I’m a stubborn man. Sometimes it gets me into trouble.
Earlier this year, I was hell-bent on shooting my first short film called ‘Blame’. It’s a comedy about the longterm effects of bullying. The words ‘bullying’ and ‘comedy’ do not often appear in the same sentence, for good reason. But I think laughter is a valuable medium for difficult subjects, and I have things to say.
I work for Shark Pig who has a wealth of knowledge from the commercial and film industries. I work hard, and I had money saved up. So I was suddenly in a position to write and direct a film! Exciting right? It was! But by the time it was done I felt like Ben here (this is a screenshot from the film).
Why? Because I’m stubborn.
This film wreaked havoc on my financial, physical and emotional wellbeing. But that’s because I made classic mistakes that could have been avoided. Here’s an incomplete list of examples. For any professionals out there, these are probably no-brainers. But they weren’t for someone like me.
Writing explosions and car crashes
Leaving too much for post (not being practical)
Shooting without permits in private areas
Asking too many favors
Saying, “We’ll wing it.”
Producing, Writing, Directing, DP’ing, and Editing a 20-page script
However! This is not a blogpost about failures. On the contrary, this project marks a great success in my life. This film is complete. And because it exists, it is a win. Even though it was difficult, even if people think it sucks, the crew and I made something together. And people might like it!
So now I’m in a strange position where I, along with Shark Pig, can potentially lend some helpful do’s and don’t’s to filmmakers out there who are trying to do the same thing. It’s hard to give specific details without spilling the beans too soon, but the crew and I did something kind of impossible. Plus! We’re still hungry for more and we’re about to shoot my second short in November, and we’ll be able to see how we can put these lessons into practice.
Since the film is being submitted to festivals, we can’t put it online yet. So instead, Shark Pig and I will share sneak peaks here on the blog – along with a full list of the bonehead things I did to make this film happen – until we can share it.
If you’d like to follow along, just check in with this blog and follow me on instagram at @mrwadekoch. I’ll also post any festival successes.
In the meantime, here is a little preview: a synopsis, some stills, a list of cast + credits, and a short clip. Hope you dig, and thanks for reading!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to my friend Mylissa Fitzsimmons (more on her and the mind-blowing value of friendship to come) who is helping me navigate the festival world. Without her I’d be winging it right now. On top of that, she’s a talented and prolific filmmaker. Follow her on @mylissafitz to keep up with her films and festival appearances!
A lot of talented people worked on this film! Here is a full list of credits.
Written & Directed by
Sean Harrison Jones
Executive Produced by
Director of Photography
Art Director & Wardrobe
Makeup / Hair & FX Makeup
Satern and Pond5
Fast Toys, Inc
Atwater Village Tavern
Nordoff High School