Up until now the shortest short I've ever made clocks in at around 4 minutes (not including a stupid stop-motion animation I made a few years back). That's not been a personal choice, I just never wrote anything shorter than that.
And then, on Thursday, I shot a short film that clocks in just under 2 minutes!
I've always been somewhat at awe with short shorts (is it still called flash fiction when it's visual?). I mean, it's really impressive getting information across in such a small amount of time.
But recently I've been experimenting with a different kind of narrative; the open ended, unexplained, "go figure it out for yourselves you lazy nuggets" kind of narrative.
I've always been a fan of ambiguity, but I've also always liked having straight answers. For me ambiguity works best when it's down to a simple choice or question, rather than leaving hefty amounts of plot open. In this sense I mean things like the origin of Joker's scars in The Dark Knight, or what Bill Murray whispers at the end of Lost In Translation. Or what the fucking fuck is going on in the movie Cars? Like, who made this world? Why are there paths and human sized doors? It can't simply be that cars became sentient and humans died out because, well, birds are also cars in this universe! It makes no sense!
Actually, scrap that last one, Cars sucks and it will always suck. We'll go with is Deckard a Replicant instead.
Anyway, the point being I decided to go against my beliefs with regards to ambiguity and make a short where NOTHING is really explained to you. Who are these people? What's going on? How did they get here? What do they want? What happens next? Is it all in one characters head? And so on, and so on.
It resulted in a film that comes in just under two minutes and is way more visually interesting than almost anything I've ever made (at least, as far as I'm concerned). It's got a decent use of light, in fact, the entire film is kind of build around it.
It only took a few hours to shoot and was a lot of fun. It's interesting to try different things and maybe I'll come back to it at a later point in time.
For now though we have just the short short. I'm fairly please with it, at least... as pleased as I ever am with anything I make. So I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.
I have to thank the guys who worked on it with me: Elle Osborne, a wonderful actress whom I finally had the pleasure of working with and did a stellar job! Colin Doubleday, whom agreed to do the utterly thankless role of playing dead for a few hours. Bethany "Beats" Smith, who, as always, was brilliant at everything she ever does (honesty don't remember how I made films without her on make-up), and my brilliant producer, Marcus Starr, who is always a good presence.
Plus, special mention for the power of the Hollywood turn!
Thanks guys! I look forward to sharing this one with you all, and the audience of course. Here's to the next one.
And Cars sucks.