How do you follow up a short film which explodes across the internet as a viral sensation? This was a question that director Dtonio JoiRida Cheatham had to answer even before he saw his anti-bullying short film “Junior” jump benchmark after benchmark, exceeding a staggering 4.5M views, picking up over 75K Likes and netting him over 25K subscribers.
What would he do next after establishing his kid brother Dblessed Robinson as Best Actor by the Film Challenge Detroit from 100s of submitted films and placed “Junior” in the top ten of selected films from throughout the Detroit-Metro area?
How do you follow this up? Can another viral sensation be hoped for, something with a universal message and appeal that would speak to as many people as “Junior” had?
For Dtonio Cheatham this was a challenging question which had to be answered. Although the next film for which he was credited may not have netted him as many mind-blowing views, nor, as yet, as many Likes, it came together well. And came together quickly.
Lending his acting, photographic and editing skills to Carmen Mi’Chelle, in her directorial debut, they created the short film “Contemplation,”.a thriller. This short tells the story of a distressed woman who contemplates ending her life, then she meets a charming man who reveals to her the value of her existence. But is this charming character all that he appears at first?
Written and directed by Carmen Mi’Chelle, “Contemplation” stars Carmen Mi’Chelle and Dtonio Cheatham. Director of Photography JoiRida Cheatham and Cohl Echol Sound/Boom OP D’blessed Robinson Edited by JoiRida Cheatham.
Or you can create a music video, as Dtonio and JCP Films did.
“I Miss You” is the short film/music video for Flexx Live–you know the bully from “Junior”. In this, Flexx walks into the house, ignoring, presumably, his father. After the man attempts to talk with Flexx, seething with apparent anger, Flexx leaves. We see Flexx in the hallway of a hospital. He is there to talk with a figure lying in the hospital bed. His mother? Then he breaks into song, “I never thought you would be leavin’ me. You were the only one who believed in me.” This short/music video is a poignant telling of a young man wrestling with the reality that someone he loves will soon be leaving this earth. Powerful. Emotional. These are just two of the adjectives which describe this video.
These two short films may never see the numbers that “Junior” has experienced, but they demonstrate that Dtonio Cheatham has a gift of telling a story, and directing the efforts necessary to bring that story to the screen.
This is how Dtonio followed up his viral sensation. Both of these are available on youtube.com
Watch them. And subscriber & hit that notification bell!