Storytelling through film has been a passion since childhood as I've always felt the medium is a powerful means of artistic expression. My latest work, Aix-Hale, is about a street performer wrongly convicted of a crime who is chased through the cobblestone streets of picturesque village Aix en Provence, France. We used a full bag of tricks during the parkour running/jumping bits, from drones to GoPro and a funky little rig called a Twizgrip (below), which is a tiny car with camera mounts capable of maneuvering through really narrow spaces. The film premiered at Le Festival International du Film Black de Montréal where it won Best Narrative Short film, and then won Best Action Short at Bloodstained Indie Film Festival in Japan before its French premiere at Festival du Court d'Art District in Paris. Aix-Hale was also selected to represent French cinema at the 2023 Francophone Short Films in Harlem, with proceeds from the film being donated to Maysles Documentary Center (MDC) a Harlem-based nonprofit committed to community, education, and documentary film.
Thanks Nurses (left) was made during the first Covid lockdown, raising funds for the American Nurses Association during the pandemic. Featuring celebrity talent like Noah Wyle, Rita Wilson, Simon Helberg and Constance Wu, it was directed remotely, with actors filming themselves on mobile devices from their homes. The challenge was transitions to keep the pacing going and having all the various parts fit together.
Teleios, is a sci-fi film about the conflict between human genetic modification and advanced artificial intelligence, about which the Austin Chronicle said, "Truitner's story of social strata, and the terrifying potential of gene tampering, has found a new timeliness". Available on Amazon Prime, the film was released under multiple titles worldwide including Beyond the Trek (US, Japan), Deep Space (UK) and Teleios: Endlose Angst (Germany). The word Teleios means "perfect" in Greek, a metaphor for our attempt at human perfection through science. I can understand why distributors changed the title to something more clearly indicative of the sci-fi genre though. The film premiered at the London Sci-Fi film festival and won two dozen international awards, and also made a circuit at numerous sci-fi/fantasy conventions (above), like Comi-Con, Other Worlds Austin and CONvergence.
Cutting Room was my first feature and one of the early films on the Netflix streaming platform, premiering at the Milano International Film Festival, where it won two awards. A "serial killer comedy", the film is a dark satire on the entertainment industry and the desperation it breeds. I chose to shoot on 35mm film, giving it an "old school" look, and at Howard Hughes film studios in Hollywood, a decrepit building that still had old film cans from the silent film era lying around and an underground railroad in the basement. The film was later reedited with additional footage and released under the title Wide Scream on Amazon Prime.
My experience in the convergence of new technology film with television production led to invitations to lecture at Occidental College, Ringling College of Art and Design, University of Minnesota, the Global Entrepreneurship Funding Forum, Visual Communications and Los Angeles Unified Schools.
Of the many short films in different genres I've made, such as Dies Irae (action), f8 (psychological drama), Coffee and Sugar (comedy), The Interview (dark comedy), and Salome's Kiss (drama), my favorite is still one of my earliest ones, Richard Roe, a comedy about a person so nondescript no one can remember him. A commentary on human existence (if no one remembers a person, did they exist?), the film was my first success and made me feel I could make a career out of being a filmmaker. Richard Roe won several awards and was in numerous festivals, including Palm Springs, Telluride, Seattle and Sarasota International Film Festivals.