HERO is a dark comedy about a man who saves a very attractive woman from a burning car.
Script: I wrote this script around 2018. I liked the idea but there were some technical aspects, like a car fire, a news station set, and some visual effects, that I didn’t think I could believably produce at that time. In my opinion, a short film like this can lose a lot of people when the shots aren’t visually convincing.
Casting: Casting this movie was a no brainer. I’m a stand up comic in Boston and am lucky enough to be surrounded my a lot of talented comedians. I didn’t have to hold auditions or watch tapes because I’d seen everyone in the movie perform on stage countless times over the past two years.
Production: I shot this movie almost entirely in my apartment. As much as I would’ve liked more space for lighting and camera movement, I didn’t want to give myself the excuse of inconvenience. I knew I couldn’t say, “well its going to be too inconvenient to find a location” if the location was my living room.
The initial plan was to shoot 95% of the script in my apartment and then get the other 5% in two separate locations. The first night of shooting at my apartment we worked from 5pm to 2am. Unfortunately, we only got 93.5% done. I’m sure we could’ve found a way to edit around what we were missing but the cast was nice enough to comeback for a few hours on another day and help finish the remaining 1.5%. (I'm aware this is needlessly confusing)
Directing: This is the first movie I’ve gotten to direct without having to do the cinematography as well. This is good, because I’m bad at cinematography. You should see how many buttons the cameras have. I’m eternally grateful to my talented cinematographer, Rick Dorrington.
My process of directing is to try and shoot as close to what I wrote on the page as possible. My background is in screenwriting so I feel much more comfortable doing the bulk of the directing and creating during the writing process. This particular shoot was fairly straight forward except for a choking sequence. I knew the movie hinged on that looking convincing so Rick and I were careful to get a lot of coverage from different angles.
Editing: Editing the film was honestly very fun. We got some great performances from all the actors: Dan Hall, Monica Carroll, Casey Durkin, Jonathan Tillson and Will Noonan. It was a pleasure to sift through their takes and pick out what fit best. The movie has a lot of comedic elements so it was definitely important to get the timing write.
The only tricky part of the editing was the choking scene I mentioned above. I wanted to build tension before the choke as well as have the actual act of choking look as real as possible. I think the actress falling out of frame did a lot for believability. I also sped up the motion of her fall just slightly so it appeared she fell harder than she did.
Thank you for reading. Here is a trailer for the film: