This actress got sides for an audition and hired me to direct it, light it and shoot it like a scene from the a movie. We simply had her friends read the other parts off camera. As a result of this audition demo, she got the part.
How do you take a one act stage play with two people sitting on a couch talking and make it cinematic?
When writer and lead actor, Jack Heller asked me to direct his script, The Gift, as a short movie I said, “If I can figure out a way to get these characters off the couch for most of the movie, I’m in.”
Jack and I had recently worked together so I was confident with his acting ability. When I met Catherine Carlen, who would play the love of his life, I knew their performances would be honest and strong together.
However, I was still not compelled to watch talking heads in one location for eight minutes so I decided to place the story in three different areas of the their home and add flashbacks. As divisive as flashbacks can seem I knew it would work if we could cast the perfect young lovers. Jon Levinson and Tara Hunnewell are magic in those moments and complete the unfolding love story so exquisitely portrayed by Jack and Catherine.
The Gift is more than the title of this bittersweet movie. We all received the gift of perfect collaboration to create a moment in time that is sure to stir provocative discussions and touch many lives on many levels.