Chicago filmmaker Matthew Weinstein reeled in the years to complete A Missed Connection, a 2019 dramatic short premiering at the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) on February 21 and February 22.
A Missed Connection is the story of two former college friends who randomly reconnect at a coffee shop during a long winter night and, in the course of the evening, deal with memories and emotions that slowly begin to surface.
Besides drawing inspiration from the likes of The Social Network, Punch Drunk Love, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the film lights up a concept that has been evolving for nearly a decade.
“When I wrote the original, I was a senior in college at NIU in DeKalb,” Weinstein recalls. “I was living in a student apartment, and this was the final exercise for a creative writing class, a short story.”
Realizing that he had to “work with actors and really stretch myself” in order to get his film career off the ground after graduation, Weinstein transformed the story into a script. He finished in 2012, and there it sat.
“Years passed, other projects either happened or went nowhere, and A Missed Connection kept being put on the backburner,” he told BIFF. “But it never went away. It lingered with me. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was — now that it’s finished, I probably still can’t.”
A MISSED CONNECTION TRAILER 2
With the finished screenplay essentially “based on a conversation,” Weinstein knew that he needed strong actors to bring the characters and dialogue to life. He cast Tyler Pistorius (Path of Egress, The Gun Equation) and Kimberly Michelle Vaughn (Empire, Chicago Med) in the lead roles.
“Tyler I’ve worked with several times and know that he is not only a terrific actor and filmmaker in his own right but also a great friend,” says Weinstein. “Kimberly I saw in Closure and thought she did extremely well with a short bit of dialogue and had a great presence.”
When shooting began, it became obvious that Pistorious and Vaughn brought more to the production than he had initially hoped.
“From the table read through production,” he recalls, “they were great with bringing ideas and helping to make the final result even better.
A Missed Connection’s interior scenes were filmed at Glenview Grind in Glenview. The exteriors were filmed in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood. Cinematographer Tom Kinstle was the film’s Director of Photography.
Nearly a decade in the making, Weinstein explains to BIFF that the time was worth the wait.
“I realize that the years it took to get it made were valuable — not just for the dedicated collaborators that came aboard, but in getting the script right,” he says. “And the movie evolved even in the final frame during production.”
A Missed Connection will screen February 21 and February 22 as part of the Beloit International Film Festivals IL/WI Shorts Program. For schedule and ticket information, click here. to learn more about the fest, click here.
A Missed Connection lead actors Tyler Pistorius and Kimberly Michelle Vaughn.
About Matthew Weinstein
Matthew Weinstein is a Chicago area based filmmaker. Since graduating from Northern Illinois University in 2011, he has been the writer, director, and editor for A Missed Connection, Conservation Area, and The Gun Equation, which was featured in the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner and the 2016 Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival.