On The Music

All music used in the film was locally sourced from Chicago musicians. who shared our hope of showcasing not only the sights of the Second City, but the the sounds. To these talented artists, we are incredibly grateful.

Cheap Monarchy

Nick Barella on "Lights On" and FUMÉE

"'Lights On' was inspired by the complexity of hiding something you're ashamed of, yet can't get enough of. The bright, punchy music and lyrical melodies contrast the dark lyrics."


"An edgy yet fun short film evoking a wide array of emotions in a short amount of time. I loved the simple one room setting and the nonchalance of the action. The film focuses on real people in a real moment. The acting and the incredible cinematography makes the viewer feel like they're in the room. Well done!"

American Breakfast

Stephen Pigozzi on "Come On" and FUMÉE

"I wrote this song in 2013, it’s inspired by a youthful sense of pursuing happiness via music and dancing, with a sense of abandon. I was going to a lot of DIY shows at punk houses at the time."


"FUMÉE was super rad an original, the color contrast when they enter/exit the bathroom was very interesting and well done. All the songs in the film are super rad and go really well with the scenes. Dialogue is great- while we don’t know the details, we can relate to the sadness in abandoning the relationship accompanying the happiness and sense of anticipation in moving on. Also I got a sense that the party represents the shit show that is the modern world and the bathroom is a temporary sanctuary/respite where friends can experience joy and intimacy. I got a huge smile on my face when “come on” plays during the credits - it’s like perfect for this"

Vulgar Commons

Matthew Clifford Shultz on "Nicotine Fingers" and FUMÉE

"'Nicotine Fingers' comes from a few things. I suffer from severe Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In a lot of ways, I blame myself for having these afflictions, which I’m sure a lot of people suffering with mental illness do. I tried to depict both of these disorders..., and show the parallels between compulsive self-destructive behaviors like smoking (sorry mom) and the compulsions associated with OCD, which are also self-destructive. Overall, I think it’s a hopeful song though – “I’m not shackled to these relics of dread” is a reference to these random genetic traits that fu** you up and aren’t your fault... you can be free if you believe that you’re worthy of the love that the people in your life give you."


"I particularly liked how the whole film is set in a single location. It’s admirable when films do this because it really forces the actors and writers to capture the audience’s attention by using their respective techniques and skill sets. It was also a great slice of life film where we see a sliver of the characters’ lives, but the subtext and acting reveals so much about the history of each character. The acting was, as all good acting is, natural – the friendship between the two leads felt genuine, which made the film. They acted with their eyes exceptionally – in each close up, you could almost read their thoughts. The moments without dialogue were, at times, even more impactful than those with dialogue.

I also absolutely loved the choice to switch between color and black and white. There’s something about black and white that feels nostalgic, comforting, like you’re in an old familiar place. It was an excellent choice to contrast that with the color scenes on the outside, almost as if the color scenes pulled you back into the current circumstances and out of that comfortable, nostalgic place."