Anatomy of a Short Film
My partner, Stephanie Dawson, and I are working on a short film that I wrote, entitled “In-Kind.” I will update this page throughout the entire process—from pre-production, to production, to post. The idea is that readers will be able to join us on this journey and learn the ins and outs of producing a film—including the successes and failures, and sacrifices and compromises. We’re excited to take you on this journey and invite you to post your comments, sharing best practices and all other comments with us.
I’ve written a few produced shorts already, but one of my goals has always been to write a theme-based short film with minimal dialogue. I admire the medium’s ability to tell a complete story through action. So much can be communicated by a simple look in the eye, which is often more powerful than any written word.
Our story is a simple one about a woman and her daughter and the homeless man who lives outside their apartment building. Our original intention was to tell the story of a person who loses his home for one night and his encounter with a homeless man who lives in the park. However, I was more intrigued by the point of view of the homeless man and thought the best way to explore it was to flip the story on its head—instead of a person who goes homeless for one night, what if a homeless person gains a home for one night? When the mother and her daughter leave their apartment, the homeless man finds his way in. However, he’s more virtuous than some might give him credit for, and his appreciation shines clearly after his departure.
An example of a short that is theme-based with minimal dialogue is the 1991 Oscar-winning film “The Lunch Date” by Adam Davidson, which was the original inspiration for our film. To me, this is the perfect short.
I’ve begun to assemble a look book, which lays out the vision for the overall look and feel of the film. I’ll be continuously adding images to this. You can check it out on Pinterest, by clicking here.
The script is written, now we will put together a production schedule and discuss the budget and fundraising. Stay tuned …