Ian E.

Ian E.

Silent Film Project




I’m Ian Ely, a senior at TNS, and I have a love for filmmaking. I’ve basically had a camera in my hand since I was a fetus.


Okay, well maybe not a fetus.


Look, the point is that I’ve been interested in visual storytelling since a very young age, and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the art of cinema. I really enjoy making things with subject matter that revolves around the dark, the surreal, the creepy, but I also like creating works that reflect my wit and make people chuckle. Well…at least hopefully make people chuckle.


Mask Troubles! is a short slapstick PSA that advocates for the wearing of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, poking fun at those who refuse to utilize common sense and follow the advice of scientists. I created it for our silent film project that we had in film class, opting for the silent comedy choice over the silent drama choice.


This project was filmed and edited in the expanse of one day. It was especially tricky to shoot since I had to play both of the characters, so I had to mentally calculate how I moved so as to make things easier in post-production. I really learned a lot more about masking (a process where you essentially “cut out” a piece of footage and can then overlay it on top of another) and had to calculate, during filming, where I had to be in respect to my other self to pull the effect off, trying to limit shadow crossover and keeping the light genuine throughout. I also practiced my resourcefulness by scavenging certain sites to find effects, sounds, and overlays to make the vibe of the film feel authentic. And, of course, I learned a lot about what works well and what to avoid in the future when chasing myself through a house.