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Long Beach director pays homage to his fallen friends in a short film

DIRECTORS STATEMENT: Here is my latest short film CUTOUTS. It is a film about a man carrying around his grief for a night (literally). I wanted to make this film in order to wrestle with the feelings of grief that I have for friends/family that have passed away pre-COVID. It feels strange to be going through such a life changing time without them & I wanted to explore those emotions. I was grateful that my good friend Sean Sweeney was up for playing the role and that Derrick Sherman and the guys at Monarch Beverage were down with us filming a scene at the store. I hope you enjoy.
Courtesy Kyle Richard McCarthy/Vimeo

Long Beach resident Kyle Richard McCarthy, who has directed several local films, has returned with a short film dedicated to friends and family he lost before the pandemic.

The film, which is just shy of seven minutes, showcases the emotions of a man who grieves the loss of a friend by walking around with a cardboard cutout of his deceased companion. Like many others, the coronavirus pandemic has given McCarthy time to reflect on his loved ones and think about the people he has lost.

“I feel like, during this time, it’s just so overwhelming and a stressful time that I found that it felt like my grief was amplified,” McCarthy said. “So I wanted to make something that explored those feelings.”

One of the people McCarthy dedicated the film to was his late cousin Mike Gallo, who died at the age of 27. Gallo’s parents purchased a cardboard cutout of their son for a New York Mets game over the summer. McCarthy later stumbled on the cutout and the idea for the short film was born.

McCarthy said he wants people to take away a sense of comfort after watching the film.

“Unfortunately in the past couple of months, I’ve seen so many people going through grief,” McCarthy said. “Sometimes grief can be overwhelming and complicated. So I want people to find comfort in this.”

McCarthy also thanked Sean Sweeney, who plays the lead role, and Derrick Sherman and the guys at Monarch Beverage for letting them film at the store. The short film was entirely shot in Long Beach, which McCarthy hailed as his canvas.