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FILMMAKING: Directing and shooting my own short film – the sequel

CTRL ALT ESCAPE starring Rory Munro, Cailean Tait and Blair Munro

I already had one short film in the bag.

I already knew how stressful the process was and had learnt the hard way that meticulous planning was the key to success – this is especially true if you don’t actually employ anyone or have any budget to speak of.

However, despite the challenges faced the first time around, I decided to do it all again. And thankfully, this time proved to be just as insanely difficult as the last.

The first challenge was drafting up an idea for a story. I had long been fascinated by the notion that the monotony of everyday life was like a prison and if you wanted, you could just escape it all at the drop of a hat. This became the central idea of my film, CTRL ALT ESCAPE. The only problem was that the story required the use of multiple locations and not all of them would be easily accessible.

Close Up: Shooting Cailean during one of his scenes
Photo credit: Blair Munro

For instance, one scene involved the use of three houses in close enough proximity to one another that they would fit into the one shot. After a lot of time spent recceing – film speak for scouting places – I found what I was looking for. Now all that was left to do was convince the inhabitants of said houses to let me use them. For free.


Improvising: Using an office trolley during a tracking shot
Photo credit: Blair Munro

Another problem arose when one of the guys I had asked to star in my blockbuster dropped out. Unlike most directors, I didn’t have a little black book filled with Hollywood stars that I could call upon, so I took it upon myself to visit a local drama club to find a suitable replacement. After some negotiations about salary, Cailean – my new stand in – settled on a Freddo and a percentage of the box office revenue.

To this day he’s still waiting for his cut.

For advice on making your own short film check out this link.


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