Up next on GRTV Shorts: Shadows. A new film by Geoffrey Young Haney, shot entirely in one take. Haney is a local filmmaker currently living & working in Grand Rapids. He shared some insight behind the making of it all - the collaboration, the technical challenges of shooting in a single take, & even holding a boom mic himself from the hayloft of a barn.
What is Shadows?
Geoffrey Young Haney: Shadows is a story that, at its core, is about guilt, and the difficulty of finding resolution or closure in the wake of tragedy.
How did you get your start? What influences you as a filmmaker?
I have been writing screenplays since high school and in 2012 decided to finally further my education by attending Compass College of Cinematic Arts. There I got a lot of chances to hone my craft and develop a number of stories for the screen. I am inspired by all sorts of artists from a wide range of mediums -- not just film. I tend to gravitate towards stories that are a little strange, a little surreal, and I love speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.) From a directing standpoint, I'm much more of an "actors" director. I let the other people on set do their jobs with the technical stuff, and I love being able to build a trust with a solid cinematographer (which I feel Craig and I had from minute one; we had never worked together before.) But really, I feel I am there as a director to serve the script and get the most out of the actors, which was part of the reason I was excited to take on a project like this.
Where did the idea for this film come from? How did the project start?
I was approached by Joseph Scott Anthony (one of the actors in the piece) to concept an idea for a website called Takeaway Scenes. The idea was to shoot something that relied heavily on performance, meaning you would use natural lighting and not cut the camera. We thought it would be a fun challenge to shoot something with all these restrictions, you know? So Joe brought that proposition to me and he and I -- along with Dustin Wilfert (the other male actor in the piece) tossed some ideas around. I brought forward something I had bouncing around in my mind for a while, about a man who commits suicide yet has to keep reliving that moment in the afterlife, never escaping the pain of it all. We took it in a bit different direction in development, landing on a different, maybe not so obvious perspective on such a situation (embodied by the female role, played beautifully by Kimberly Harsch.)