During quarantine, I stumbled upon a group of filmmakers based in Copenhagen. These filmmakers, known as Burning Boat, are producing a documentary on anxiety.
The craziest part is, my short film might be in their documentary…
How do you make a short film on anxiety
When I saw the above video, I was automatically drawn to make something for the documentary. I wanted to create a film that I could be proud of, so I started at the drawing board.
While it doesn’t look like a lot, it fits the criteria. The filmmakers were looking for a short video close to 1 minute long, so I worked out a script and then compiled a shot list.
I began by choosing a soundtrack for this short film. I like to build my films around the music which I choose for them, so I put a lot of thought into choosing a song. I had recently been playing Life is Strange and I was obsessed with the incredible music and sound design the game possessed. I decided to use a song from the game, “Crosses” by Jose Gonzalez. This song talks about struggles in a beautiful way, and it was the perfect song to show how anxiety often makes us feel trapped.
I wanted the first shot to pan up from the grass and then focus on my head. This was to show how anxiety plays tricks on our minds and traps us within our own head. Then the shot would fade out.
With a clear idea for the first shot, my parents helped me film it.
For the next shot, I wanted a sequence that incorporated “life moves at a very fast pace”. I was thinking about driving around and filming the blur of the city lights, but I stumbled upon an iPhone video that I had taken on the Brooklyn Bridge. This video was perfect because the sun created a beautiful light distortion.
For the following shots, I pulled from past videos and the things which I had access to. Surprisingly, around the time I was filming this, a bird had set up its nest right on our deck. It made for a great timelapse.
For the last few shots, it began raining so it worked perfectly with the quote:
Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it just as we have learned to live with storms.”— Paulo Coelho
I filmed the last few shots in the rain, and they came out great.
Just like that, I had finished my short film on anxiety.
Once I finished this film, I sent it to Burning Boat, and they loved it!
I also thought that while I was at it, I might as well submit it to other film competitions. I submitted it to the HOPE Hall of Personal Expression contest and I was chosen as an honorable mention and won $250!
While it may not be the highest quality film or the best writing, I made something that I am proud of. I made a film that tells the story of anxiety and highlights some of the real struggles of anxiety. After making this film, I became interested in doing more. The desire to create had been ignited, and I went on to produce the Outspoken Narrative. A docuseries which me, and a group of my friends, have been making for the past few months. This desire to create continues to burn, and I hope to continue honing my craft as a filmmaker and writer…
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