In developing JEFF FARNSWORTH, Paul Cotter drew on the personal experience he had during an unsuccessful stint as a bartender when he was 21. He turned to Chicago writer Bruce Terris to work on the script, after the two had first become friends when Bruce was an Assistant Director and Paul was a First Camera Assistant on indie features in Chicago in the late 1990s.
Once written, Paul turned to the Chicago production community for assistance. Marie Frick, the Line Producer, had produced Bruce Terris's short film, FLYING, the year before and Paul had previously worked with the Director of Photography, Alan Thatcher, and many of the crew.
Due to the extremely tight budget the production worked on, Paul decided to use a High Definition 24p camera to avoid film processing costs, thereby saving nearly a third on it's final budget. Paul and Alan also realised that as JEFF FARNSWORTH was a predominantly night-time/interior shoot, they could better control the light and the aesthetics of the HD image and play to it's strengths.
Shot entirely in Chicago, the production endured freezing cold, torrential rain, and the loss of restrooms during the shoot: "A club location used in the opening scene reneged on an agreement and locked us out half way through a gruelling winter all-night shoot. We had no staging or toilets for the 40 strong cast and crew until an adjacent strip club kindly allowed us to use their restrooms, free of charge for the rest of the night," Paul explained.
Production wrapped as planned after four days of shooting.
Post-production took place at Avenue in Chicago under the guidance of editor Bob Ackerman. Working on a dramatic High Definition 24p project drew willing help from some of Chicago best post-production personnel, including colourist Lynette Duensing whose previous work has included Nirvana's seminal music video "Smells Like Teen Spirit".