A Simple Plot Full of Complex Emotions
I am inspired conceptually and stylistically by filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami, Edward Yang, Tsai Ming Liang, Sofia Coppola, Steve McQueen, Kelly Reichardt, Stanley Kubrick, John Cassavetes, and Joe Swanberg. With this film I'm seeking to capture feelings of stasis, anxiety, and longing, and to observe individuals caught in the moments of uncertainty that characterize modern life.
Four years ago, I had the idea to tell a story, which at its core, was very simple. I called a cab in the winter of 2012 to take me to the airport to see my family back home. This was before the days of Lyft and Uber, and by accident I took a different cab that showed up in front of my building. I was halfway to the airport when the cab driver I was supposed to ride with called me-- the guilt set in immediately. It wasn't a big deal, but I just couldn't stop thinking about that taxi driver and how I might have affected him. This sense of what consequences this relatively small action might have led me to this story of two completely different people and how, seen separately, their lives inform something much larger and much closer than you think.
Over the years, the script has evolved and changed with me, and become better informed by the events of my life. So that became the basis for one of the main characters, a student holding out on a dying relationship, trying to salvage something that no longer there, the night before he moves far away to a new city. The other story follows a taxi driver staying out to meet a total stranger, avoiding the uncomfortable distance he feels between him and his wife after the recent loss of his son.
I began to find parallels between these two lives, as well as ways these characters would handle things differently. As I continued to write, a number of themes developed: an examination of masculinity, the silent role women are often relegated to in society and relationships, the ways we express and hide our attraction, address avoidance, with the binding factor being the small moments between people that hold a much greater significance.
With an amazing show of support from friends and family I was able to finance and shoot half of the film. (NOTE: To those who donated on the project website previously, we have not forgotten you! Without your support, we would not be this far, and of course you will receive every perk that is coming to you with time).
I chose to film the story that follows Nick, the college student. After filming the first half in April 2015, I discovered much more about what the story meant to me and how it could inform the other half of the story. For the past 6 months or so, I've been continually revising and improving the screenplay with feedback from writers and producers, and I have arrived at something so much more meaningful to complement the story we have already filmed.
Whoah, $5000 for half a film?
So where's the money going? Good question! Big costs for the film include paying our cast, providing meals, renting locations, and using rigs that will make it safe for us to film outside of moving vehicles. For this project I've chosen to film on Super 16 film for the organic tonal and textural quality that it provides over digital recording.
I am matching the funds raised by this Kickstarter. I wanted to be sure that if I made a film, the students I went to school with would have an opportunity to gain experience using professional equipment including film stock. Richmond is still a seelding of a film city and the more experience the students get using professional equipment, the better off we will all be. By helping me fund this project, you are helping me not only to bring my first film to life but also to assist careers and create a valuable learning process for our cast and crew who are mostly students, or recent film school alumni, like myself. So I will repeat, I am matching the funds raised by this Kickstarter.
I know asking for $5000 sounds like a lot, but this is a truly low-budget short film. We may not have a star-studded cast or seasoned veteran crew members, but I am confident that the team we have is capable of delivering an incredible film, that is aesthetically strong and emotionally mature. This to me is what matters. I work with individuals that have passion and talent. Many of them are good friends of mine, and this bond carries through in collaborative process. I believe in each and every one of them.
Please be sure to check out our website where you'll find screenshots, updates, and more!
Thank you, I know I am asking a lot, but if you can spare even a dollar it will mean the world to me.
- Maurice Vellas, Writer & Director
Risks and challenges
Once we finish this film it'll be long road in editing I'm sure. Juggling multiple storylines is one thing. The project will also be very reliant on atmospheric sound, which means we're expecting a lot of work in post-sound to create environments that sound and feel authentic. We're hoping that we can keep extra costs low for this, but it may add some time to the editing process.
However, by financing it this was the project is totally independent and unconnected to any company or agency that holds control over distribution. This means once this film is finished our backers who have met the $10 minimum will be able to view it IMMEDIATELY and it will also be sent on to film festivals!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)