PLYMOUTH — Elizabeth Aseltine started making films in Sacramento, California, creating trailers and industrial films. After taking 10 years off from her film career to raise her children, Aseltine has returned with her award-winning short film, “Good & Truly.”
Aseltine and her family moved to Plymouth in 2017. In 2018, Aseltine wrote “Good & Truly” and started working on producing the film with her friend Josh Mruz, a Twin Cities producer and director.
Aseltine’s daughter Hayley plays the lead role in the science-fiction/horror film about a young girl named Anna Truly who loses her father and then learns her family can see and fight ghosts.
The 7-minute film combines grief, pre-teen friendship and horror to create a short but complete story.
The film was created for 2019 Zfest — a local Twin Cities film festival — to fit the theme “fire and ice,” both of which are present in the film.
“It was their 10-year anniversary, and their theme was fire and ice and you could have fire anywhere in it or even just shown, or ice or even snow,” Aseltine said.
Aseltine also submitted the film to the Independent Shorts Awards in April 2019 and the South Dakota Film Awards, which will take place Sept. 28.
“Good & Truly” won awards at Zfest, including Genre Winner and Best Prop. At the Independent Shorts Awards, Hayley Aseltine won best child actor.
Aseltine is particularly proud of the prop she made for the film, which won her a Zfest award. It is a grimoire — a book of spells. Aseltine wrote out the spells of the Truly family in the grimoire and then spent hours staining the pages with coffee and burning the edges of the pages to make the grimoire look old and worn.
Filming in MN
Filming in Minnesota is a little different than in Los Angeles, Aseltine explained, but there is a large film scene in the Twin Cities.
Aseltine had four main actors in her film and about seven extras who played ghosts. The biggest difference between hiring actors in the Midwest compared to in the Hollywood area is Minnesotan actors all have day jobs so finding a time to film can be difficult, Aseltine explained.
“It’s harder to find actors who can commit to a schedule because they have to have day jobs,” Aseltine said. “It’s like ‘Well, when can you do it?’ Well, that’s when we’re going to shoot the film.”
The 7-minute short was filmed over two, 12-hour days in November 2018. Aseltine said one of her biggest concerns was the snow would melt overnight and they’d have to re-film all the outside shots. The snow stayed and the short was filmed on schedule.
“Good & Truly” was the first film Aseltine wrote and produced herself — with lots of help from Mruz, Aseltine adds. But it’s not the first film she’s worked on as a writer, producer, production assistant and more.
Now that she’s back on the film scene, she’s just getting started. Aseltine has started writing a full-length feature film, which is a first for her.
She’s excited to be back in the industry, both working on her own projects and producing and assisting other filmmakers in the Twin Cities area.
“I want to write and produce and make good films,” Aseltine said about her future as a filmmaker.
The website to watch “Good & Truly” is https://youtu.be/QG86n8Tzy7g.