The Ninth is a 2014 American Short film written and directed by Corey Hammett and J. Colby Doler. The Ninth follows the story of Edward Vitz, a fictional Jewish-American sculptor who is working on his ninth and final piece.
The Ninth was created for the 2014 Louisiana Film Prize after J. Colby Doler and Corey Hammett received a $3k grant at the 2013 festival for their short film Red River Ode. The remainder of the budget was out-of-pocket. It was announced as an Official Selection for the Louisiana Film Prize on August 12, 2014.
The Ninth is a fictional story following world-famous sculptor Edward Vitz as he contemplates his ninth and final piece after being diagnosed with cataracts.Jim Hayes as Edward Aharon Vitz
Christine Cox-Hayes as Deloris Vitz
Bruce Allen as Howard Vitz
David McCarty as Dr. T.M. Langford
Production and development
Production on The Ninth began in November 2013 after a brief hiatus by the filmmakers following the 2013 Louisiana Film Prize. Originally titled "Solace", it was renamed due to another film of the same name, a feature starring Anthony Hopkins, being released the same year. Corey Hammett developed the idea for the film, an original story based on no other work.
To prepare for the shoot, the filmmakers visited numerous antique shops as well as ordered many period-specific items from ebay and more to achieve an authentic vintage setting and tone. A significant portion of the budget for The Ninth was used for this purpose. The filmmakers attended the kick-off party for the 2014 Louisiana Film Prize in hopes to meet with actors and hopefully find their "Edward Vitz". It was there that they discovered Jim Hayes, a set builder, and eventually convinced him, who had never acted before The Ninth, to play the role.
Jim Hayes convinced his wife, Christine Cox-Hayes, his dentist, David McCarty, and friend, Bruce Allen, each to play roles in the film. As well as acting in the film, Jim, a set builder by profession, also built the sets as designed by director Corey Hammett.
Principal photography began in the second week of April 2014 and lasted only a week. The film was shot on a Canon 7D. Using a Southern Gothic style, cinematographer J. Colby Doler and Director Corey Hammett framed the film similar to paintings and photographs of the early 1900s. The works of Norman Rockwell and Ansel Adams, among others, were used as inspiration when shooting the film.
Shot completely in color, the film was post-converted to black and white for the rough and final cuts. Principal photography wrapped on April 12, 2014.
Music for The Ninth was composed two weeks prior to the rough-cut submission deadline for The Louisiana Film Prize. A week before the deadline, the final music was composed and turned in by Russell Blackburn, an acquaintance of director J. Colby Doler, whom he met less than a month prior. The two spoke about the film and decided that Russell should compose the music after having trouble with it for months under another composer.
The film was submitted on-time to the 2014 Louisiana Film Prize and was announced as an Official Selection on August 12, 2014 via the festivals website.
The Ninth premiered at the 2014 Louisiana Film Prize as one of only 20 Official Selections to compete for the grand prize of $50,000. It is currently being submitted to festivals across the world.