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Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019: 13 Moviemakers On The Joys and Perils of Making Short Films 

Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019: 13 Moviemakers On The Joys and Perils of Making Short Films 

Festivals

“Deep Tissue”

There are so many challenges to making a short film. They’re difficult to finance because there’s little to no guarantee of a return. They are often made on tiny budgets and therefore you have to be a constant cheerleader for your crew and collaborators who are working for little to no pay. But when thinking about one of the biggest challenges for “Deep Tissue” in particular, I think it was about telling a succinct, compelling story in under 10 minutes. I have a background in playwriting and my favorite stories have characters with labyrinthine roots, where we often only see the tip of their psychological iceberg. That’s what I wanted to accomplish here—two people in a room with one thing to do—but with backstories and complexities that subtly weave through the narrative. I also wanted people to scream. And to laugh. And to walk away a bit perplexed—so that was a lot!

My producer and editor Josh Wilmott and I got the short down to 8 minutes and 42 seconds, trimming a lot of fat and just trusting our audience would put the pieces together. We looked to the sound design, score, VFX, and color to really drive home the thriller tone. What’s beautiful about short films is because they’re so tiny, they allow you to really hone in on a singular vision and an intimate character-driven story. That and the grassroots vibe of short moviemaking combined allows you to really find your tribe, your film family. —Meredith Alloway, director

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