Smoke & Mirrors is an eight minute film that I produced for a cinematography course. The narrative is visually-driven in that there isn’t one line of dialogue. Instead, my goal was to tell an intriguing story through the combination of powerful music and performances.
Here’s a brief description: Amber is the woman of Cecil’s dreams. Alone in the world, they spend the night together.
Late Night Coffee is a dialogue-driven short film. There isn’t much action. And the location doesn’t change. Instead, the four walls create an environment somewhat detached. The only connection to the outside world is the characters and their stories.
Here’s the summary: Will and Trey are studying for an exam. But there’s no such thing as an all-nighter without coffee.
In the spring semester of my Sophomore year, I had the wonderful opportunity to make my directing debut. I had long anticipated writing and directing a film of my own. And with this class project, I finally made the transition from film student to filmmaker.
Only for me this wasn’t just a class assignment. I cared deeply about this project from beginning to end. And it may sound strange coming from a 20-year-old. But I feel as if this film was my first child. As the writer, I conceived the idea in my head and assembled it on page through draft after draft. As the director, I oversaw its production and facilitated its growth from words on a page to faces on a screen. As the editor, I weaved its numerous parts into a whole that was polished and ready to show to the world.
The experience of taking on each phase of production was invaluable. It’s one thing to learn about writing in class. Or read about directing from a textbook. But as Marvin Gaye would say, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing.“ It is this firsthand experience in which mistakes are made and mishaps happen. And only with this crucial dimension of learning, can one be truly knowledgable.
Sure. Revelations likely won’t won’t be screened at Sundance. And it surely won’t win an Academy Award. But I’ll always remember this project as a part of something greater. It marked the start to my career in film after all. And for that, it forever holds a special place.
Here’s the logline: Jesús and Gail have so far kept their engagement a secret. But this all changes when Trudy, a friend of Gail’s mother, pays a surprise visit one morning.