Just Desserts, 2014
Directed by Nezua
A girl who feels bullied and blue finds a magical and unexpected escape route from her tormentor.
Hey hey hey! Here it is, finally. The short film I directed using chlldren as actors. Luna (8) and I cooked up the story idea, I wrote it up into a treatment and then I storyboarded it. Luna shot most of it under my direction, and I shot the last scene, in which she acted.
That scene feels hot and dry, and it was, in truth. The girls grew impatient, and I didn’t blame them. It was sweltering. In fact, Scene 3 is the only one we shot out of sequence, so they could do their shots and get out of the 95 degree heat. I had water in the shade and they would run to it between takes. On the other hand, their discomfort worked well for the ‘card shark tumbleweed’ vibe that I wanted for the scene. There’s a lot more to tell about this film, but I’m going to save my thoughts, and interview the kids, and get it across in a mini docu of ‘the making.’
Directing children requires being very creative and flexible, as they have a short attention span, and less tolerance for the grueling workload that making even a short film requires. But these kids were amazing. They ‘got it,’ kept at it, did multiple takes, adjusted to direction, stayed out in hot, hot weather, worked long days (4 hours in sun), and grew to understand continuity issues, the disjointed nature of shooting a narrative on film, and the illusion that media presents. They gradually fell into their characters, and I’m very proud of Juilan, who is an Aspie, and in that sense, inhabiting concocted moods and showing experience in the face through expressions is not natural for him.
All the kids are very proud of the work, and laugh and jump at all the right moments when we watch it over. They are looking forward to the next film. Hope you enjoy it.