Erik is an easy-going, middle-age gay male who has everything. The only thing missing in his life is love. He desperately wants to share his life with Martin, a young, feisty gay male he meets online. It was love at first sight the instant Erik saw Martin’s picture. The only problem is they are complete opposites and these differences can sometimes cause big problems. Martin loves to create controversy, especially with Erik. What Martin doesn’t know is Erik secretly adores his difficult personality. What Erik doesn’t know is Martin secretly admires his quiet demeanor but loves to test Erik’s love.
How far is Martin willing to go to test Erik’s love and how much is Erik willing to take?
I was referred to Stan by Tammy McDaniel. Stan had a true-life story he wanted turned into a short film and found Tammy through her Phoenix Independent Filmmakers Group. I met with Stan and wanted to help him get his story out in film form.
This story is about love, loss, and hope. It reminds us that we never know how much time we have and how important it is to connect with the ones we love. Being bisexual myself and experiencing a similar loss myself, I felt a connection to the story and felt I could tell this story from the heart.
I was inspired by Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. It’s a beautiful love story that brings the audience in and emotionally connects them to the characters. We found that the story as written, didn’t flow like we wanted it to towards the end. We ended up cutting out 8 minutes of the film and rearranging scenes to tell the story in a more succinct way that bring the audience on an emotional ride through the end of the film.
“I’m hoping the audience walks away from this film wanting to make changes in their lives.”
This film was shot in only 2 ½ days with multiple locations. We really didn’t have the time or manpower to pull this off; however, the crew pulled together, and everyone wore multiple hats helping out wherever and whenever was needed. Without that, we never would have finished this film. I can’t thank the crew enough for what they did.
I’m hoping the audience walks away from this film wanting to make changes in their lives. Wanting to reconnect with people they’ve lost touch with, wanting to not hold onto grudges keeping them away from their loved ones.
~ Elmer J. Howard
Winner of 10 Southern Shorts Awards!
Award of Merit for Acting – Allen Montes
Award of Merit for Acting – Scott Olson
Award of Excellence for Cinematography – Brett Bays
Award of Merit for Directing – Elmer J. Howard
Award of Merit for Editing – Miranda Calamity
Award of Excellence for Music – Francis Snyder
Award of Merit for Film – Loving Martin produced by Stan Atwood & Elmer J. Howard
Award of Merit for Production Design – Elmer J. Howard
Award of Merit for Screenwriting – David Vernon
Award of Excellence for Sound Design – Justin Moschcau
Award of Recognition - Best Shorts competition
“Loving Martin' is a real life film. It doesn't steer away from the flaws of it's characters and paints life for what it is sometimes. Messy. Hard, painful and messy. With some excellent performances within it's short length, this is a title I would recommend to a lot of my friends. A good well rounded short film. No question about that.”
“Elmer J. Howard directs the story well, allowing us the audience to be a fly-on-the-wall and witness the ups-and-downs of an unusual relationship... With a runtime of just over twenty minutes, Loving Martin flies by and it’s such an interesting story and shocking ending, I wouldn’t mind watching the story in feature form.”
Carl Burgess - ScreenCritics
“This film is a well done production dealing with some difficult material. Both in terms of character building and of course, the story itself. It is a little slower, but the casual pacing of the film is needed in order for the ending to have an impact. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but those who appreciate a well done short film and some real life drama will 'really' appreciate it."
22 Indie Street
“Elmer J. Howard’s based-on-real-events film is a melancholic tale of love and loss. But despite its gloomy facade, Loving Martin’s true heart lies within its messages of acceptance and reconciliation. 'An end can create a new beginning’, after all.”
Darren Tilby - UK Film Review