I originally wrote this script to use in New York at the NYU Summer Film Intensive I attended in 1994. It was not chosen as one of the final projects for the course, so I kept it under my hat until I had enough money to shoot it myself. It was written without knowing what kind of locations, interiors or exteriors, I would have access to in New York. So, in a sense, the script was sort of modular while still providing a dramatic drive and structure.
This short film was made in February/March of 1997. Principal photography took eight and a half days and editing took a week and a half. It was shot on Super16, using one camera, with the exception of the shootout sequence where we used a B camera. I learned to use an Avid editing system I rented the afternoon it was delivered.
This project taught me several things: to trust my instincts, to shoot with at least two cameras in the future, and to never do another short film project. The same amount of money I spent on this short would have allowed me to shoot a full-feature, using MiniDV technology, and a feature can be sold to some market. Shorts have practically no market. Of course, in ’97 MiniDV was pretty new. But it’s quickly taken hold, as shown by the many Hollywood and independent films made using that incredible technology.
If I do shoot another short film, it’s going to be no longer than two or three minutes since I believe that the whole short film category is populated by films that are way too long. I tell other filmmakers to take cues from advertising and TV commercials. Those are short films that tell complete and entertaining stories and all of them are constrained to do so within 30 seconds— 29.8 seconds to be exact.