This story originally came to me when I was taking Animation my junior year, which unfortunately got quickly thrown aside because of the realization that Animation was simply just too hard to do such an extensive concept. Understandably, the story was just an inkling of an idea at the time, but when we were required to write up a short film synopsis for any idea, I wrote off of this idea in 30 minutes before class. (Sorry Mr. Taylor)
Fortunately, people in my class loved the idea, and that’s when the world’s best partners agreed to do my film with me! For the next 5 month’s, my co-directors, Elen Parry and Sydney Tomasello and I poured our time, effort, and hearts into this idea that was made out of haste into a complete, cohesive film.
“An average joe’s night turns for the worst on a typical laundry run”
Car pulls up to the laundromat, and car parks. John gets out of the car, grabs his baseball bag, and walks into the laundromat. He sets the bag down, and begins putting his clothes in the washing machine. He pulls out his Walkman, clicks play, and begins listening to his music. He hears the door chime over the sound of his earbuds and turns to see who it is. John does a double take. It’s a girl! She’s really pretty. John slowly takes his headphones out, as she walks closer to him. She chooses the machine next to him, and sits down. After glancing at his Walkman a couple times, she finally asks why he has one. They share some dialogue, and some awkward spaces in between. He hands her an earbud, and right as she’s about to take it, she gets a phone call. Her face changes, she’s not scared, but her eyes harden. She exits the laundromat, walking to the right. As she reaches to put her phone in her pocket, something falls to the ground. John goes to inspect it. It’s a flashdrive. He tries to get her attention, but she’s already gone. He puts the flash drive in his pocket, and sits back down. John pulls out his phone, and types in “How to talk to girls”. He begins reading it, when his machine beeps, his clothes are ready.
He’s loading his clothes back into his bag when he hears the door chime. Is it the girl? He turns, but instead the girl, it’s a man. He’s wearing all black. There’s something sinister about him. He begins methodically searches around the room, looking down the aisles of washing machines. He starts yelling at John, but he has his earbuds in. John looks confused. Who is this guy? He grabs our protagonist and throws him against the machines, screaming at him. Our protagonist is frightened, he’s not able to get his words out properly. From his jacket pocket, he pulls out surveillance photos of the girl. Is this guy a spy? Frightened and unable to speak, John points in the direction the girl left in, hoping that gets the guy to leave him alone. The guy leaves the store. Our guy sits there in shock for a couple of seconds. He’s glad the guy is gone. The girl is in danger. He realizes what he’s done, and frantically runs out the door, towards them. He grabs his baseball bat on the way out.
Protagonist gets to the corner of the building, and feels someone grab his arm. It’s the girl, and she pulls him to where she’s hiding. He pulls back, and motion to her that they need to leave. They start walking together. They turn the corner, but the antagonist is there waiting for them. He walks up to our protagonist, and punches him. John drops the bat, and falls to the ground. He hits his head on the curb, and passes out. The spy grabs the girl, and begins pulling her away. Suddenly, the girl knees him in the stomach, and a fight ensues. Both seem trained in fighting, and it’s an even match. For a split second, John regains consciousness and sees the fight. What is going on? He passes out again. The spy punches the girl, she falls to the floor. As he begins approaching the girl, she gets up, elbows him on his left side, then punches him in the face. He falls, she runs inside the laundromat. She begins frantically looking through her laundry bag. A shadow falls over her, in a figure of a man. It’s the spy. Just as he’s about to grab her, he clutches his left side, and doubles over in pain. He turns around, and his head gets knocked back. He falls, and we see John standing there holding his bat. The girl gets up, grabs his hand, and they run out together. They get into his car, and leave the parking lot. As they’re driving, John reaches into his pocket and gives her the flash drive. She takes it, and a small smile can be seen from her face. She reaches to turn the radio on, and it’s the song from earlier. They share a moment, laughing at the serendipity. We see the car drive off.
Love, Calamity: Behind the Scenes
The process of creating of this film was incredibly stressful and at times super hard, but due to the good communication between me and my partner’s and already-built chemistry from previous years, we were able to go through this incredible process with ease. Down below, we have a few stills from editing our film that I loved so much.
In preparation for creating our film, we practiced acting so we could understand the direction we would give our actors, as well as understand how to memorize our lines and learn how to act ourselves. We were randomly paired up and we got to choose any 2-4 minute scene from any film that we wanted to. I was paired up with Owen Pustell, and we decided to do a scene from the iconic Whiplash scene where the protagonist is late to the concert and is dangerously close to losing his beloved part in the jazz band.
In preparation for Narrative 2 films, we recorded, filmed, and performed a scene that was given to us by Mr. Taylor. Then we edited the footage to make the audio that we recorded separately to match up with the footage.
Light Scavenger Hunt
To learn how to do proper lighting, we practiced using multiple different lights in the film room and created a short video showing examples of the different types of lighting.