In Production 6.1 : The Trunk

I have written many scripts….correction I have started writing many of scripts but for some reason with this script felt like the one that could actually get made. One that required the least amount of effort to make. With that, my desire to complete this script was heightened. I have my ways but…. When I write a script it is more than just putting pen to paper in the metaphorical sense. It is a place I have to go mentally and create a world around me where I can see the film and end up merely transcribing the actions I see and the dialog I hear. I have to play music that puts my mind in the film.

I need the soundtrack from a similar genre playing along with ambient sounds that act as music beds in my auditory psyche. It is like constructing layers of subconscious acts consciously that will help motivate building scenes that will ultimately become the finished product. A product that I will then start the process all over again and construct the vision as MY vision for an audience. It has to be original and unique as a dynamic piece ready to be consumed. It is exhausting.
This time was different.
I originally was working on a thriller involving capturing a victim and the plight to escape the inevitable. It is a good script yet it remains unfinished because I skipped writing the scenes that tie things together. The more I wrote the more I realize how much shit I will need to do to get this shot for practically no money. That wasn’t an issue. The money that is. It was finding time to construct a visual and put all the pieces together in order to make the right film the right way. It has been my commitment to never make a short film that looks and feels like a short film. I visualize a short film as an excerpt from a larger film. The meat of something that can be made larger or the core of something larger. The way I see it, making a short film is me saying to myself if a studio makes the call and says “we love this can you make it a feature”  I can come back and say “yes” with the confidence that I would be able to expand the rest of the world of that film. With a documentary, the story stops when it is decided the interest is done. The task is complete and I can give you this content and be done with it and it’s simply a choice if I want to give you more story. With narrative its ultimate god factor. Creating a world from nothing. Creating the journey. I do not want holes in my world. The way “The Trunk” came to be is one day I was taking a drive for a late night snack and was thinking of a new movie. For some reason, as I was walking to my car I said out loud “nigga this shit is wack”. That was the original first line of “The Trunk” and it still exists in the script today. From there as I drove to Wendy’s  I continued to expand the lines not knowing where I was going but just to continue the dialog.

Being a fan of the old black and white films I believe in good dialog over putting a million things on the screen. If you buy into the words being said on screen it doesn’t matter what else is happening because I have you locked in to know how each person is responding to the next. The chemistry of worlds colliding. I was inspired by a film I saw called the Hide that was purely driven by dialog. Two men in a room trying to figure out who each other is as well as figure out the motives of the other. All this is happening against the peaceful act of birdwatching. There was so much build up. It was amazing. This made me say to myself “can I make two men in the middle of nowhere broken down in the street waiting for help have a conversation worth listening to for X amount of time”? For the record, that’s not the plot of “The Trunk” its just my thought process the more I was developing the conversation being had. The more I wrote the more I began to see the film and thought to myself “I really could get this done”. Only one problem….where is this going? I had a really good dialog but I didn’t know the point of what I was creating. I just thought i was writing good back and forth between two people but I never thought about where it was going. Then I came up with this idea of doing something supernatural. I have always wanted to make some sort of paranormal ghost film but without ever revealing any ghost-like content on the screen. Everything would happen off camera but I would create things in the sound design to make you believe something happened that you didn’t exactly see.  I needed to break the dialog and transition the script to something that moves more like a story so I decided to use one of the most known devices to shift the scene. The two characters are talking to each other while driving and the driver takes his eyes off the road for a split second to look over to the other and BOOM they hit something. This is by far the most used and worst transitions of story ever. The driver can see for yards out but yet somehow they didn’t see the thing that comes from nowhere on a road that is as straight as a ruler! It makes no sense but the audience is used to these moments so I will also use it as a way to officially begin a story and create a moment… I will tell more about how I developed this script in time but I can say this, I am super excited to make this film. I think this same enthusiasm is why so many other creatives have reached out to me telling me they want to be a part of making it happen. From auditions to the crew, I am excited to see it come together. My biggest goal with this movie is to do it right. I do not want my short film to look or film like a short. I want it to feel like big cinema and that’s why my focus is to do it right. Have a great DP, take the time with the edit, do proper pre-production, find the right talent etc. As a consistent creative everyone always wants to join the gang because it seems like easy work but its exhausting. Acting is 20 percent performing 80 percent waiting. Working the camera is constant movement as is holding a mic. A very simple task can be very exhausting and I want my crew to care about this as much as I do and make the sacrifice worth the potential reward. That will be a tough task but if they feel like they are apart of something great I stand a better chance of them committing to this story!… Until Next time….

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