Title: Ascent: Special Edition
Cast: Paul Coughlan, Samuel Mendez, Genevieve Piturro, Carl Junior
Director: Michael Sheridan
Writer: Michael Sheridan
Synopsis: A man struggles to escape two black-clad pursuers as he desperately attempt to remember who he is.
Release Date: 2004
The development of Ascent was something of odd experience for its creator, Michael Sheridan. It was the final project of his three at the New York Film Academy in 1997. Written over the course of about ten minutes, it tells the story of a confused man on the run from two mysterious men in black.
As he struggles to escape their grasp, he begins to remember pieces of his life. But the further he gets, the closer he comes to a dark realization.
Filmed in the photo studio of Paul Colliton, as well as select locations in Queens, NY, the short film is a dark, yet hopeful film about love and loss.
It also became, unintentionally, the second part of a planned trilogy of films detailing the concept of death and the journey we take afterwards. Although he’d written, directed and edited the film, Michael never realized the connection between this film and his previous work, Shot, until after Ascent was completed and shown to family members. An off-handed remark about the film’s similarity to the theme of Shot made him realize he’d actually produced something of a sequel.
Yet totally unintentional, at least to the conscious mind.
Afterwards, Michael realized that he was more than halfway through a trilogy of films about death. The third film in the trilogy, Prologue, is presently in pre-production, with a release date for later this year.
Each film share a similar theme — death — but surround different characters. However, each part will fit together to tell one whole story.
This short features no dialogue, was shot in black and white, 16mm film, and was edited on a Steenbeck. It is the film Michael is most proud of, and has received much praise when it was screened during the special graduation ceremony at the NYFA.