“Burrito as a Pet”
A Pens to Lens Short Film
Roles: Director, Producer, Production Design, Director of Photography
Smile Politely: “At the Pens to Lens gala, the audience also wins.”
This script was written by 13 year old Devante Derrickson, and it was 2 1/2 pages long. It made me laugh out loud for how random it reads off the page, and I thought it would be a fun challenge to do a script with almost no provided details. I decided to infer a lot from a single line of dialogue that Maria has and made her a dark villain. I cast Blad Moreno, an improviser friend of mine from Second City, because I knew he was down to experiment and try lots of weird things. This short was shot in about a day and a half with pretty minimal crew.
The opening sequence of the film is probably my favorite. Not only does Jessica Limardo (Maria) kill it, but it genuinely translated exactly from my head and shot list into reality. I believe I gave Jessica the direction of, “imagine you’re a nurse that just got off an 18 hour shift of people yelling at you to come home and find your boyfriend is a mess and doesn’t even acknowledge your presence.” This whole scene is based off of one line in the script that just says Maria gets a cold drink for herself. It was super fun to put together.
Because being both a director and a DP can be chaos, I had great help gaffing from two great friends, Andrew Gleason and Oliver Peng. Me being me, however, wanted to operate as many shots as I could. In this specific instance, I didn’t feel comfortable asking anyone else to assume a kind of dangerous jib/ladder situation. 🙂
I also just *had* to throw in a Shawshank Redemption reference.
Production design for this project was a ton of fun, though I’m fairly certain the folks at a few stores think I have an insane obsession with a dog. Because there was almost no dialogue in the script, I had to infer a lot with production design. The script just states that “Pablo loves Chee Chee.” Here’s my take on that.
I was unfortunately out of state in a wedding for the premiere of the project, but here’s my co-director, Adam, with Devante, the writer, and his father.