I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
Since I got my first video camera over a decade ago, I’ve always had the desire to create movies. From funny shorts to music videos, I shot anything I could imagine. A problem I always had was finding people to be in them. Unless it was for a specific group project for a class in high school, my videos usually ended up starring myself or my younger brother (the poor guy). To this day, I still find myself struggling to find actors. Thinking about it, I suspect it comes from the mindset of, “No one would want to be in a project like this” or “I can just perform it myself, that way, it comes out the way I want it to”. But now, as I compile my portfolio together, I notice that 75% of the projects I’m proud of only star myself. I’m not saying I’m disappointed by how they turned out, but it’s still a concern I have if people view my work and wonder why I’m in nearly all of them.
So, I decided recently to challenge myself to perform in the least amount of shorts as possible and be more proactive about finding other actors. That being said, this is even a greater challenge due to the -uhm- everything going on in the world. Nevertheless, I continue this challenge, with the first finished one being my most recent short film “On the Bayou”, for the 36 frames challenge with 4381 Productions. The cast comprises of my three best friends, all of which I know have quarantined all summer. We shot the majority of it on a trail on Brays Bayou near my apartment and then the rest in my friend’s apartment. My original idea was to do a story about one man on the bayou, so I could just shoot it by myself and be over with it, but the new story was more compelling, so I pushed myself and asked my friends to help. When I pitched it to them, they were all automatically on board, which was surprising since most of them didn’t have any acting experience before. We had a great time during production and I was able to get some awesome expressions from them. Here are some of my favorite frames from the project:
I hope to continue this personal challenge for my future projects. Hopefully, the world will clean up its act soon so I can reach out to different actors. Until then, I know that I have some great, talented friends I can rely on.
Thesis Update: I completed my first draft of my beat sheet, with most of the main plot points and events established. I am spending this weekend developing a better character arc for my protagonist, so I can hit the ground running when I start writing next week. As my peers and committee have told me, things may change once I actually start writing, so I’m trying to keep an open mind. But I’m glad I have a solid plot structure to start from.