Schlep

After getting fired and being dumped, a former children's show writer vacations in a desert bed-n-breakfast to put his life back together, but gets caught in the middle of his best friend's marriage.

The trailer can be viewed here: Schlep's Official Trailer
Scenes from the film can be viewed here: Schlep's Official YouTube Scenes

Awards

Official Selection - First Glance Film Festival 2017
Best Comedy/Dramedy - Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival
Semi-Finalist - Los Angeles Cinefest

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Director Scott Dunn approached me to shoot this project back in May 2015. The nature of the film was Mumblecore and Scott wanted the movie to feel like a Joe Swanberg or Duplass Brother's story. Mostly handheld, one-shot scenes based in realism. Noticeably, however, the film begins in black and white to distinguish the past from the present.

The Wrestler, directed by Darren Aronofsky and shot by Maryse Alberti as well as the Dardenne Brother's work served as a reference point for the decisions I made on set and in prep.

Each scene had a general plan devised in prep, but Scott and I were patiently aware that the not only the blocking, but location, script, and characters for a scene would change at the drop of a hat. We chose this style of filmmaking because of the characterization mumblecore brings to the screen. However, the nature of that style uses the hurdles the production process gives to guide the scenes, rather than the script. The plot never changed, but the content of the scenes were up to Murphy's Law.

Despite this chaotic nature, I focused on keeping the realism of the scenes ligthing intact. Very much like Francis Ha, I utilized what the location was giving me. For example, the house had a bay of windows  that ran from East to West on the South side of the building. Scott and I worked the blocking to avoid the window light as a flat key.

I loved working with Scott. His optimism and tenacity for creativity fueled our collaboration to cleverly block the action within scenes for simplistic, yet effective one-shot coverage.