gwen albers

BTS of New Short "Enough"

PART ONE (September 11, 2016):

Last night (1am this morning), we wrapped the first half of production on my new short "Enough." 

Logline: The lives of three women collide in one night when two of them decide to rob the house the other is house sitting.

I wrote "Enough" back at the start of 2014 and have wanted to make it since then. But after shooting Summit & 'Kelsey' without paying people, I really wanted to be able to do this film on a budget and pay the full team that makes it happen. After crowdfunding for "We Had Plans" and "Not Our Living Room," though, and experiencing how much even moderate dayrates ate up the budget for such short pieces, I realized I needed significant money to make this project. So I kept putting it on hold and trying to find funding. Last Spring, I thought I'd actually get to make it because someone I met on twitter was a fan of my work and a producer, and he wanted to fund it for the EP credit. He turned out to be somewhat of a creep though, and that fell through. (But it worked out for the best because everything kind of aligned perfectly this Fall, particularly with finding the perfect cast.) After shooting "Night In" last month (on no-budget) and feeling so at home being back on set (hadn't been since "Two Gays & a Girl" a year before), I realized that I just need to make this film. And when I asked everyone attached if they'd be down to do it no-budget but full-effort style, they were totally onboard. So thanks to a talented & dedicated volunteer cast & crew, and loans of equipment & locations from friends & family, this 12-minute short is finally getting made. 

As for the shoot, it started out rough: first our sound person bailed less than 2 hours before call (thankfully our amazing gaffer Jeff was able to pull double duty) and then we realized our 2nd camera battery wouldn't charge (our AC Diana was a lifesaver with this one) --- but the day turned around and it was fun and full of passion & progress. Despite the scorching heat & setbacks, our small but mighty crew pulled it off and we wrapped early! Our next shooting date isn't until the end of October. Our picture house is currently being renovated, but I needed to shoot a scene in my apartment before moving in October -- so it meant separating the 2 shooting days almost 2 months apart. It works out well though because it gives the cast some time to rehearse the choreography for the actual break-in! 

Check out 3 raw Stills from what we shot below. Because of our lack of budget, our DP Peter decided it'd be best to shoot on the Sony a7s for its low-light capabilities. We decided to embrace the grain and go for it. So we had our camera, 2 little LED lights, and that was it in a black car with black seats, with actors wearing all black, at night. I quite dig the look and I'm extremely excited to see what it all looks like after color grading. 

And even more than that I'm excited about just getting to collaborate with the team again next month & finish up this film with them. 

See BTS photos from the day:


PART TWO (November 1, 2016):

Saturday night, we wrapped production on "Enough!" I'd like to send a huge thank you to Joan Berger for letting us shoot in her beautiful home, and to the cast & crew for filling the day/night with productivity and fun. I can't thank them enough for their dedication to the project. It was a 12 hour shoot - a LONG night - but we pulled it off together, and I'm so proud of what came out of the day. 

Check out 3 raw Stills from what we shot below.

See BTS photos from the day:


Thank you shout out to:

  • Cast & Crew members: Matt Gershowitz, Peter Westervelt, Dani Thomas, Gwen Albers, Kristine Gordan, Jeff Davis, Diana Molina-Sosa, Nicole Solomon, Kelsey Rauber, Elizabeth Zambrano, Travis Youssef, Adam Lim, Christina Shea-Wright, Sean Mannion, & Ryan Kramer,
  • Cat Papadimitriou & Chris Haddix for loaning their camera,
  • Joan Berger (and family) for offering their house & car,
  • Marlene Mugalsingh for cooking (and being my mom),
  • Justin Petrillo for getting out of our apartment so I could shoot in it for the 5th time. 

-Christina 

"We Had Plans" Online Premiere

We've finally released one of our new short films, "We Had Plans" online. Watch it now and let us know what you think (or feel!) in the comments. 

See the Recap of our NYC PictureStart Film Fest Screening HERE.

Read about the making of this film HERE.

See the Recap of our Queens World Film Fest Screening HERE.

See BTS Photos HERE.

'We Had Plans' Nominated for Best Ensemble

Out of 143 films screening at this year's Queens World Film Festival, "We Had Plans" is one of 5 nominees for Best Ensemble! We're so excited about this & can't wait to keep you updated. The film screens on March 17th at 9:30pm. See the full list of nominees here: http://www.queensworldfilmfestival.com/winners/.

NYC PictureStart Film Festival "We Had Plans" Recap

Two weeks ago we had the world premiere of one of our new short films, "We Had Plans," at the 19th NYC PictureStart Film Festival. As a filmmaker who tends to stick to more comedy & genre films, I was a little anxious about what the audience reaction would be to more of an intimate drama. It was my first time directing something so small in scale, but rich in nuance & emotion. I suppose I'm used to being able to judge how the audience feels about one of my films because of the laughter that fills the room or sharp gasps from the crowd, so this was a new experience for me as a filmmaker.

In a small space, there was a nice turnout of at least 40 people. We screened in a lineup of 7 films. All the others in this particular lineup were so strong, in production value, performance and, most importantly, story. I was blown away by the films and have since gone on to like their pages & reach out to the filmmakers that I did not meet personally via social media. Kelsey & I are incredibly proud to have screened amongst such lovely shorts. (I will say though that while we loved the other films, it was disappointing to be literally the only female filmmakers in the bunch.) In terms of our film though, we were very noticeably the shortest short, and the only one to take place in a single room between two people (notably women) having a heated discussion. I wondered how the audience would feel, especially considering we followed a whimsical, landscape-heavy piece (with a gorgeous aesthetic, I might add). As it turns out though, people were engrossed in our film! I could feel it in the room that, while our brief runtime may have surprised people, it no less enamored them. Kelsey heard one audience member in front of us whisper to his companion, "I liked that one," as our credits hit the screen. 

After the screening, we were only able to chat with a few people, but we got some wonderfully surprising feedback. One audience member I had previously met at the Queens World Film Festival, who coincidentally ended up at this screening, said he loved it and that he was on the edge of his seat just as the film cut out, leaving him wanting more. Wanting more was a frequent comment from the audience. Another filmmaker from the lineup, whose film was just beautiful, said to me that he truly loved our film (when I went over with the intention of telling him how much I loved his). He said that he's been wanting to make a film in one space, but has found it difficult to execute. He said to be able to pull that off and take people on a journey with characters and tell a story in such a short time in such a confined space is a real accomplishment and we did that for him. He was "swept up by it." His words were clearly not just flattery, as he had no need to give such raw feedback, and I was utterly shocked and grateful to hear such a lovely assessment. (I wish my feedback for him was as eloquent, but I was so overwhelmed by what he said to me that I just kept using the word love in relation to all aspects of his film.) His friend, who is not a filmmaker, also chose to say something to me before I walked away and said that she loved the film too, and that it felt like watching someone trying to express themselves, and instead just making you feel it. And she emphasized that she "felt it." That was such a wonderfully odd bit of feedback that I really appreciated because I think it's a compliment to all of us, from Kelsey's writing (who was very much putting herself on paper in a vulnerable way), to the actors giving breathtaking performances, to my collaborations with Peter, our DP, and Jordan, our editor, to bring it all together in an intimate and sincere way. (And of course, we did not do it alone, we had an amazing crew of people who all added their personal touches to the film, making it work in many subtle ways). 

Anyway, we ended that night feeling pretty great. So far, the film has been rejected at two other festivals (ones I knew were long shots, but I crossed my fingers for anyway). We're waiting to hear back from about 4 more. Hopefully we'll be able to share this short with more audiences before we put it on Vimeo next year. In the meantime, enjoy photos of us at the NYC PictureStart Film Festival below.  

Photo credit: Mark Jude (pulled from NYC PictureStart's social media). Additional photos from the festival overall found on Facebook