20'10" (2013)

Heartache and embarrassment. Rubberwub is a film about coping poorly with the end of a relationship. The word itself is pure invention; a noun meaning, "the continuum mechanics of love that deform reversibly under stress."

I laughed so hard I woke up both my dogs. ‚ÄĒDan Huvane
NOTE: Page may contain autoplay video.


Rubberwub began as a school project ten years ago; the result of collaboration and dedication from a talented cast and wonderful crew. This project gave me permission to directly be a part of every step in the pipeline of making a movie. The script underwent a total of five drafts throughout its writing.

Much of the film was conceptualized with the help of a written, drawn, and photographic storyboard. The storyboard was essential for identifying ideal rhythms and pacing of scene before the shoot. Planning this way respect everyone's time on the day of the shoot, and wastes less film. Film is expensive, yes, but there's really nothing quite like it. The decision to shoot Super 16mm film was made early.

The parking lot scene iterated through a variety of musical genres, including a weird mash-up of The Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb" and Todd Rundgren's "International Feel," and one featuring a song from the animated Disney feature "The Three Caballeros."¬†All songs which‚ÄĒwith the benefit of hindsight‚ÄĒwere wrong for the scene, but useful as scratch tracks due to the highly subjective, point-of-view nature of the disorientation of the character in the scene.

CALCULATED: Making a film from the starting point of sound design wasn't meant out of some purity of purpose, but the idea of the entire film did come from a chorus to a song I like very much... Plus a real-life breakup. Yes, I am doing fine.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: The Rolling Stones is, I'm told, are prohibitively expensive to license for film.

Experimenting with the tone and aesthetic of the film was a worthwhile exploration that led to many colorful places. What are my communication goals? Who am I speaking to? What is the desired outcome from the audience interacting with the content? There was, at an early stage in the development of the film, a four-minute long animated introductory title sequence planned. This did not make the final cut of the film. Here is the surviving animation test:

HURRY UP AND LOVE ME: Part of this was inspired by earlier school projects following a love affair I had with every single color of the rainbow, hot off the heels of works like COLOR, SEX, and YOU.


The entire shoot took place over four days, one for each general location: apartment interior, apartment lobby, parking lot, and library.

FACT: I didn't realize Dan making this at the time
GOOD SPORT: Dan is a reliable fella in general. I lived with him for many years in college, and he's acted for me in a number of projects. Developing a vivid, multi-dimensional sense of his personality helped me write for him. He has a healthy appreciation for the absurd, so I made sure he got to flex that in Rubberwub.
TOBY: Orzano.
Adam Richlin
HEROIC: Adam Richlin is currently a co-owner of Lightbulb Grip & Electric in New York City
STEADY HANDS: This is a little, lightless tent designed to transfer completed film rolls into cannisters for development. The idea that the entire production is literally in your gentle hands might crush the nerves of a lesser person, but Asah Cramer (pictured here on the group, elbow deep) performed the hair-raising task with sheer virtuosity.
PICTURED: Pensive Donny.
Adam protected from bodily protective fluids under a homemade barrier of plastic bags and plexiglass
COVER-UP: Adam Richlin sits under a jury-rigged plexi-glass enclosure designed to protect him from bodily fluids. The result? A success!
Dan in position over the fluid barrierFilm cannisters from Kodak
A VISION OF BEAUTY: After three total days of shooting, we had our film.


The film was processed and Best Light color-corrected by Kyle Alvut at Kodak in Rochester, NY. The original cut was 24 minutes long, with different music including Antonio Carlos Jobim and Dan Deacon. While the licensing fee for the latter was relatively‚ÄĒmercifully‚ÄĒlow, I would spend time during the new edit a year later (down to 20 minutes) including music I had composed myself under the name sethdonut &¬†His Orchestra.

The film played exclusively in private showings for almost ten years as of 2019. The new cut, based on viewer feedback, dispensed with a strict chronological telling of the story and re-ordered the sequence of events to play into the core of Dan's performance, reminding the audience of the emotional stakes, and created opportunities for editorial juxtaposition not considered in pre-production. The film also benefited from re-ordering time to suggest multiple interpretations of the ending. As one viewer put it, "people want to be uplifted at the end of films." Even the most cruelly ironic and bittersweet film endings may have an uplifting subtext or moral ambiguity. I think I was watching a lot of Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noe, and Michael Haneke when I was editing.

SELL-OUT: While not explicitly mentioned in the credits, Rubberwub does not endorse, nor was any part of the film sponsored by or in part by, smoking or any cigarette companies. I do wish we'd asked Tim Horton's, though.
NOT RECOMMENDED: Audio 1 (microphone) was chopped up and painstakingly re-appointed with ambient tone between dialogue because we neglected to get real room tone at the time. I don't recommend this.
PLEASE RESPOND: "Human After All" is in fact not Daft Punk's song of the same name but a mislabeled song I downloaded on Kazaa in the '90s. The song's real name remains a mystery to today. Please e-mail me if you know its true name.

When You Smile by Lem Arcon & His Orchestra a song I'd heard years ago when I discovered apollosound and purchased the BBC Test Card Music Vol. I. They were extremely pleasant an accommodating over e-mail. One of the conditions for licensing a song from them was to send them a DVD. Similarly, the band the black dog gave me permission to use the song Machine Machina for free, courtesy of Martin Dust. Overall an extremely an nice bloke, and a brilliant band. Additionally, Teo Acosta is a talented, multi-faceted artist skilled in illustration, animation, cinematography, and music. His song Operation Ruthless was a perfect match for a bumping college party.

Truly a lost art form.

For the parking lot limp sequence, I was stubbornly holding onto hope that Tony Jobim's representation would throw me a bone and just give me usage of his song Surfboard. No, I kid. But there really aren't any other songs like it, and the tizzy spirit and instrumentation were too indelible to ignore. A compromise came by way of the web site scoreascore. You sign up and musicians essentially bid for your project. No less than 13! artists bid on Rubberwub. Stuart Moore came through with a perfect facsimile for Surfboard, and e-mailed me the stems to introduce one by one in the sequence. Jordan Passman, of scoreascore, was (and still is) a good-natured fellow who deserves all of his successes.

Once the film was all edited I applied for, and was accepted to, the Spirit Quest Film Fest out in Erie, PA.

All that was left to do was cut a trailer, and away we go. Enjoy.

That's all folks!

... Or it would have been, but I decided not to publicly release the film for over 10 years. Why, you ask?¬†Well, it's really a matter of the soul. I mean that my main actor Daniel Stebbins, once upon a time, let me literally write "my soul" on a crumpled up piece of paper as collateral to borrow something our freshmen year which he later "lost."¬†A Simpsons plot beat. By refusing to release Rubberwub‚ÄĒone which I believe features his finest cinematic acting work to date‚ÄĒI might finally be able to bargain back my soul after 15 years. So in my soul's absence, this film exists. You see in the end it is spite that makes life worth living.


Directed by Ralph Mastromonaco

Produced by Toby Orzano, Greg Gaskins, Madelyn Bradt

Assistant Director Madelyn Bradt

Directors of Photography Adam Schonberg / Adam Richlin

Boom Operators Miles Baird, Greg Gaskins, Toby Orzano, Evan Anthony, Josh Seiler, Donald O'Brien

Sound Mixing Miles Baird, Greg Gaskins, Rachel Nash, Donald O'Brien, AJ Giambrone

First AC Asah Cramer, Josh Weis

Second AC Pete Hewitt, Jeremiah Franco

Dolly Grips Toby Orzano, Jeremiah Franco, Nic Taylor

Gaffers Toby Orzano, Nic Taylor, Josh Weis

Edit & FX Ralph Mastromonaco

Sound Design Ralph Mastromonaco

FX Consulting Kevin Whitfield



"Machine Machina" Performed by THE BLACK DOG. Courtesy of Martin Dust.

"Wood Planck Star" Written by SETHDONUT.

"Operation Ruthless" Performed by TEO ACOSTA.

"Forgotten Bay" Performed by STUART MOORE. via

"Windpower" Written by SETHDONUT.

"When You Smile" Performed by LEM ARCON AND HIS ORCHESTRA. Courtesy of Apollo Sound.


Color Processing by Kyle Alvut for Kodak

Color Correction Ralph Mastromonaco

Some sounds from These works are licensed under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.

VibraphoneBusker.wav By gynation
kualalumpur international.wav By milton
vibnot02.wav By Komponist
vibnot06.wav By Komponist
LS3.wavB y ricemutt
So_ambulancia.wav By sonsdebarcelona
GTR_LOOP_CLEAR4.WAV By alexbird Ooh.wav By Russelle
master3.wav By insinger
neck_crack.wav By Halleck
CrackingDryWood.wav By HerbertBoland
mobile phone vibration.aif By Splash.Yang
airliner_ascend.aif By Heigh-hoo
recoleta.mp3 By fernando
Bar Crowd - Logans Pub - Feb 2007.wav By lonemonk
heart beat.mp3 By greyseraphim
bleep10.wav By ermine

Thanks to RIT FVASA Laura Blank, Alex Pagliaro, Jess Coulston

Shot with ARRI

Thanks to KODAK Joanne Ristuccia, Nancy Ensman, Kathleen Medina


Executive Producers Pete Hewitt, Daniel Alexander Stebbins, Adam Schonberg, Rose Glaeser, Ralph George Mastromonaco

Special Thanks to The Wallace Library, Wegmans, Shalini Saycocie, Tal Nagourney, Mike Dispenza, John Theroux, Drew Ganyer, Kathryn DeFeo, N. Handy, Jeremy Abel, Asa Alger, Evan Anthony, Andrew Maruska, Jordan Passman, and Cory Armbrecht

Ricky/Rich......Daniel Alexander Stebbins
Lucy....................... Brianna Byrne
Harman......................Nathan Lozier
Puke-Covered Screw-Up..........Nic Taylor
Aloof Boyfriend................Dan Dunham
Quiet Girlfriend...............Ema Krantz
Grad Student..............Garrett McMahon

Thanks to the Rochester Institute of Technology, Marianne O'Loughlin, Adam Smith, Therese Hannigan, Jason Arena

The Story, All Characters and Incidents Portrayed in this Production are Fictitious. No Identification with Actual persons, or Products is Intended or Should Be Inferred.


All Rights Reserved.