The Conclusion of The Long Short Film

Months ago, I set out to make a short film in an abandoned prison, and it ballooned into a 25 minute short that’s more on the scale of a television show than a short film (the average short film is ~12 minutes). One viewer at the premiere flatteringly said it was akin to a Twilight Zone episode.

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I premiered the movie last week and there was a good turn-out. A group comprised of trivia friends, paddleboarding friends, movie friends, and good ol’ friend friends, they were a cheery bunch that crowded into the basement theater of a vintage/horror memorabilia shop in East Nashville. Pizzas were brought and beer was drank, and it seemed that the theater’s size was made for us.

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The 25 minute short is sort of a slow-burn thriller, and I followed it with the blooper reel and two shorts that we made in our extra time at the prison, both of which are decidedly sillier than Employment.

When I went to email those that supported me financially on Kickstarter, I found that the project has been funded since March 18. We shot the thing in the last three weekends of May, and here it is mid-September and it’s finally being unveiled.

The reasons for the delay are many. Firstly, I’d never undertaken something of this length. When all was said and done, there was around 100gb of footage for this, and even just jumping in and starting to turn all the bits and pieces into a tangible plot was daunting. I particularly hated editing the car dialogue scenes due to a lack of variety in camera angles and the fact that the car was moving.

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But hey, that’s why I made it. There were many things I realized in post that I could have done a lot better – but if I didn’t always feel like that, then there wouldn’t be much of a point in continuing. It was supposed to be a stepping stone, and in terms of sheer scale, location, and length, I’d say it was a fairly big one.

I’m still totally in love with my camera. The digital filmmaking renaissance brought about by the rise of DSLRs makes a lot of filmmakers sweat (since, if everyone’s phone can capture HD-quality video, what hurdle is there to moviemaking?), but I have to say I’m on the sweeter side of the issue right now.

And so it finally concludes. There were many nights of solitary editing, talking to my computer as I tried to will it to please just line up that audio, but eventually it was all accomplished.

You can’t watch it quite yet (I wanted to give the Kickstarter supporters a chance for an exclusive viewing, since there’s so precious little I can really offer them in thanks), but I will make it public sometime next week.

In the meantime, revel in the ghosty-goodness of the other two shorts I screened at the premiere, both of which were also shot at the Tennessee State Prison:

So, what’s next? I’ve been writing a feature-length screenplay about two people walking around talking, and it’s been a fun challenge to make that interesting. There’s another contest on the way and a bunch of short film ideas floating around in the noggin, so we’ll see what comes to fruition.

I can tell you it won’t take another 6 months.

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~ by Jon C. Forisha on September 16, 2012.

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