"Thank You" is a fantasy-drama short about a man who discovers that his refrigerator has the ability to give him everything that he wishes for...or rather, almost everything...
Given that the theme of the semester is "not-real", I took the opportunity to have fun on this project by having a rather fantastical premise. Though the theme of fantasy opened up the film to infinite possibilities, I still wanted the core of the film to be very much grounded as a human story. This therefore led me to craft a story where the fantasy element in the film only exists insofar as it serves the wants and needs of the protagonist. A magical refrigerator that 'fed' its owner with more than just food was the result.
I suppose the main challenge for me really was trying to tell a properly structured story in 3 minutes. Upon finishing the script the first time, I thought runtime wouldn't be an issue since 3 pages of script roughly translates to about 3 minutes of screentime. What I didn't realise was that with drama, it was harder to gauge between script length and screentime since key emotional scenes cannot be rushed or they will lose their impact and just fall flat. As such, a test shoot of the original script of the film yielded a runtime of roughly 4 minutes or so. As this exceeded the runtime that we were given, I realised that I had to make some tough decisions in the editing process in order to reduce the film down to its barest elements. Overall, a good lesson in editing and story.
Another challenge that we faced was figuring out the shot list. Since the kitchen was very much a tight enclosed space, it was challenging to get the shots we wanted without the right lenses. Fortunately, shooting on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, we were able to use 16mm and 24mm Kern Paillard lenses, which enabled us to shoot wide even in such an enclosed space.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the way the project turned out and very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly principal photography can be if all the appropriate preparations are done in pre-production.