I’ve mentioned my short film, The Birthday Gift in a couple of previous blogs. I wrote the screenplay in a short film writing class as an undergraduate at California State University, Northridge. About a year later, with the help of an amazing crew, and fantastic director, Marie Tang, I managed to turn the script into a film.
With The Birthday Gift, I tried to tell an important story and bring awareness to the subject of child sexual abuse. Weaving the story of Hilary Parker took a period of two years. Writing the initial draft took less than a week, and that became a starting board for my research about the subject, and figuring out how to tell the story in the best way possible. Once my second draft was ready, director Marie Tang and I worked very closely in shaping the script and getting it ready for shooting.
As a writer, all I can hope is that people find something good in the story, my writing, and of course, the film as a whole. A lot of people worked very hard to tell this story, and they did it in very little time. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the luxury of a four or five day shoot. With five separate locations, and only a 2 and a half day shooting schedule, we scrambled to get everything done and tell the story in an effective way. The final product differs a bit from my complex script, but I am very proud of this film, and what we’ve all accomplished with it.
In some surprising news, I found out the Pomegranate Film Festival in Toronto will be giving the film what will likely be its final screening. The film is scheduled to screen on Saturday, October 23rd, at noon, as part of the Symphony of Film category. As an added bonus, one of my best friend’s two brothers each have their own films sandwiched between mine. What a perfect opportunity it would have been to travel to Toronto. If only I had found out about the screening sooner!
I would love it if anyone in Canada would go support this terrific festival and its films. For those of you not in Canada, you can view The Birthday Gift online as part of the Break the Silence Project or Culture Unplugged online festival.
Enjoy, and spread the word!
The Accidental Blogger