"I AM" Production Notes

Shoot Dates: *2 hour time slots 

Directors: Zack Arp and Bryan Dale

Story: Bryan Dale

Production: Zack Arp

Creative Direction: Ren Toner

DP: Andy Madeleine

Styling:  Tara Nichols

Hair: Rachel Burney

Makeup: Amy Clarke

Voice Over - Tonya Ingram

Example from previous work:


Create a short film that identifies the common human experience that we all share by crafting a strong visual story coupled with a passionate, spoken-word poet's voice-over, that will draw from personal and relatable experiences.  We will focus on real stories and real moments that every viewer will relate to and be inspired by. The film will empower the viewers to live their lives on their terms by encouraging a foundation of self-worth, self-love, and unwavering confidence in the belief that we are able to live doing what we love, making the most of our situation, and knowing that our future is determined by us.

One Sheet:

Every person we show will represent the characterization of the voice over. It will touch on numerous moments from the past from these people's lives... so while we're hearing these stories of the past hard ships and good times, we're seeing these people doing what THEY LOVE DOING now. "I live... therefore I am." 21st century model of Descartes " I think, therefore I am". Pull these vignettes together at the end with repeated "I am" statement, encouraging that humanity is able to overcome and that we have the ability to create our lives.  


1. Flashlight tag

Roy, Charles, Joy, Maris, Josh


Open with shaky handheld shot of one person running / stopping to catch their breath and look around. Next shot shows other flashlights / people running, but still unrecognizable or chaotic. Third shot reveals the first character and other friends together playing tag. Scene starts mysterious / spooky and ends playful and energetic. *HAVING FUN

2. Couple sneaks into pool

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Markel hops over a fence and starts taking off shirt and pants before jumping directly into the pool. Once he resurfaces he turns to look back at Amanda.  She's stuck on the other side of the fence, still nervous about sneaking in. After some convincing from Markel who's floating in the pool, she decides to climb over the fence. Once over, she comes right up the edge above Market and crosses her arms with a smirk. He makes this expression, like 'really?', which prompts her to jump in fully clothed, right on top of him. The remaining shots are all underwater of them swimming together. *TRUSTING SOMEONE

3. Driving up coast / crying watching sunset

Christopher Mason

Open with wide drone shots, medium shots from a car next to the Cougar, and close ups of Chris driving up the coast by himself in his convertible. Contemplative and thoughtful. He eventually pulls off just north of Morrow Bay to watch the sun go down and he begins crying. *PROCESSING LIFE

4. Couple sitting on mattress smoking

Saam + Michael 


First shot shows only the top half of Sam and Michael smoking while sitting next to each other leaning back against the wall. The next shot will show them on a mattress on the floor in the room to give more context, and in a way that implies that they're dating. The last shots will be close ups on their faces as Michael goes to lean his head on Sam's shoulder. Brief cuddling involved. *BEING IN LOVE

5. Friends long boarding 

Hailey, Austin, Moses

Shows a group of 3 friends all long boarding together, focusing mainly on Hailey. The fun of long boarding with friends is our main focus, until we see Hailey picking up so much speed, that she gets speed wobbles and jumps off the board to save herself from falling. She's laughing and enjoying the process, but there needs to be a moment of panic or fear that's immediately replaced by this adrenaline filled excitement. *LAUGHING AT YOURSELF

6. Cliff Jumping

Shows our main character looking over the edge and feeling hesitant / unsure about jumping while taking off his clothes to jump into the water. He looks back over his shoulder and we see his friend, already running naked in full sprint toward the cliff. We watch as he jumps out to the left of our first character, hollering as he launches off the edge. After watching his friend jump off, our main character rushes to finish undressing and run back to get enough momentum before also jumping off. The whole scene should be fast paced and high energy. We need to see the fear and hesitation of the first character and the crazy / fearless attitude of our second character. *OVERCOMING FEAR

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7. Someone shaving their head

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We open on our character pacing back and forth in their living room, clearly contemplating something. After a few quick shots of them in different parts of the room, they leave the room and step out of frame. The next shot shows them looking at their reflection in a bathroom mirror before they pull out a pair of clippers and start shaving their head. The last shot shows them looking back at their reflection again, with their hair all around the counter top and floor. The haircut feels spontaneous and youthful / fun, but also necessary. Not too happy, not too sad. *STARTING OVER

8. Pizza + friends sunset moment

Keith Powers, Angel Haze, Reed Byrd, Julie Dreiling, Keal Naihe, Harry Hains


Group of friends eating pizza watching the sunset, but focusing in on Keith's story. He's sort of in his own world, playing with the pepperonis he's been pulling off the pizza and stacking together on his paper plate. He looks up and meet's eyes with Julie, who's been watching him the whole time while their friends have carried on normal conversation while hanging out. When Keith looks up and makes eye contact with Julie, we see that they share an understanding and connection without having to actually say anything. They both smile at each other and she may reach her hand out to his, as if to say "I'm here for you."  *FEELING UNDERSTOOD

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9. Bloody nose after wrestling

Adryan Hanson, Jorden Keith

The first shot opens on Adryan fake boxing in the living room. We show a wide shot first and then close up on his expression, which is mixed between focus and ease / lax. The next shot will show Jorden coming into the room and them laughing / joking. After their friendship is established we'll show them both fake boxing / wrestling each other with wide, medium, and close up shots. A final and different shot will show one with a bloody nose, and them laughing together after the fact.      *CARELESS

10. Kiss stranger on subway

The scene opens on Pyper and Sunny whispering to each other at the end of the subway car. Another shot reveals Hart and Lucky standing a few seats away having their own conversation. It's clear that the two groups are separate / strangers.  Pyper keeps motioning and giggling with Sunny, and begins nudging her towards Hart and Lucky who are still unaware that the girls have been glancing over toward them.  Suddenly, Pyper pushes Sunny toward Hart and Sunny goes in for the kiss.  Hart is completely surprised and both he and Lucky seem to be in shock.  They immediately begin laughing while Pyper grabs Sunny's hand to run off the subway car together before the doors closed behind them, leaving the guys still standing laughing together at what just happened. We follow both stories a bit further, showing the girls laughing together and catching their breath in the subway station, and the guys looking back out of the window trying to see where the girls ended up as the metro car leaves the station.  *SPONTANEOUS

11. Falling through ice


Open with wide drone shots of somone walking across a frozen lake. Next few shots are medium to close ups of him pausing to take in everything around him. He eventually starts making his way back to shore, when we see him fall through the ice. The rest of the scene is the most dramatic and climactic sequence in the film, as we watch him struggling to resurface and pull himself back onto the ice. We see him falling and struggling, but we never show the resolution of him making it back to safety. *FIGHTING FOR LIFE