GNOMES: a short film by Josh Barkey, Jared Freeman, and friends

Gnomes from Jared on Vimeo.

A year and a half ago my mom started pestering me about acting in one of my films. About that time, my son was going through a Gnome-Phase in which he was, in his own words, "really into gnomes." He was also super-curious about themwondering if they really existed in real life for reals.

I, being a good parent and not a destroyer of worlds, told him that although I had never personally seen a gnome and although the general scientific consensus was that they weren't real... it is quite possible that they are real, just very, very good at hiding.

So I wrote this short film.

At first I was just going to shoot it with my T2i and knock it together (badly) in Windows Movie Maker. But then I showed the script to my friend Jared Freeman, who I'd met when he'd helped out as a production assistant on a short film I wrote called LOCKER 212. Jared loved the script and didn't want to let me butcher the story with my no-money, no-skills approach. So he threw together a couple of friends and a few resources, and we made GNOMES.

My son played the Gnome-believing kid. He did it while sick with a pretty-bad fever, soldiering on through bouts of medicine just potent enough to keep the fever manageable without putting him to sleep. I offered to find another kid to play the part, but he'd been looking forward to it for a long time, and insisted on making a go of it. I am super-duper amazingly proud of his courage and his dedication to the project.

My mom, dad and I played the adults.
  • Jared Freeman co-directed with me, and was the Director of Photography. 
  • My friend Christopher John (formerly of the rock band Stabilo) composed the score.
  • Sam Thomas was our Producer.
  • Parker McKinley edited the film.
  • Kevin Strahm did a fantastic job with sound designall sound was created in post.
  • Derek Donovan was our first Assistant Cameraman.
  • Jacob Kirby was our colorist.
  • Stewart Minges was our Key Grip.
This film was a complete labor of love, beginning to end. We're releasing it online today in hope that you'll enjoy it, and share it with your friends.


  1. I found your site after reading some of your comments on Richard Beck's blog, Experimental Theology. I was a bit curious if you are a progressive member of the Church of Christ, or a former member like myself, who left to find a progressive path that takes me further.

    I enjoyed your film very much. I was moved by how your son disarmed the traps, trying to protect the Gnomes. For me, that is what love does in this world; it saves others by trying the best it can to disarm and release the traps that have been set for God's little ones, usually by a faith in others that many might consider childlike.

    Keep up the good work. It is a blessing for me, one who has seen sixty five years, to know there are those who are younger keeping art and creativity alive in this nation. We need it more than ever.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment.

      I used to have Messiah-delusions, but eventually figured out that the best I could do was just be ME, telling stories and making stuff. Keep being YOU, and feel free to drop by/comment any time :-)


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