Road Kills (2017)

Sometimes we make a wish to change our path. Sometimes, to give us strength to do what we know we must. Even when it impacts those closest to us.

Written & Directed by Rob Bowen
Producer: Chloe Carr
Starring: Kat Dowell, Jake Zindorf, Chloe Carr
With: Rashad Ligon, Kimberly Holcomb, and Avery Holcomb


- Was made for and won 2nd Prize in the Judging at Colorado Springs 2nd Annual 14’ers Film Festival – December 2016


“Road Kill, a well crafted film by a young group of inspired filmmakers. Interesting story line and good script. Critically, the “F” word was used more in 11 minutes than Scorsese’s Good Fella’s did in one hour and 50 minutes. (Just sayin’) Has a strong Tarantino-Scorsese vibe. If it’s intended I dislike the character Andy, well done! The supporting actors delivered an authentic, believable performance. Hopefully the producers paid them well, as they made Andy palatable. I would watch it again. And again.
~ EJ Carr – Hollywood Reporter “In Training”

Director’s Notes

Continue reading

Life’s a Tarantino Flick (our 1st Feature film) Deep in Post Production

This year we have been hard at work, shooting and completing our first ever feature length film with the aid of a creative works grant from the University, and under the mentorship of Dr. Teresa Meadows. The film is being worked on to finish up and meet our proposed completion date set in early of next year. In the meantime, we wanted to share some of the teasers and trailers with you all.

All the world’s a stage, and in the first feature film from Whatsabudget Films, we meet a handful of its deadly players. It seems like an ordinary day at the Globe Bar & Grille, but as these patrons are about discover, this day is anything but! With four chapters, each woven together in this postmodern tapestry, we see four separate trajectories and the lives of seven people come crashing together in this Tarantino-esque drama about life’s unexpected twists, being shaped by past traumas, and one of humanity’s oldest pursuits, vengeance. Continue reading

Level 6 (2017)

Some threats take the danger to a whole new level!

When a thief inadvertently releases a deadly parasite from its containment cell, a small group of Guardians, together with the unwitting, and often useless, assistance of the Zeta Squad are all that stands in the way of this devastating contagion from escaping into an already decimated populace. Welcome to 2044! **With strong language, violence, and brief nudity**

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Erica Erickson, Nicole Goeke, Brent Wilkerson, Jacob Hillman & Rob Bowen
Also Starring: Halston-Ashley Seeley, Cliff Cage, Billy Gaisford, Jareth Spirio, Angie Bowen, Desiree Myers, Mark Lutinski

Director’s Notes

Level 6 came about sort of by accident, and has become our longest shorts to date, and an instant favorite of my collection. Not only because of the amazingly beautiful and creepy location that sprawled across this large industrial park in Colorado Springs that we got to call home during the shoot, but because of all of the fun that we had putting the film together. But I digress, the accident. So I was contacted by one of the film’s stars and producers, Jacob Hillmann, who had previously worked with us on Rule 17, and again in a small cameo in our upcoming feature film, with the prospect of having a location I could use if I ever wanted to kill someone the way I did his character in Rule 17 (**Spoiler Alert**, lol). I was instantly intrigued as I had two short film scripts I had penned with the intentions of shooting them over the Summer as I put the finishing touches on the feature, so we arranged to meet and show me the location. Continue reading

New Millennial Tramp in “Is That My Wallet?” (2016)

In this silent, postmodern comedy, the New Millenial Tramp begins an adventure to recover his stolen wallet after a thief knocks him out and steals it from him.

Written & Directed by Rob Bowen
Assistant Director: Katie Hermanson
Starring: Rob Bowen & Katie Hermanson
Original Score by: Joseph Irvin


- Was made for and won 1st Prize in the Judging & tied for Audience Choice’s Best Use of Genre/Prompt at Colorado Springs 14’ers Film Festival – December 2016

Director’s Notes

As my 20th short film, I am particularly proud of this one, but for so many other reasons beyond that, I swell with pride at this entry in my gallery of work. The 14’ers Film Festival was a brainchild of mine that I took to the Film Club as my last major act as the President in the fall of 2016. We decided it would play out very much in the vein of the 48hour Film Project, wherein a designated number of teams (a max of 14 in our case) would sign up and be given specific prompts and genre assignments for the (14 minute or less) short films they would then have 14 days to script, shoot, edit and otherwise complete. Having decided in the beginning, that I myself would not be participating in the festival, getting here was quite the feat and something of a complete turnaround. A turnaround that proved utterly successful. Continue reading

Bad Friends (2016)

Reggie’s day just turned into an absolute shitshow! With a little help from his friends, that is. Bad friends.

Written & Directed by: Rob Bowen
Assistant Directors: Josh Boehnke & Sara Balakrishnan
Starring: Nicole Goeke, Mark Cannon, Chad Myers & Rob Bowen
Featuring: Sara Balakrishnan, Chloe Carr & Charlie Moore
Makeup/FX: Matt Young


- Winner of Best Live Action Comedy in 16th Annual UCCS Student Short Film Festival – May 2016

Director’s Notes

What has quickly become a favorite of mine, Bad Friends was an interesting project in many ways. After completing a short film for my Film Theory class which did not get a full release online, I was anxious to make another short, and had even hoped to get it made by the end of 2015. I knew I wanted to make a comedy, and after recently connecting with talented actor Nicole Goeke via the Peak Film Forum in Colorado Springs, I knew she was who I wanted to work with on the project. I selected a script and we began putting pieces together to try and knock it out at the end of the year (which at the time was fast approaching). When it became clear that 2015 was not going to happen, we rolled into the idea of having the film kick off the new year and be our first of 2016. Continue reading

The Suitcase (2014)

Bo and Luke are a bit of a yin and yang. Luke sees the world through the idealist’s lens of endless wonder and possibility. Bo sees the world through the realist’s lens of cynical acceptance of the way the world actually is. Today, their perspectives collide in a comical way when a discarded suitcase appears during their hike. Find out what’s in the suitcase in Whatsabudget Films new short!

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Michelle Dawn Sharpe & Rob Bowen
With: Bunny Williams & TJ Peterson

Director’s Notes

This film was particularly meaningful for me, because it accomplished two major things. First, it got this film done after over two years of delays and recasts. Secondly, it was our sixth short film of 2014, a personal goal which I had set for myself during the year.

Initially, The Suitcase was written to be our fourth short film, back in 2012. However, due to the city doing some major road construction next to the spot I had scouted to shoot, it became postponed. A postponement that would inevitably set a trend that haunted this would-be Whatsabudget production. Continue reading

Lather Rinse Repeat (2014)

When it reigns, it pours! Inspired by David Foster Wallace’s The Water and my Women and Ethnic Studies classes.

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Erica Erickson, Desiree Myers, Michael Lee, Kacie Vance, Michelle Dawn Sharpe, and Mark Lutinski.
Original Score Composed by Adam Hooper


- Recipient of 15th Annual Rosa Parks Scholarship from UCCS – Feb. 2015
- Winner of Best Live Action Comedy in 15th Annual UCCS Student Short Film Festival – May 2015

Director’s Notes

Lather was a project of particular passion for me. After reigniting my life’s social justice advocacy voice, I really had a desire to start melding my two loves and voices together as my studies in school are aimed at doing. However, where in school I am directing a large amount of focus to making documentary films, I really wanted to play with the idea of making a narrative film with these messages and concepts being presented and explored.

Much like I have sought to do with my podcast (nearly in its eighth year of living loudly on the virtual airwaves), I wanted to present the ideas and concepts through a lens of comedy to help soften them and allow for easier consumption. To help take some of the abrasive edge that wanted to permeate and explode through the messages and dialog of the film as I penned it. So the film, while it takes something of a humorous approach to doing so, is really a commentary and deconstruction of the patriarchal oppression that runs rampant through all facets of our society. Continue reading

Waiting for the Way (2013)

In this absurd short comedy based on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Dalv and Ess find themselves, as they do in most incarnations, waiting. Their conversations range from flawed philosophy to ponderings that smash through the fourth wall.

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Mark Cannon & Erica Erickson

Director’s Notes

I had big expectations for this short. It was our first full on comedy that was purely about nothing more than making people laugh (unlike our promotional comedic short, Coffee & Cigarettes). Immediately, I knew I wanted a comedic vehicle for Erica and Mark to pursue. Bringing Erica back was a no-brainer after she totally killed it in Seasons Change. But this time around, I wanted something lighter for her to play with. Mark I met through auditions from our planned feature film that C&C was a promo short for, and I had the chance to see him perform on stage. He was simply amazing, and I knew that I wanted to see him get to do something a little less heavy than Kafka’s ‘The Trial’, the play I got to see him act in. So I approached them both, and being theatre folks, they were willing to take on this challenge.

For years I had known I wanted to do something based on Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, but there was one problem, I had yet to see or read the play. So adapting my own version was not something that I particularly felt inclined to tackle. But still it gnawed at me. Then one day as I found myself watching the Monty Python documentary ‘Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyers Cut)’, because I love me some Python. Continue reading

Coffee & Cigarettes (2013)

A promotional short for an upcoming feature film, Coffee Cigarettes takes a look at what happens when the personal tradition of a coffee shop customer comes up against the rules of the establishment and state.

Directed by: Rob Bowen
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Ittany LaShay & Rob Bowen
With: Ariel Crawford & Gary Allen

Director’s Notes

Coffee & Cigarettes is something of a unique beast, because I wrote it as a simple promotional short that we could release to generate interest in another, larger project we had planned (and still do), but it also very much stands alone as a darkly comedic look at what happens when social rules and laws come up against the personal traditions of someone who lives outside such structures. The idea and the film itself, happened very quickly, which is why I had to step in and be on camera once again. Reaching out to local talent, I connected with Ittany who so wonderfully captured the attitude and fire of the character I gave her.

As I said, the planning and putting together of this film happened quicker than usual, and thus this project was done and ready months before it would be released (so as to coincide with the launch of the crowd funding campaign). Continue reading