After a day and a half worth of shooting, I began to look over the footage we got and start to edit it together. I hated it. Nothing looked the way I had imagined it in my head except for one shot. The lack of dialogue made the story feel like it didn’t flow. And, on top of that, I then realized there were a few key shots that I somehow forgot to capture. October was about half over and the deadline to finish for the contest was fast approaching and all I had to show for it was a jumbled short film that I was not proud of. I still needed to turn this in for class credit too. I needed to somehow turn this into something that I wanted to be associated with, so I started thinking of a voiceover that could help walk the audience through what’s going on without holding their hands and being overly obvious.
After another few weeks, I had my lead actor, Adam Johns, come in and record his voiceover and I also finished writing and recording the music. Once I had those two pieces added into the messy puzzle that I was attempting to call a short film, things felt a little more complete. However, at this point, the deadline to turn it in for the contest had passed and I barely got it done in time to turn in for class.
The night my short film, I’d Live For You, premiered for the class, I was pretty nervous. I had to sit and watch people’s reactions to this hobbled together piece and hope that they liked it. To my surprise, they did. I felt relieved. A few months later, it even won an award for Best Screenwriting at a film festival and a Student Emmy Award for Best Directing.
I had managed to take a relatively simple idea for a film, and mash a bunch of things together to make it work and, in the process, trick a lot of people into thinking that I knew what I was doing the whole time. The reality of the situation was that I had basically no idea and I pretty much made it up as I went until it seemed like the film that I had playing in my head. But that lead me to wonder if other directors have a better sense of their film or are they kind of faking it like I did?
This is the third 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.