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Modern Dating: An Interview with Roderick Evans

Please tell us about the projects you worked on before making this film. How did you start, and how did you learn to make films?

Prior to Modern Dating, I shot a 3 minute short thriller called Escape From Quarantine, right after Covid-19 started in 2020. Before that, we shot a 7 minute short documentary called The Cannoli Connection, which was shot in one day around NYC, starting at 8am and ending at 10pm.

I learned how to write, shoot and edit as a Videographer in the U.S. Army. After a few years of shooting and editing, everything clicked for me and I suddenly understood composition, sound, and the “rules” of film making. After 8 years of shooting video in the Army, I decided to experiment and make short films.

Tell us about” Modern Dating”. Is this your first music video?

Modern Dating is based on a real story that was told to me through a friend, and it shocked me to hear such a frightening story. I immediately saw the “film” in my mind, and I immediately decided to make it a short. Unfortunately, Covid hit at the same time, so I had to wait until 2022 to be able to start making it!

What are some of your favorite movies and why?

Some of my top favorite movies are Terminator 2, Alien, Aliens, Ghostbusters, and Once Upon a Time In America. I think these are perfect movies, and they have a great teams and friendships. Teams and friendships are two things that movies certainly do not have anymore.

How would you describe your directing style?

I like to have a plan, but I also know that the plan goes out the window when you start shooting. I like to stay flexible, but also be as creative and resourceful when it comes to locations and actors.

If you were given a good budget, what would be your ideal film or music video project?

My ideal film would be a buddy-cop action/comedy, set in Paris, with American and French actors working together. I think that is something that has never really been done, and it could be totally original.

Describe how you would ensure that production is on schedule. What steps would you take?

Making sure there is a good channel of communication with the team, and keeping everybody up to date with schedules and changes.

Director Roderick Evans

What was the hardest part of making “Modern Dating”.

Because this was made for the 48-hour film festival, shooting and editing in one day was the biggest challenge. Conveying the terror and keeping the mystery alive, with the last shot, was also the most difficult part of the process.

Which filmmaking techniques are you most comfortable using?

I like to use close up and extreme close-up shots, and low angles as much as possible. Things are most frightening when you’re face to face and looking up. I also like to compose shots symmetrically. Using shaky or handheld shooting is useful when trying to convey chaos or stress, but otherwise I like to keep shots steady and still.

If possible, tell us about your next work. What plans do you have for the future?

Right now, we are shooting a sci-fi thriller, that has 3 locations and 3 actors. I have a few ideas for projects afterwards, but we want to get this one done first!


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