Starting a New Short

We are about to enter into production for our next short film, which is super exciting. As I write this, we are three hours away from the first set of auditions for our lead.

Reasons why I am excited:

  1. Working with a new slate of actors. This is fun. I like finding new people to work with and seeing what they bring to the table, discovering their vibes and talents and their ways of interacting with me and the script.

  2. Coming up with cool shots. This is also insanely fun. It’s kind of mind-numbingly tedious to be lying on the floor trying to envision visual-spatial environments in your head and also trying to run those scenes through the sort of emotional, narrative elements you want in order to come up with something interesting. But ultimately it’s also insanely exciting when you come up with a shot or sequence of shots that you think might be really neat, and not like anything you’ve seen before. To me, that’s honestly what drives me forward - the thrill of creating interesting visual moments and seeing them cut together in the final edit, and recreating that feeling in your head in the images onscreen.

  3. Dynamic problem-solving. Where are we going to shoot the forest exteriors? How are we going to get the shots we’re planning? How can we improvise the shots? What’s going to come up, in these particular story moments, that might be really evocative and unexpected? Will it rain? Yes. Ok, now that it’s raining, what do we do? Sometimes this is terrifying and unwieldy, but sometimes it’s tons of fun - driving around dirt roads in the middle of nowhere looking at locations; meeting and talking with interesting new people with a wide variety of interests and specialties, from propmakers to musicians to small business owners; having long discussions around coffee (or beer) with friends and crew people about different ways to approach specific shooting problems and the pluses and minuses of each.

Filmmaking is an endlessly engaging and unpredictable process. That can be anxiety-inducing for sure, but at its best, it keeps you constantly thinking, moving, and acting. No matter what, you’re always forced to move forward on ideas, to put plans into actions, to do things and create change. That’s something that I never used to think would appeal to me, but now that I have started doing that, I never want it to stop. Look forward to our next short, coming out in...six months? We’ll see. Hopefully it won’t take as long as Gary and June did.

(“It has to be faster,” Nick says when I say that. “I refuse to let this drag on that long.”)