Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Hello again and welcome back to my little corner. It's been longer than I would've wanted to but the world became even crazier than I thought it could. But hopefully this time it will bring something good with it. I'm not going to dig into it it but #BlackLivesMatter.
Today I want to talk about the next short I am planning to direct. The title is 'Void'. 'Void' is a word that I always liked for the way it sounds and its powerful and dark meaning. The story is not dark, but rather sad.
Here is the concept poster that we came up with. It's not the official yet but this is what it will look like.
But what is it about? 'Void' is a story about the disruption of life and love after a family tragedy:
Laura (50) and Ben (55) come one last time to their late son’s apartment to pack the final box of his old belongings. It’s been a few months now since the death of their son and they have been dealing with the grief very differently: Ben wants to get rid of all of the personal belongings, forget, and move on. Laura feels the need to keep his things and to be able to talk to her husband about their son.
The themes surrounding this intimate story are both direct and subtle. Grief and mourning are big parts of the story, framing the context and the relationship of our two characters. However, this is a story ultimately about healing. There is absolutely no "right way" to process and move on from losing someone. Every person has their own needs and defense mechanisims to deal with the pain depending on their experience. I wanted to honor that.
How and why did I come up with this story?
Everything started when Chase Shamlian (the cinematographer) and I decided that we wanted to make a short film together. Already considering to be very mindful of the budget, we decided to make the story as framed in a manageable production as possible.
So what cuts budget? Definitely locations, then cast, and multiple narrative days as well as production days. I kept squeezing my brains for a story that had two characters, one location, one narrative day and stable light plan. Only after a couple weeks I was able to realize that not only I had an idea for it, but that I had already told it somewhat.
Back in my Master's at Boston University, we were asked to come up with an idea in which a character reads while the other one listens and the camera focus on the reactions of the latter. We were in a black box studio so I had to ask my actors for some extra imagination but it definitely worked better that I even thought it would.
I came up with the story of a couple that comes in into their late son's apartment for the first time after his death. The wife finds his diary and reads it out loud. However, the husband reacts differently to the words. Showing that, clearly, they are in different places about their loss. Here are some still from that class exercise:
That class exercise turned out to be very beautiful and emotive and it lingered in my mind for a long time, so I thought: why not exploring it further? And the more I thought about it, the more I could personally feel connected to the story and the more it mattered to me.
I wanted to explore the damage that losing a child can do on a marriage. It broke my heart that sometimes not even love is enough to pull through.
When recovering from my depression, it was hard for people to understand it and to not criticize, even from a place of love, my process. Was I healing too slow? Why if yesterday I was laughing today I can't get out of bed? Why do you sleep so much? Why haven't you answered my texts? Etc. I wanted to please them, to be okay, even if it was just for them. I learned the hard way that I couldn't rush myself, that I needed my own pace and my own way of doing things if I wanted to get out of the dark place.
And this is what Void tells and why it it important for me. I hope people can identify with it or at least comprehend what other people go through while healing.
What is left to talk about:
I want to give 'Void' the space it deserves in my blog. This post was just about the story and what it means to me. But there are other many things I will explain in the coming weeks:
The incredibly devoted cast
The super talented crew we already have
Other logistics and how we got them
How do we finance this?
Coronavirus disrupting our short film? Of course it is!
This has been an incredibly process where for better or for worse, I am learning so much. This is me, putting everything I have in this project, and I want to share the process with you.
Follow 'Void' on social media and give it some love!
Thank you so much for reading this post and for start learning about 'Void', this project means to much to me, and having you on board, just by reading makes me want to keep pushing with it!
Please, follow the project on social media and give it some love!
Your favorite Spaniard.