At the end of the summer in 2012 I came across a film contest called Parameter. It was presented by the website A.V. Club and was a challenge to create a 3-7 minute short film following some very specific rules such as having a theme that deals with an escape from every day existence and picking from a number of other random parameters that needed to be included. I had never participated in film contest before this, so once I found it, I got excited because it seemed like something I could easily participate in. I had until the end of October to complete my mission.
I had only been making short films for about a year before I found out about this contest. I started taking video production classes at Washtenaw Community College the previous fall where I met my good friend Ben Armes. About half way through our first semester in the program we started working on our own projects outside of class just for fun. We even filmed our first short film together in one day for about thirteen hours straight. A few weeks later we had a completed 5 minute short film called The Start.
At the beginning of the summer, Ben and I worked on several very brief short films, mainly as a way to experiment with new equipment and to continue learning during the summer break from school. The majority of these micro-shorts were written very quickly and directed the next day. I usually took care of both of those duties and appeared on screen. Ben would act and then edit the footage. We’d either film it ourselves or find a friend to help with that. This is where I really started to get my footing as a director.
Being that I was working with one of my best friends, directing seemed very easy. It also helped that we have a pretty good idea of how each other thinks so communication was very easy. I would present Ben with the script that I wrote, explained how I thought it should look, and within about fifteen minutes our preproduction was taken care of. The next day or so, we’d film it and then within the next week, we’d have a new short film. However, future endeavors would prove to me that directing isn’t always that easy.
This is the first post in a series about creating my short film I’d Live For You and how I didn’t quite feel like I knew what I was doing at the time. However, after some research, I discovered that even some major directors don’t always have everything planned out. Stay tuned for more in the series. Or don’t. Whatever.