Short Film by UWEC Grad 'The Clogging' Nominated for Award at 2023 Nightmares Film Festival
a creative take on a relatable and embarrassing situation
UW-Eau Claire grad, Eric Larson (now based out of Brooklyn, New York), debuted his short film The Clogging this past October at the Nightmares Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Received with laughs and cheers, the dark comedy film was nominated for “Best Short Screenplay” by a panel of judges.
The four-minute-long film follows the main character (played by Brian Park), who clogs the only toilet at a crowded house party. The doom and gloom atmosphere of the film combined with the humorous premise makes for an entertaining viewer experience.
“With my work, I like to take social anxiety and push it into stylized extremes,” Larson said. “It’s obviously a scary situation if you’re at a party and you clog the toilet – what would make it worse is if objects in the room started taunting you.”
Larson wanted to create something quickly that didn’t break the bank. The entire film was shot in one day at an apartment in Manhattan. The old, unique bathroom was exactly what Larson had in mind for the filming location.
“I think it would’ve been easy to jump into slapstick territory,” Larson said. “But when Brian and I spoke, it was clear that he had a vision for the character to play it more subtly.”
Larson created a storyboard to plan out each shot in great detail. The underwater toilet shot was a must, and it was made possible with some supplies from Target and a spoon. “I was off to the side with this big spoon, waving the water with it to get those ripples,” Larson said.
The Clogging also has its own website with information about the cast and crew, as well as still images from the film. “It’s nice to have a website for a project; it makes it feel a little more established,” Larson said.
Although The Clogging didn’t win “Best Short Screenplay,” Larson is hopeful that this first screening was far from its last.
To learn more about Eric Larson and his work, head to ericlars.com.