By Megan Bianco, The Capistrano Dispatch
The holiday of Valentine’s Day can mean a lot of different things for different people. For couples, it’s an excuse to have a nice dinner out together. For school kids, it’s a day to exchange valentines with classmates. For people who are single, it probably doesn’t mean much; but it does mean something for San Juan Capistrano local Francisco Infante’s short film Her Name Was.
The short film is about someone who doesn’t know if love really exists, and for some viewers, that can be relatable and appropriate for them this Valentine’s Day.
“Her Name Was is about a young man who is having trouble believing in love after so many bad relationships,” Infante said. “While on a first date, he keeps having flashbacks to his past dates.”
One of the winners of the 3rd Annual AT&T Film Awards, Her Name Was is shot entirely on an iPhone by Infante and with his directing partner Keegan Gogerty. The short won third place for “Best Short Shot on Mobile.” The AT&T Film Awards is a film contest that gives local and aspiring filmmakers of all ages a chance to win cash, trips, film equipment and even a summer program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Infante, 29, has made San Juan Capistrano his home since age 8, when his family moved south from Los Angeles. He graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School, where he met his film partner, Gogerty, 29, of Mission Viejo, when they were both playing in the same pop-rock band, and the two stayed in touch for their interest in music and movies. These days, Infante still lives in San Juan Capistrano, but also spends time in LA at his job in production for various projects. Gogerty also works in LA as a camera operator and videographer.
“San Juan served as our backyard for when we started shooting movies,” Infante said. “We grew up in Orange County and cut our teeth making short films around here. Keegan would come over to my house in San Juan (Capistrano) and we would go and make movies on the cheap around the area.”
The two filmmakers created the five-minute short on an iPhone through an experimental, non-linear narrative using voiceover dialogue and characters looking directly at the camera. Infante and Gogerty were the only two people on the crew and also composed the film’s music score themselves. Gogerty provided all of the voiceover heard throughout the movie, and about 30 seconds of the movie features a professional film camera as well.
He and Gogerty were speechless and delighted when they were informed Her Name Was won third place at the awards. The movie started out as a little passion project Francisco decided to pursue when he was going through a rather sad time romantically.
“We put our heart and soul into this film, and we do with all of our projects,” Infante said, adding the love story was made on passion, dedication and stubbornness.
Infante came across the film awards contest from a random email blast and decided to submit Her Name Was on a whim. Little did they expect to be one of the lucky winners out of 665 films considered. Now, they are going to enjoy the perks of the prizes.
The two friends and partners are constantly brainstorming and writing new material, and they are planning ahead for another short, web series or possibly a full-length feature.