Chris Rubino: Our Friend Colby

ADC Young Guns 5 winner's new short film is dark, surprisingly timeless

Bullying, shaming, social appearances and suicide are all sadly familiar territory for today’s plugged-in, tech-savvy youth. New York-based director, AD, designer and ADC Young Guns 5 winner Chris Rubino captures all of this and more in his softly beautiful yet disturbing 16-minute short film Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby. The film depicts the conversations of five small-town teenage girls who find it necessary to deal with their friend Colby, who has evidently “gone too far this time”.

While the film’s subjects have a very modern feel to them, you might be surprised to learn that it is based on a short story by acclaimed author Donald Barthelme that appeared in The New Yorker back in 1973. “The relevance that this story still has today was an absolute part of why it caught my attention,” says Chris. “The original story is focused around a group of grown men. In my adaptation I changed that part of the story to be told through the voices of teenagers. Its a meditation on death but more so an allegory for today’s culture of group mentality, public shaming & social exile. All of that mostly happens online now but in the absurdist world of the film its a direct conversation amongst friends.”

“The film appears to be a simple narrative but hopefully raises questions,” Chris continues. “Is it a group decision, is it gang mentality, is it Colby’s individual decision? Are we punished for pushing things to far? What is too far in modern times? Is the smallest bit of a challenge in a creative endeavor being considered too far now?”



A RadicalMedia Production
Directed by Chris Rubino
Screenplay by Ruby Rae Spiegel
Director of Photography Reed Morano
Edit by Jim Helton
Music by Craig Sutherland
Produced by Jen Isaacson, Elisabeth Jamison
Executive Producers Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes

Lizzy Cappuccino as Kassia
Sasha Frolova as Olivia
Nicole Patrick as Paz
Ariane Rinehart as Natalie
Joseph Dylan Ruymen as Colby
Esther Zynn as Lucy

Casting by Elisabeth Jamison
1st AD: Melissa Watson
1st AC: Kevin Akers
2nd AC: Conny Klapper
DIT: Mike Maiatico
Gaffers: Rusty Bennett, Matt Walker
Best Boy Electric: Kelly Nesper
Key Grips: Brian Harnick, Justin Hullinger
Best Boy Grip: Ezra Kire, Sound Dave Groman
Boom Operator: Carlos Rodriguez
Art Director: Cooper Vasquez
Propmaster: Jonas Jonasson
Set Dresser: Genne Moss
Drone Photography: JaegerSloan
Wardrobe: Evren Catlin
Hairstylist: Kristina Willhite
Make-Up: Janis Marino
Colorist: Tim Zeigler
Sound Mix: Jeff Keiler
Assistant Editor: Zach Fuhrer
Post Producer: Kim Rudolph
Still Photographer: Louis Caldarola
Set Production Assistants: Brian Allen, Travis Eilerson, Travis Hastings, Daniel Ogorzalek, Dave Reichman, Maggie Schnider