Detective Calzone

Detective Calzone
Story line
Engaging Factor
Directors rating
Reader Rating3 Votes
Good Acting
Well put together
None worth mentioning

short films, mr shorts, filmmaking, iloveshrtfilmscom

A wacky yet wonderful short film with a solid performance from the leed well done guys

To afford rising alimony payments, Detective Lenny Calzone must continue working with his crime lab technician ex-wife, Michelle. When a new piece of evidence arrives for an unsolved case, he sees an opportunity to embrace his true desire.

Directors notes

This project came about during a spell of winter cabin fever, when the image of a detective staring, far too willingly, at a strange figure on a computer screen entered my mind. With that kind of sight gag, I started thinking about other ridiculous things that an oddball detective could do in a CSI-style crime lab. Growing up, I was captivated by Jim Carrey, and I knew that Byron Brown could add something special to Calzone with his sense of timing for both dialogue and physical humor.

Interview with the makers  of

Detective Calzone

Tell us a little bit about yourself how you got into filmmaking?

please use this question to tell us how you got into filmmaking, the various projects you’ve worked on, and they and their experience you have had in this industry.

My background is pretty varied. I started out making silly shorts with friends as a kid, then found work shooting wedding videos in high school, and gravitated towards music videos while I studied filmmaking at the University of Texas in college. Now, I primarily freelance as a camera operator on documentary and reality television and I use my free time to focus on narrative filmmaking. I’ve found that having experience in all of these different areas is a huge help when it comes to wearing multiple hats as an independent filmmaker. When you’re working with a small budget, it’s easier to get the end result you want when you can do things yourself and/or communicate ideas clearly to other crew members, which requires knowledge about camera, lighting, sound, art direction, etc.

How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

you can talk about whether you came up with the storyline first or unique way in which it was filmed and developed a story around that.

And then the process of getting the project off the ground

The idea came about during a spell of winter cabin fever. It started with the image of a traditional detective staring at security footage of a strange figure on a computer screen. From there, it evolved into a story about an oddball detective who’s gotten trapped working alongside his ex-wife, when he’d rather be an artist. In the midst of all of that, I started imagining what kinds of absurd things could happen in a CSI-style crime lab. Once I had the script, I sent it to my good friend and cinematographer, Nathan Smith. He really liked it and agreed to both shoot and help produce it. Byron Brown was the first person who came to mind to play Calzone. He’s a favorite comedic and improv actor here, in Austin, Texas, and he’s also been a friend of mine and Nathan’s for a number of years. With those two on board, I set out to cast the other roles and bring on crew from the talented pool of locals that we have.

Talk us through the process of creating this short film?

for our reader that are looking to get into filmmaking but don’t understand the process can you explain the different stages that you took from concept to completion

From the time that I had a first draft of the script in December to when we went into production in April, I made numerous revisions to try and make both the story and the gags as best as possible. During pre-production, I did a lot of research and built a look book (a collection of images that represent the look for the film), so that I could better communicate my vision to the rest of the team. It included photographs and stills from other movies, and they informed every aspect of the film, such as the locations and lighting. I also did a quick rendering of the main character in photoshop to get a sense of what his costume would look like before going to the trouble of finding all of the necessary items and spending money from our budget on them.



What challenges did you face?

Feel free to talk about any prep you done beforehand or the biggest challenge he faced when filming if you have any photographs that we could feature on the site of some of your setups we would appreciate that

and/or if there was one particular scene that you are most proud of you can talk us through how he went about shooting it

There were two notable challenges on this film. One was finding a skilled production designer who was available and willing to work on a low budget project. After I’d exhausted my list of potential people, I decided to take on the role myself. With several weeks before shooting was scheduled to begin, I made a list of everything we’d need to make a believable crime lab, then scoured all of the thrift shops in town.  I’ve  been a proud eBayer since 1999, so that was the place I turned to for items that were hard to find or simply too expensive in local stores. Another big challenge was finding a location for our crime lab that wouldn’t cost a fortune to secure and transform. Fortunately, a friend who works as a teacher offered to let us use his science classroom for a weekend. We needed two days to shoot all of the crime lab scenes, so as soon as school got out on Friday afternoon, our crew went in and took down anything that looked like it belonged in a school, then brought in and placed all of the items that you’d expect to find in a crime lab. After shooting all day on Saturday and Sunday, we restored everything Sunday night and the place was back to normal a mere eight hours before class was scheduled to begin. If you’re already the producer-writer-director-editor, I don’t recommend adding production designer to the list, unless you have plenty of time to prepare, know exactly what you want, and are willing to shop strategically to save as much money as possible.

What are your plans moving forward?

have you got your eyes on the next project?  if you would like to promote it or tell us what it is all about please do so here

I’m actually in the process of writing a Detective Calzone web series. After the short premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival in 2015, it went on to screen at a dozen other festivals and both the experience and response for the film have kept me interested in doing more with the character. I’m particularly excited about taking Calzone outside of the crime lab and having some fun with him at crime scenes. We haven’t set a date for production, but the best places to get updates are at the official web site ( and the Facebook page (

I should also mention that Byron Brown (Detective Calzone) is a filmmaker in his own right, and he and I recently collaborated on a comedy sketch, which he wrote and directed and I shot and edited. It’s called ‘The Intruder’ and it was a bare bones shoot that we did in one night. We want to keep making quick sketches like it to have fun and stay sharp in between bigger projects. You can find it here:


Main Genre: Comedies

Budget: £0 – £1000
How long did it take to shoot: 1 Day – 1 Week
Film location (country): United States
Film location (city): Austin, TX

Filmed on: Black Magic Cinema Camera

Other equipment used : Final Cut Pro 7

Thanks for reading our review of  the short film Detective Calzone why not submit your short film


directors name     Austin Tolin
Directors website
iLoveshortFilm profile
Facebook page
Twitter page     @austintolin
DOP     Nathan Smith –
other links     IMDB –





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