Award-winning short Boy in the Box to be screened at the Georgia BigPictureCon.
ATLANTA, Ga. — The 2014 Georgia BigPictureCon Short Film Festival will feature is Boy in the Box, an award-winning short directed by local filmmaking team the Bontrager brothers - DeWayne and LaWayne.
DeWayne Bontrager said the film, which is about a boy put in a coma after being hit by a texting driver and his journey into recovery, was inspired by seeing an oversized grocery cart.
“I saw it one day at our client’s warehouse and said, “How can we use that in a movie?” he said. This led to the idea of a boy making a box and entering an imaginary world much like children do. The title is a play on the term a “Jack in the Box” — the protagonist is named Jack and when he pops out of the box, it resembles a Jack in the box.
Cast as Jack is Royce Mann, an award-winning child prodigy. The Bontrangers met the Mann family at a local meet and greet event and recognized Royce’s potential immediately.
“We knew instantly he was the boy we were waiting for to play the part of Jack,” he said. “Royce was 9 and going on 13 – we knew that this boy would understand direction.”
According to a Q&A on the popular movie website IMDb, the film was shot in the metro Atlanta area. Locations included Fired and Wired in the Virginia Highlands area, whose owners allowed them to shoot there until 11 p.m., as well as the Atlanta Aesthetic Surgery Center. The film won “Best Actor” and “Best Special Effects” in the 2012 48-Hour Film Project.
Bontrager thanks all the friends and family who helped make the film possible. The doctor who delivered LaWayne’s daughter found the Atlanta Aesthetic Surgery Center for them and helped build the sets. They borrowed the extra-large shopping cart from their client and the scenes inside the box were shot with the help of Atlanta Feed the Hungry and Ashwood Development. A traffic cone was borrowed from Costco.
Bontranger said Boy in a Box is an inspiring film, shedding light on the rapidly growing issue of texting while driving and overall phone distractions drivers allow in their vehicles. The film could be a PSA on the dangers of texting and driving.
“We hope that all viewers will question the next time they reach for their phone while driving to text someone,” he said.