In the face of death we all come to question our own path. “I’d Like to Be Alone Now” is an ensemble dramedy that takes place in one location – the house of a mourning widower and father. When Kyle loses his wife and three children to a car accident his entire family comes to help him mourn but instead they all turn inward to examine their own lives.
Desperate for some private time for introspection, Kyle decides to nail himself into his room with some scrap wood. His brothers, friends, parents and even housekeeper are left to tend to him while they try to put the pieces of their own broken lives back together.
“I’d Like to Be Alone Now” is written in a fast-paced, dialogue/character driven style similar to David Mamet or some of Woody Allen’s work from the 80’s like “Hannah and her Sisters.” A more recent film that shares a similar tone from the independent world would be “The Squid and the Whale” starring Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, and Jesse Eisenberg.
Part of what makes this film so exciting is its simplicity of execution. The entire film takes place in one location without any night scenes, special fx, children or pets. Essentially there’s nothing that typically slows down a movie from getting finished.
The actors we’ve been able to cast are not only amazing, talented people they’re also on board emotionally. The script for this film is not a popcorn type movie where you can phone in a performance while you hang out in your trailer for most of the day. Our cast is not getting paid their normal quote to say the least. They’ve agreed to be part of the film because they’re excited by the style of acting and story and are putting their heart and soul into their performance.
The sole reason I want to direct is to be able to work with amazing actors and the only way to ensure that you are able to work with amazing actors is by writing parts that are challenging and rich for them to play and I’ve always strived to do just that as a writer.
The entire film will be shot in a series of long hand-held and steadicam shots. If you’re not familiar with a steadicam, just think of those long shots in films where the camera follows an actors as they walk but the camera stays super smooth and has virtually no bounce. There’s something hyper-real about a steadicam shot. The movement is poetic, subjective, and exciting all at the same time. The camera starts to take on a personality in and of itself and in the case of this film it becomes another character. The camera is us. We are the camera dropping in on this family during this trying time. Having long shots means that we can’t suddenly zoom in to a close up or cut away to another room. The camera is forced to have a perspective and a point of view much like a person would.
Also, because the camera is roaming around the entire house for the whole movie we’re quite limited in where we can place our lights. We can’t very well have light stands and other grip equipment littering the set because they would inevitably be in the shot. What that’s done is force us to use beautiful, soft natural light that gently illuminates the actors faces and wraps portions of the house with an etheral glow. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones they often use this exact technique.
In the photo below you can see how the light shining from the left just kisses the actors faces and the backs of their heads while simultaneously casting a glowing beam in the distance behind them just past the door in the upper right corner of the image. This is the lighting palette that we’re using for this film.
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