Movie poster for Double Bondsmen with film director Chandler Ryd

Double Bondsmen: Chasing Dreams and Finding Reality

Written by Gianna Green

Chandler Ryd, ’18, set off in December of 2019 to start his fourth short film, a dark comedy called Double Bondsmen. The film follows two deadbeat twin brothers who currently work for DoorDash—but are aspiring bounty hunters. One night, out on a delivery, the twins hear a gunshot, discover a body, and decide that now’s the time to chase their dream.

There’s only one problem: their dream is bonkers. Brett and Rhett have the wrong idea of what it means to be a bounty hunter. They’ve saturated their minds in the world of police procedurals, TV true crime, and a self-help book written by a faux-Chuck Norris type charlatan, so their vision of the job is skewed from the start—not to mention they don’t have any of the right skills for the job.

Ryd’s story is a spin on the Don Quixote dynamic from Cervantes’s 16th-century classic. Don Quixote fries his brain reading tales of chivalric knights, and his reading causes him to interpret the world according to a wrongheaded understanding of how things work. For Don Quixote, his imagination, his dream, determines his vision. The same is true of Brett and Rhett.

Ultimately, the film is a comedy about our dreams and the lies they can tell us. And, it’s hilarious. Even from the trailer, you can get a good feel for what is to come in this short film. It would be easy to list all the reasons we’re excited about this film premiere, but we’ll let Chandler tell you himself.

“The film is fresh and exciting to me because it’s a chance to explore the comedy of their self-delusion. In my opinion, comedy is at its most insightful when the punch-line is self-implicating, when we’re making fun of ourselves and our own communities rather than self-righteously poking fun at someone other.

As someone who has a dream (making films), the story is close to my heart—and a reminder that we need to temper our dreams with a dousing of reality. As a filmmaker with a wife and a baby, I need to see the world through the lens of the whole truth of what’s important, not just through the lens of my own ambition. The twins have to reckon with the consequences of their narrow vision. That’s something we can all do better.”

While the cast and crew are made up of talent from all over the country, some of the crew is made up of a few Hillsdale Alumni: Josh Liebhauser, ’18, producer, Joel Calvert, ’16, graphic design, along with a brain trust made up of Gabe Listro, ’20, Jane O’Connor, ’21, Dylan Strehle, ’19, and of course, his wife, Lara Ryd (née Forsythe.)

The team went out to Purcellville, VA, this September to shoot the footage for the film, which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2021.

Read more from November’s newsletter: 

Tom Burke Scholarship Recipient: Hank Bohl

Ransom Dunn Scholarship Recipient: Kate Swope

Fostering the Good Scholarship

Gianna Green is the Editor in Chief of the Student Stories Blog. She also serves as Hillsdale College’s Social Media Coordinator. She graduated from Hillsdale in 2017 with a degree in Marketing and Management.

Published in October 2020