Revisiting Running in Place
Think you need to see a therapist? Nah. Make a short film. I remember showing this short to some people and I'd always preface it by saying. "This is loosely based on my personal experiences", but after rewatching this short I can definitely say that I was absolutely fooling myself back then. Dear Lord, this was about me all the way.
Watch then read below.
I purposely made Alex's dream nebulous. I didn't want it to be something specific, because everyone's dreams are not my own. Not everyone wants to be a writer or a storyteller. I wanted this short to connect with the audience on the level of having a dream to be something else. And all 31 people that watched it on YouTube probably got that message.
David Pollard (Alex) and Ashton Moore (Earl) were great and awesome to work with. You probably saw that brief cameo by my friend, David Ian Lee. We always like working together and the location of the movie theater is no longer in existence. Torn down for another building. This was also one of the first productions where I didn't edit the final cut. Have I mentioned I'm not a fan of being an editor?
I'm also a bit unsure of my choice to have a non-linear storyline. I think it works, but I wonder if having it more linear would've been better. I believe I was afraid of their conversation in the coffee shop being too long for the audience. That might've been a mistake. Can't shy away from long scenes. Sometimes, cutting back and forth harms more than helps. But I made the choice back then to go non-linear, so I'll stay with it now.
Imagine your life as a road. One lane consists of everything you need for a happy life. Family, friends, a stable job. Now imagine the other lane is full of dreams, wants and desires. Can you change lanes so easily?
The problem with that tagline is the assumption that the second lane, the one full of "dreams, wants and desires" would not lead to a happy life. That's probably my biggest issue with this short. There isn't two lanes. Up until I made "Running in Place", I always viewed my need to tell stories and my reality of my life as two opposing forces. No wonder I was running in place. (Get it? Oh yeah! Thick as molasses, that title is)
The real message of this short is to get off your ass and create. Tell stories. Make choices. Fail. Fail. Fail. Learn and fail again. After that short, I created two web series, published a book, wrote several screenplays and have countless other projects in the on deck circle ready for their at-bat. (baseball metaphor) I also had three children (not right after the short, more like throughout), worked a job, made a home with my family, apparently started running a shelter for animals (I have 3 dogs and 2 rabbits) and currently about halfway through a graduate degree in Interactive Media.
Stop blaming others. Start creating. Stop making excuses. Start creating. If you have a dream, go for it. If you want to do something else with your life, work towards that goal. Yes, having a family is a responsibility, but it's not an excuse to not create. All those meetings and phone calls you have with friends and it ends with "We should do something together", stop hanging up the phone and start saying:
"Yes! Let's go! Let's create!"