Taking The Fall: Interview with Writer and Producer Steven Hellman

Taking The Fall
"Taking The Fall" is a coming-of-age drama that focuses on the societal pressures found within millennial culture.

“Taking The Fall” is a new movie that is scheduled to be released on VOD platforms on April 9th, 2021. The film is a coming-of-age drama that focuses on the societal pressures found within millennial culture and focuses on the character of Tyler who has just returned from a six-year prison sentence. When Tyler reunites with his former college friends, over the course of a tense dinner party, Tyler grapples with just how far off-course they’ve all veered.

“Taking The Fall” is a Long Board Productions film written and produced by Steven Hellmann. It was directed and produced by Josh Marble and co-produced by Chris S. Alexander. The young trio was able to coordinate the entire creation and distribution of the film by themselves. It won an Audience Award at the Charlotte Film Festival and was the runner up for best feature at the Myrtle Beach Film Festival, Best Drama and Best Screenplay at the Chain NYC Film Festival, and more.

Recently, writer and director Steven Hellman discussed the film via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for filmmaking and how did you break into the industry?

Steven Hellman (SH): When I was younger, I just enjoyed making little skits with my friends and telling stories. Then, once I graduated college, I started getting ideas for movies and shows and just started writing almost every day after work. I am breaking into it with “Taking The Fall.” This is the first thing I’ve written that’s being made at a substantial level.

MM: What inspired you to write “Taking the Fall”?

SH: I wanted to make this movie because as a “struggling millennial” I felt like there wasn’t a movie out there that really dug into the real-life problems that we go through. But at the same time being a “struggling millennial” is really not terrible; people have it way worse than a majority of my peers and myself. So, I wrote this movie to empathize with my peers but at the same most of us (not all of us) still have so much freedom and power to change our situation but we make excuses not to. I want to inspire my peers to live the life they want to not the one that society tells us too. Do what makes you happy. I spent over 100 grand of money I didn’t have to make and release this movie. I sacrificed buying a car, building a credit score, getting a house to chase my dream. So many people tried to talk me out of making this movie because of the financial risk it was and that’s valid but I wanted to make this movie because it was what was going to make me happy and I felt like it was a story that needed to be shared.

MM: The dialogue is very realistic, so was any of this film based on real events or people?

SH: Thank you! And not based on anyone in particular. Just based on a cumulation of real-life problems and situations I’ve seen that I know many people can relate too.

MM: How long did it take to film and how did you secure the locations and the distributor?

SH: We filmed the 97 pages of script in 8 days. Which is incredible. Josh Marble and Chris Alexander (the director and producer on the film) coordinated an impressive production. We just rented an airbnb went through Film LA to secure the location for the film. In terms of distribution, I am self-distributing the title to Amazon and Apple TV iTunes and I have a separate team doing the streaming and international sales. I worked at a film studio in the marketing department where I’ve single handily ran the advertising and marketing campaigns for at least 15 feature length films. I feel more confident in my abilities to release a title than working with a distributor and because it’s my movie I can have the flexibility to spend as much as necessary on ads and press to properly support my title.

MM: What’s your favorite part of the movie and why?

SH: Justin and Tyler’s kitchen scene at the end is my favorite. Justin drops a lot of truth that many people need to hear.

MM: What other films have you made and what are they about?

SH: None! This is my first one of hopefully of many. I hope people can see what I accomplished with “Taking The Fall” with essentially zero help from outside sources minus the production team I hired to make the film.

MM: What are your ultimate career goals and what other topics might you cover via films in the future?

SH: I want to start my own film studio and distribution company with “Taking The Fall” as my first film. This would then allow me to make the films I want to make and use my unique background of being a filmmaker and expert in digital marketing to release movies. I want to cover more social issues with my topics and provide more coming of age stories for adults. I still have a lot of learning about other races and cultures and I’m constantly trying to educate myself on other issues. I’ve grinded at low paying nine to five jobs. I’ve been living pay check to pay check every day for the past six years. I have a very real perspective of what others go through and I think everyone likes a film they can relate too.

MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to talk about?

SH: I have a few feature scripts and pilots written that I’d really like to film and I hope I can make some connections to future investors and production studios that I could work with to write and release the projects. I don’t really like to talk about my scripts unless I’m getting them made. But I got scripts ready to go!