Indie Grits Festival | April 12-15 2018

The Checkout Line

Saturday, April 14 at 9:30 PM
Feature Block: Le Partie
Ethan Hanson | Columbia, SC | 13 minutes
Genre: Student

Thomas is a shy teenager who works at a hardware store. When he meets confident Amelia, he sees an opportunity to experience a life which he never thought possible. The Checkout Line is a striking narrative short about romance, passion, and the dark side of being young.

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Meet The Filmmaker

We asked our filmmakers some questions about them and their work. For further questions, join us at the designated post-screening Q+A!

Ethan Hanson:

I grew up on the Isle of Palms in Charleston, SC. Coming of age in such a picturesque area really helped me to cultivate an appreciation for beauty, particularly color and sound. I always loved watching movies, but, when I was younger, it didn’t matter what the film was. My parents would constantly poke fun at me for my taste in the cheaper side of Hollywood, calling me a “connoisseur of bad movies.” Despite their teasing, my love for films continued to grow as I got older. I started out writing, and have since ventured into the more directorial side of the process, but no matter where I end up, I’m confident that the enjoyment of sitting down and writing a screenplay will never leave me.
2017 was a truly transformative year for me. I spent the first six months in Europe, where I learned how to operate as an independent person, and to trust myself and my opinions. I lived in Austin for the summer, working for the Austin Film Festival. I read over 150 screenplays in ten weeks, and learned as much as I could about story, original voice, and what it means to have a good idea. I came back to Columbia in August with a renewed desire to create something truly unique, and immediately reached out to my friend and Producer Chris Colburn, and Caroline Mobley, the most talented Cinematographer in Columbia.
The idea for “The Checkout Line” came to me in the car on my way to work. I spent my entire shift creating the story in my head, then I went home that evening and wrote it in thirty minutes. I was heavily inspired by the film “Paris, Texas”, particularly by it’s art direction, and by the deadpan tone of the Swedish film “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.” My goal for the project was to bring together as many Columbia based artists as I could, and as team, create something colorful and unique. With stunning cinematography by Caroline Mobley, beautiful music by Dream Girl and Don’t Speak Don’t Think, amazing acting from the entire cast, fantastic editing from Chandler Yonkers, and excellent art direction from Benjamin Moore (Fart.pdf), it is a unique piece of work, one of which I am immensely proud to be able to have played a part in creating.
Pre-production was a breeze, as was every day of shooting, and post-production. While filming the kidnapping scene, we had our character Thomas descending a set of stairs to meet Amelia on the street. As he runs towards the car, a dog that lived next door to the location barked at Jonathan Benton. Instead of stopping and going again, his reaction became a memorable moment in the scene, and that take ended up in the final version of the film. It was a truly serendipitous moment for which I am very thankful.
Our film is worth the watch. In addition to 13 minutes of romance, comedy, suspense, and drama, you are able to witness the work of almost a dozen up-and-coming locally based filmmakers and artists. This is just the first project to come from this creative group, and we could not be more excited for the future.
Indie Grits is the first film I’ve ever submitted to, and I am so excited to be able to watch our movie at a Columbia landmark. The Nick is a beautiful theatre, and I am honored to play a part in this festival!


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A Name That I Admire
All Fried: Carolina Fish Camps
All The Beautiful Girls
All The In-Between
Amarillo Ramp
An Accidental Drowning
Atlantic City
Baby Oil
below the neck, above the knees
Blanko – “Hallelujah”
Bless These Sounds Under the City – “THE SLEEPING 8”
The BLM Bridge Protest: One Year Later
Can’t Kids – “Coperroni”
The Checkout Line
Cowgirl Up
CPS Closings & Delays
Dishing Out Community
dragons & seraphim
Elizabeth Sees
F E B R A – “Fasterrrr”
Flagged: An American Love Story
Fluid Frontiers
Forgive Me
Fruit Don’t Fall Far
Gays for Trump?
Girls Rock Columbia
Grand Dragon
Growing Girl
Hair Wolf
Hardcore Wrestling Alliance
Kaye the Beast – “HEARD”
Kevin Devine – “Couldn’t Be Happier”
Kim Bush’s Abduction
Levitate, Levitate, Levitate
Lost Touch
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My Body Is Not My Own
My Name Is Marc, And You Can Count On It
Not For Medical Use
Nothing A Little Soap Can’t Fix
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Pak Anggir
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Post Nuke
Prayer for Roy Moore
Recuerdos de Sangre / Blood Memories
Roadside Attraction
Sequoyah – “Blue Jays”
Serpents and Doves
Siler City: Bienvenido a Trabajar
Skater Boy and Friendly Cop
Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers
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Sweet Nothing
This My Favorite Mural
Three Legged Dog
Tiger Toilet
The Traveler Takamure
You Can’t Play With Us