Embarking on a journey to bring your creative vision to life is both thrilling and challenging. In this blog post, I want to share my incredible experience of making a one-shot short film “Runaway” during my travels to Iran in 2020 amidst the Pandemic. Despite the constraints of time and budget, I managed to assemble a passionate team, overcome difficulties, and create a project that was inspired by my dreams. Join me as I take you through the ups and downs, the fears and triumphs, and the invaluable lessons learned along the way.
The Birth of a Dream:
It all started with a dream I once had and a movie I watched. Inspired by the gripping one-shot camera work of the film “Extraction,” I had dreamt of a story that would captivate audiences in a similar way. Through modifications and personal touches, I shaped my dream into a short film concept, fueling my passion to bring it to life.
Against the Ticking Clock:
Armed with only two weeks in Iran, I knew that time was of the essence. Although we could shoot for only three days, I was determined to make every moment count. To achieve this, I had to carefully plan, strategize, and allocate resources wisely, ensuring the production was feasible within a limited budget. In this whirlwind of deadlines and logistics, I was incredibly fortunate to have friends who supported me relentlessly. They made countless phone calls, pulled strings, and went above and beyond to make everything possible. Their unwavering dedication and assistance were instrumental in turning my vision into a reality. Their selflessness and willingness to help exemplified the true spirit of collaboration and made the seemingly impossible, possible.
Assembling the Dream Team:
One of the greatest challenges in indie filmmaking is finding talented individuals who share your passion and are willing to work on a minimal budget. Luckily, I was fortunate to have Parham Ebrahimzadeh as my Director of Photography (DOP) who was instrumental in bringing my vision to life through his exceptional camera work and masterful movements, and Mahan Nazari as my dedicated assistant, I like to call him the guy who made everything possible and gave me the confidence into taking the first steps all the way till the end. Their expertise and commitment elevated the project to new heights, infusing it with visual brilliance and efficient coordination.
Casting the right actors is crucial to breathe life into any film. In my case, I was lucky to work with incredibly talented actors like Siavash Farzi, Erfan Yousefnejad, Kamyar, and Faryar Jafari.
Working with people or children who are not professional actors can be both challenging and rewarding, I had the privilege of working with two young brothers, Kamyar and Faryar Jafari, who brought an extraordinary level of intelligence, patience, and enthusiasm to their roles. Despite their lack of acting experience, they embraced the project with an open mind and an eagerness to learn.
Their presence on set not only added authenticity and charm to the film but also served as a reminder of the pure joy and untamed imagination that children possess.
Lessons from Past Failures:
No journey is complete without its share of setbacks. I acknowledge my previous attempt at making a short film called “Grandpa Ali”, which didn’t reach the desired outcome due to my lack of experience. However, that failure served as a valuable lesson and paved the way for my growth as a filmmaker. It taught me the importance of honing my skills, learning from mistakes, and persevering in the face of challenges. The experience with “Grandpa Ali” taught me to value the journey as much as the destination. It’s not just about the final film but about the growth, the lessons learned, and the meaningful connections formed along the way.
From Fears to Sweet Success:
Filmmaking is a thrilling rollercoaster ride, filled with fears and difficulties. From managing time constraints to overcoming unexpected setbacks, each challenge became an opportunity for personal and creative growth. With the unwavering support of my dedicated team, we conquered these obstacles, bringing my vision to life. Witnessing the final product resonate with the audience filled me with an indescribable sense of fulfillment and reinforced my determination to continue creating impactful films in the future.
Making a one-shot short film in a limited timeframe and budget was an ambitious endeavor. However, my journey to Iran provided the perfect backdrop for this creative pursuit. With a passionate team, talented actors, and valuable lessons from past failures, I was able to overcome challenges and produce a film that closely aligned with my vision. The experience was a testament to the power of determination, collaboration, and the pursuit of pure passion. I hope my story inspires aspiring filmmakers to chase their own dreams and turn them into reality, regardless of the obstacles they may face along the way.