Making a film can be a long and grueling process – unless you only have two weeks and have a mandate to shoot on an iphone!
The World’s Smallest Film Festival held a call for submissions last month with three main rules:
1. Must be three minutes or less
2. Must be shot on a mobile device
3. Must incorporate the theme of water
I forwarded the notice to my friends Andrea Csabai and Dominique Buda right away – we’d been talking about making something together with all our combined writing/directing/editing/producing experience. This seemed to be just the low stakes we were looking for! And what better theme than water for three women living in a drought-stricken state? Add to that that Andrea’s husband Yuri Reese just happens to be an Emmy award-winning sound mixer…and, well we just couldn’t NOT make it.
So we got off our asses and made this movie!
Dominique sent a rough script right away about a woman saving water next to a wasteful neighbor, and we had a lot of fun pulling the footage together, mostly during one long shooting day at my house using our current system of collecting water old-school style in buckets, and using it for the garden. I’m proud to say that with this system, Richard and I have reduced our garden hose use by about 80%. Yay!
I should also point out that the soap we use is all-natural, phosphate-free, and ‘green,’ so the suds don’t harm the plants. In fact, it works as a non-toxic pesticide as any dish or laundry soap does, by clogging up the exoskeletons of offending bugs.
I personally had some adventures getting the shots of the dry dams, gulches and waterworks around the city, as well as the panoramic views of the city itself.
I borrowed Andrea’s bike and rode up to the Hanson Dam near my house and got lost on the dusty back trails looking for a better shot of the empty dam. Along came a woman on her horse who was a bit spooked by the sound of my tires on the gravel.
We started talking and she said, “Oh, you’re going the wrong way!” She and her horse led me right to the dam, I got the shots, and then noticed (ironically) that there was a small river I had to cross with my bike.
Bizarrely, a group of twenty-something guys appeared out of nowhere on the other side of the ‘river.’ They traipsed across the precarious series of logs that were floating in a chain, and got to my side, where I frowned and asked them if they thought I could do that with my bicycle. One guy named Roger Sanchez said, “I’ll take it across for you.” I was a damsel in distress! Of course I took him up on it and he traipsed back from where he had come, holding the heavy bike with one arm. I followed along and when we got to the other side, he asked for my phone number which was adorable, since I could have been his mother. Instead I took his e-mail and am sending him this blog. Hi Roger! Why didn’t I take your picture? Here’s the logs, anyway….
The panorama shots of Los Angeles at the end of the film were taken at ‘golden hour’ one weeknight near the end of Violet’s school year. I picked her up and we drove up to the top of Mullholland, shooting the city at its glowing best.
Thanks to The Mamas & The Papas and The Ventures. We really appreciate your music!
Now Andrea and Dominique and I are looking for a new theme for our next short. Any ideas?