“After making the film, we decided that it would be best to enter it into as many festivals as possible,” said Perry. “The only two available, however, were the San Diego Film Festival and Cannes. Apparently, I was too late for SDFF, but heard back from Cannes within a few weeks – and was accepted!”
Perry, who graduated from La Jolla High and lives in the Village, says at the time he was attending Mesa College, but admits when he received the news from the festival committee, he placed all of his focus on the film, often times while in class. As an obvious result, Perry is no longer enrolled at Mesa. When prompted about his grades from his parents, he simply replied: “you don’t want to see them.”
If one has a talent or proclivity towards a certain field, that’s Perry in spades. His parents, who he says have been “extremely supportive,” understand this, for they actually attempted to talk him out of attending college.
Prior to attending Cannes, Perry had no idea that the festival acted as a front for “talent” (writers, directors, etc.) looking to partially or fully fund their projects.
“I just wanted to go meet some of the people that inspire me,” said Perry. “I was lucky enough to meet Barry Jenkins, writer/director of ‘Moonlight,’ Will Smith exiting a party, and Taylor Sheridan, director of ‘Hell or High Water’ showing his new film, ‘Wind River,’ which was amazing.”
Introduced to film by his father, who worked as a production assistant in the early ‘90s in Hollywood, he says his penchant for crime fiction was, like many, seeded by watching “Pulp Fiction” for the first time at 15.
When viewing “Aftermath,” one is reminded of the early ‘90s crime flicks perfected by Quentin Tarantino and Brian Singer. Originally shot in color, then edited with a black and white filter after the fact, “Aftermath’s” plot harkens back to “The Usual Suspects” or “Reservoir Dogs” for its gritty dialogue, “Who-done-it” plot twists and blaze violence. Like a Hitchcock production, however, none of this violence is perpetrated directly within a shot.
“All of the equipment we shot with I own. Filming, in its entirety, took about four days. One day, we rented a U-Haul for like $40, and I had to drive because it was in my name. We got all of the interior van shots and driving wrapped up in a day,” Perry elaborated.
Most of the film was shot on location at an Airstream renovation lot in Barrio Logan, and the van shots were filmed in-transit.
Perry is aspirational, but is in no way looking for a handout. He says that recently he has been applying to entry-level positions with major film companies – simply to get his foot in the door.
For someone that hasn’t even crossed legal drinking age, it could be said that he is off to a tremendous start as a bright young filmmaker.