Jamestown Native Premieres Short Film In Hollywood Film Festival

Dan Bracey, a Jamestown native who now works and resides in Los Angeles, is pictured at the premiere of his short film “Never, Never” at the L.A. Shorts International Film Festival in Hollywood last week. Also pictured is Araceli Prasarttongosoth, who briefly appears in the film as Tiger Lily. Submitted photo

A Jamestown native who went west is now a bona fide short-filmmaker in his own right after a project he wrote, directed and produced was recently screened at a Los Angeles theater.

Dan Bracey, who now lives in Los Angeles, Calif., had his short film “Never, Never” premier at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood last week as part of the 10-day L.A. Shorts International Film Festival that featured more than 200 films in total.

Bracey’s 15-minute film focuses on the modern-day relationship of Peter Pan and Wendy after the two have “grown up” together and attempted to adjust to adulthood. Set over dinner, the film explores Bracey’s take on how these iconic child characters would handle adulthood, incorporating the universal realities of aging and the inevitably of death.

He said he conceived of the film and wrote its first draft in the summer of 2015, drawing from his own personal relationship experience.

“The idea came around from a relationship I had where I could tell she wanted to get more serious and for us to be a more mature couple, and I just wasn’t at that point yet,” he said. “Eventually, it resonated with me that I can’t stay young forever and that I’m going to have to grow up at some point; so this film was written as a way for me to outwardly express those thoughts and feelings and accept them. It was healing for me to make because I could see those emotions mainfested on-screen and that helped me mature as a person.”

Bracey, who moved to California in 2010, now works as an editor on contract with Starburns Industries — which produced the first two seasons of the hit Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty” and is now producing a new series called “HarmonQuest.” Bracey is currently working on “HarmonQuest,” as well as the forthcoming series “The Cops” featuring comedians Louis C.K. and Albert Brooks.

He said, despite working on a few original comedy sketches since his arrival in California, “Never, Never” is the first short film he has made. The film was shot and produced between June 2016 and January and, in keeping with the Hollywood tradition, Bracey immediately began submitting it to various independent film festivals throughout the area.

“I’d say I put in for about 30 different festivals at $30 to $50 per shot, because that’s just what you do in L.A., and I ended up getting into one; which is pretty standard,” he said. “I was very happy that my film was selected. It was a good feeling, the festival was cool and the premier was fun.”

Bracey said approximately 50 people attended the screening of his film, and that it was well-received.

“I had about 10 friends show up, and it was great to have their support. I also had one woman I didn’t know come up to me and tell me that she loved it and thought it was hilarious,” he said. “It wasn’t necessarily intended to be funny, but it is probably the most light-hearted thing I’ve ever written. It definitely has its quirkiness and is a fun, cute story. Either way, it was nice to get that kind of acknowledgment and recognition for the work that went into making it.”

“Never, Never” can be viewed online at vimeo.com/196966954. For more information about the L.A. Shorts International Film Festival and its other selected films for 2017, visit lashortsfest.com.