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  • Jason Richardson

Preparing for a Short Film... Maybe. No, definitely preparing.

There's a Google Sheet, one of numerous sheets in my Google Drive, that outlines my film plans for this year. Maybe not plans, more like strong ambitions that may or may not happen. Plans for Carry on my Words feature film, a new feature called Eternal Dusk, and even a music video or two for Future Children. Oh, and 5 ft - who knew how much of a prediction that series was nearly four years ago. More on that project and where we are right now with Coronavirus in a post or two down the line. Anyway, the goal for this spreadsheet was intended to stay on top of the projects and chip away at this years goals.

So it makes total sense that a new project with a working title of Spin Cycle isn't on this list. And of course, it's the project that I'm jumping on right now with late spring slated for filming .

Spin Cycle

I don't want to give away too much of the plot away to the three people that will read this post. It's got a couple twists that are sharp - revolutionary - no, but pretty well orchestrated nonetheless. On paper, they're good. It's always on the execution. I think it's worth sharing how I'm going to get this produced along with the crew. What steps it's going to take to get this off the ground and out in public. I'll even include what I'm listening to, watching or reading that are influencing decisions.

The Setting for Spin Cycle - AKA - Location Scouting

What's Spin Cycle about? Hold on - again, we'll get to that later. But the main thing to know is that it has two locations. There's a chance it could be three, but two main locations. I purposely wrote this script to be extremely self-contained and small. The idea for this short film was based on a quick run and gun improv session last year. That day, we kept it to one spot and it seemed appropriate to follow suit.

This is a sci-fi short film, but I didn't want it to have that pristine, glossy sci-fi feel. I'm looking more for Dark Star or Alien set design. Gritty, maybe even a bit disheveled. It should feel like someone went from Earth just this week and brought personal items to a station that's been in operation for decades.

Dark Star - 1974

Alien - 1979

Luckily, I was able to track down and get access to a manufacturing company steeped in science. It's the perfect blank canvas to mold into Spin Cycle's set. With some lighting, a little set design and camera work, we should be able to get this framed out and achieve the right feel. It's a clean place, so we'll need to do our part to give it that lived in feel. And we can take advantage of the current machines to bring in more of an established station!

Potential Spin Cycle Outpost


A handful of images from shows and movies that are providing ideas for props, costumes and set design. Legion, Annihilation, Maniac, High Life and Ex-Machina are top of mind for inspiration on Spin Cycle. Legion's organic and soft lights resonate as an influence for the main set location. But the darkness and grit of Maniac and High Life are a great contrast for the twist. The camera angles used throughout Ex-Machina can help drive the emotion and alienation of the stories main character. Annihilation has an error of eeriness and almost ghostly quality lurking in the shots listed below.

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