A short film about two misfits harnessing their weaknesses to unlock their superpowers to defy school bullies and gravity.

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Post
Writer/Director: John Michael Riva Jr.
Producer: Doug Barden
Cinematographer: Indeana Underhill
Production Designer: Kato Lawton
Editor: Mario Andrew Fierro
Instagram: @mikeyrivajr
Twitter: @MikeyRivaJr
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A boy struggles to fit in his school desk and in life. When he crosses paths with an equally eccentric girl at school, the two misfits harness their weaknesses together and unlock their superpowers to defy school bullies and gravity.


Pterry is a bullied eighteen-year-old boy with extremely long arms. He’s trying to find his north star in the world, having just lost his father. Pterry’s world is turned around when he is assigned a partner for a school assignment with Claire, an equally bullied student. When a notorious school bully sabotages their project, Pterry and Claire devise a plan to navigate to a new world, one of independent happiness.

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Meet the Filmmakers

John Michael Riva Jr.- Writer/Director

John Michael Riva Jr. is a writer, director, and photographer from Los Angeles, CA. He is known for his work on All Aboard (2018) and Island Earth (2016). After several years working in the camera department Riva later earned an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. As a fourth-generation filmmaker, John Michael Riva Jr. grew up shooting shorts from a young age.

Doug Barden – Producer

After completing his undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming, the Maryland native spent 18 years as a television journalist. Doug has managed newsrooms from California to Louisiana and was recognized with multiple Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards before attending the American Film Institute (Producing) in 2018. Doug brings a passion for story telling and an unwavering ability to lead large teams in stressful situations under limited budgets.

Indeana Underhill- Cinematographer

Indeana Underhill is an Associate Member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, a member of the American Society of Cinematographer’s MITC Lens Committee, and a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Cinematography Conservatory. She has traveled to over 30 countries, working professionally in the US, Canada, South Korea, Spain, Argentina, Scotland, Qatar, Egypt, and Nepal.

Kato Lawton – Production Designer

Kato Lawton is a Californian Production Designer working bi-coastally out of Atlanta and LA. She is a recent graduate of the American Film Institute, where she earned an MFA in Production Design. Before making the jump to film, Kato worked in live theater as a set designer for independent theater groups such as Impact Theater, The Anatomy Collective and Lucid Street Theater, and worked as a scenic artist at Steppenwolf Theater, The Ashby Stage, and many more. Kato holds a BFA in Painting and Printmaking with a concentration in Scientific Illustration from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A Place in the Field is the first feature film Kato has designed, and she looks forward to finding more opportunities to build worlds for meaningful stories.

Mario Andrew Fierro – Editor

Mario Andrew Fierro was born on November 27, 1992 in Veracruz, Mexico. He earned his MFA in Film Editing at the AFI Conservatory ’20. Fierro graduated from the University of Denver in 2015 with a BA in Film Studies/Production and has a diverse background in film. He served as a screening committee member for the 2018 Mountainfilm Festival and has gone on tour twice with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall.

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