Instructor Kevin James O’Neill Showing ‘Captain Fin’ at Florida Film Festival

Film instructor Kevin James O’Neill will be screening his latest short, Captain Fin, at the Florida Film Festival this Saturday at 1:30p.m. as part of the Florida Shorts: The Best of Brouhaha compilation.

The project is O’Neill’s second effort as writer/director, and tells the story of jailed longshoreman Hank Gunner (Steve Dumouchel) who receives a visit from his estranged daughter Hannah (Spencer Locke).

It was produced with the help of a number of Full Sail students and staff, and we recently sat down with Kevin to learn more about the production.

Full Sail: What was the inspiration for Captain Fin?

Kevin O’Neill: I actually wrote the film for Spencer Locke who was an acting student of mine when she was fourteen. I was in Los Angeles on one of my yearly trips and showed Spencer my first short film Clark. She loved it and told me she wanted me to direct her in something. On my flight back to Florida I wrote Captain Fin.

FS: Was it rewarding to have so many Full Sail collaborators on crew? 

KO: It’s always wonderful to collaborate with students and staff in an independent film environment. I had staff members Rob Tuscani as director of photography, Andrew Garraway as composer, Lee Riley on sound design, James Neihouse as camera operator, Zack Austin as 1st AC, Justin Connors as lead editor and post production supervisor. We also had students Johnny Perez as 1st AD, Sabrina Cooper as script supervisor, Joe Frank as production manager, and many other students in positions.

FS: What are you most proud of about the film’s development?

KO: Every phase is a wonderful process, but my favorite part is production. There is something about the merging of the actors and the crew that is so remarkable to me as director.

FS: What does it mean to you to have Captain Fin at the Florida Film Festival?

KO: The Florida Film festival is without a doubt one of the biggest festivals on the East coast and it’s an honor to be a part of.