“Don’t Be Scared” Background

As mentioned in the initial post, Clerestory Productions is putting the final pre-production details on our upcoming short “Don’t Be Scared” these next few days before shooting commences on October 18th through the 20th. So, I figure now is a better time than any to explain some of the background of the short as well as a short synopsis.

First off, unlike previous short films in the Clerestory Productions repertoire, “Don’t Be Scared” is not written by yours truly. Instead, this short is written by our usual assistant director Samantha Segura, who is serving as screenwriter and producer on this project. A nice tidbit of information about the background of this short is that this is a script that’s been on hold for at least three years, starting when Sam started going to school in Columbia.

Why has it taken this long to be produced? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. For one, this is a script that is a bit of a passion project for Sam. Secondly, for a while there we were bouncing from group to group; not to mention, my job situation kept fluctuating for a number of years. Needless to say, the pieces were not fitting together as they should have.

However, ever since Josh Paney (DP and co-founder of Clerestory Productions) returned back to Illinois, we’ve put together a very solid crew where we’ve now produced four shorts under the Clerestory Productions banner, two of which are from this past summer. Because of the familiarity of the crew and the roll we have been on coming off the heels of “The Proposal Complex”, Sam and I agreed that now was the time to put the wheels in motion and produce her passion project.

Without divulging too much information, “Don’t Be Scared” is a dramatic family ghost story about a woman who must come to grips with the passing of her late uncle. It being a family story, it is no wonder that this is a passion project for Sam as the uncle featured in the film is an amalgam of four of her uncles.

An interesting note about the script is that while it was put on hold, there was quite a bit of tweaking this past summer when Sam revisited the script. For one, initially the story involved a young girl, but to make things easier on us, we elected to go with a late 20s woman instead. The larger difference though in comparison to the recent version is that the original script was longer and featured a good amount of dialogue, but instead of turning it into a talk-heavy short, we elected to have the visuals tell the story.

There is no mistake that I am excited for the shoot this upcoming weekend. This is a film that has been many years in the making. Not to mention this will be a first for yours truly as I have never directed a film that wasn’t my own script. More about that in another post though.

– Simon Mounsey, Producer/Director of “Don’t Be Scared”

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