Our ambition as storytellers is a blessing and a curse all at once. We create a ton of content every day. We literally have digital piles upon piles of writing, footage, sound, and research stored on our hard drives. And yet it is such a small percentage of what we want to do. We sometimes forget in the day to day of our operation how much we do, and how much we’ve done. We constantly feel like we’re doing nothing. Some days are such a struggle to get through because of it. It felt like we were in quite a bit of that when “The Bench” was birthed. I was brushing my teeth, Melody was in her room and she was talking to Josh on the phone. I walked in her room and told her we need to create. I told her we should just go out to the bench by the lake in south shores and shoot something. I told Josh I wanted him to do it too. After Melody and Josh finished their conversation, Melody and I figured it out. The three of us would go to the lake bench Sunday afternoon and make a short. No script, no rehearsal, just shoot. We got delayed. It was frustrating because we felt like it might become something we talked about doing, but don’t actually do. I think Josh had a prior engagement and couldn’t do it that Sunday, so we rescheduled for the following one and kept our fingers crossed.
We got to the lake later than we had hoped. The sun had begun its descent, but we had enough light and time for what we wanted to do. By this point we had run through different ideas of what we would do on the bench. Maybe it’s a drug exchange. Maybe I’ll cry and Josh will console me. The idea was a conversation would take place and we’d see what happens. The first couple takes didn’t feel magical. Josh and I weren’t really connected, and Mel didn’t have a ton of playroom for the photography because the lack of realty before the lake. (We shot the bench at this little bed of water near our house. Its surrounded by a little bit of grass with a few benches spread out and a walking path) But then we decided to try a silent take. No words, just physical representation of the emotion, that’s when it hit. We got the moment we came for. We tried a few times to replicate Josh going over the bench, but it never really worked. The happenstance of him and I really diving in, and trying to take over the bench gave us that little bit of magic we were hoping to find.
Melody handled post-production herself and brought me in for a second opinion when she had a cut of the short. It looked great. Everything came together beautifully and it felt like we fell into something interesting. We showed it to the rest of DreamStreet and got a positive response from everyone. Everyone we showed it to applauded our work, and we decided to upload it onto our YouTube channel. It was our first short in years. It was exciting to watch the numbers grow and see people were actually watching our project. The most important thing that came from “The Bench” was inspiration. It seemed to light a proverbial fire amongst the group and since then we’ve been producing short films weekly, and uploading them on our channel. We now have 7 short films, 2 clips from our feature and the trailer to the feature, with plenty more to come.