player for numerous independent productions based in his native New Jersey, holding a variety of positions including Location Scout, Technical Advisor, Production Coordinator and Grip. And Harsh Light is achieving a distinction that few original shorts ever enjoy: a theatrical engagement in New York, beginning October 5 at the Two Boots Den of Cin, where it will be shown on a bill with the off-beat feature The Strange Case of Señor Computer.
Film Threat caught up with Hughes at his New Jersey HQ to discuss his work and his strategy on building a career in films…
Get the interview in part two of E.B. HUGHES: WAITING FOR THE BELL>>>