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Bringing the Words to Life

February 19, 2015

Tags: Short story, short film, screenplay

A writerís goal, his reason for being, is to get the words down onto the page. If heís lucky, the words and the story are good. If heís exceptionally fortunate, someone makes the effort to read the words. So, what is the writer to think when a cast of talented actors and a crew of skillful filmmakers agree to invest their time to bring the words and characters to life? He thinks heís the luckiest person in the world and witness to the magic of film.

Not too long ago, I spent a day on the set for the short film, Out of Touch. After writing the short story of the same name, an old friend and filmmaker suggested that the story would make a great film and he asked me to write the screenplay. Sure, why not, I told him, knowing it was a minimal additional investment on my end and not expecting much to come of the wishful suggestion. And then there I was, on the set and watching as these people who I had never met before, actors, spoke my words and brought the characters to life.

It was unbelievable.

I arrived on the set at 4:30 a.m. at a local bar up on the northwest side of Chicago. It was a Saturday morning and the bar had just closed an hour and a half earlier. The smells of the night still lingered in the air. At a time when the place should have been dark and dead, when the rest of the world was at home and dreaming, the place was buzzing and alive with crew and cast members preparing for the shoot. I was there, awake, but dreaming as well.

After I introduced myself to the cast and crew, I took my place in the back, out of the way and unnoticed, and I stood there for more than ten hours with my eyes wide and mouth open in awe as I watched the artists engage in their craft.

I feel I'm the luckiest person in the world and I want to thank everyone who was involved in bringing Out of Touch to the big screen. A special thanks to our director, Danny Ahlfeld, for making it happen. You are a fine and passionate filmmaker. I also want to thank Michael McDermott, Julia Kessler, Paul D'Addario, Ron Dean, Frederick Husar, Samantha Bailey, Tom Moore, Bill Boehler, George, Gene McElligott, Lauren Stasio, Zach Ruddell, and Gary Gordon. The filming was a great experience and I can't wait to see the final cut.

Iíll see you at the theatre!