A person in need of assistance…an act of kindness…a startling discover…. Is it just an innocent encounter? Or is there something more at hand?
Production Notes: On the media training school that I lead, I have used this exercise over the years to help the students learn directing and film making. Basically, we take a short script that I wrote, and have myself or one of the other staff direct it while the students act as the crew – doing camera, lighting, sound, and everything else. I’d done this a few times, but in 2010, my friend and colleague Jason surprised me by directing the simple script as a bit of a suspense thriller.
Production Notes: So, inspired by Jason’s work the previous year, I made a conscious effort the next time I was calling the shots to do something as different as I possibly could That opportunity came in 2011 when I was teaching on the same school in Thailand, where I did my best to make basically the same script into a romantic comedy. What I like about this version is that more than any other version so far, there is a genuine shift in relationship between the two characters during the course of the story. For some reason, the sound sync has gone a bit off in this version.
Production Notes: So, bringing the assignment to Perth in 2012, I had my friend and media school-graduate Josh do the next version. Josh ended up creating something a bit strange by adding a whole other element, being an introductory scene that almost overpowers the rest of the movie. The main script itself has got some elements similar to Jason’s version in 2010, but it’s still sufficiently different to be worth a look.
Production Notes: Returning to Thailand later in 2012, I made this version, which was the most elaborate up to this point. The strength of this one is the clear and opposing motivations the two characters have that bring them into conflict with each other. This makes the plot a lot stronger, I think. Originally, the one character was going to be embarrassed about reading a comic book, but I think the little rainbow unicorn book ends up being a lot funnier.
Production Notes: So, we get to 2013, when I really thought that I might be done with this project. But then I suddenly had an idea for another version. I wasn’t sure if it could be pulled off or not, but my friend Josh (who co-stars in the thing) helped me to see that it was possible. Certainly, its gone into completely outlandish territory – exactly the sort of thing I recommend my students not to do (“Come on, guys, keep it simple,” etc.) but makes for a lot of fun. Originally, the ending was going to be a lot more complex, but after about four or five hours of shooting I decided that enough was enough.
Production Notes: The final version of this project (so far) was made in 2014, when I came up with one last approach to this script. It’s not as crazy as the previous year, but is possibly my favourite of them all in terms of the finished project. I didn’t plan it this way, but it’s my assumption that the guy in this film that is played by Josh is the same guy that he played in the 2013 movie (one above), and that this is the “origin” of the villain that we see in the other.