In the beginning of my Directing Certificate program at UCLA Extension, I had to go back to the very basics of filmmaking. The first exercise in my course was a Black-and-White MOS film that was supposed to be a static shot, max 1 minute in length, without dialogue or music – but still had to tell a story with beginning, middle and end. I set out to depict the ups and downs of a relationship as told by the body language of a couple.
It felt so good to be back that I was immensely inspired by the LA flair for my first exercise. I think I will never get over the beautiful palm trees, the city’s golden glow just before sunset and the proximity to the ocean. And because UCLA is very close to Santa Monica and Venice, I decided to shoot on the beach, the waves of the water being a perfect symbol for what I wanted to convey with my story. Footprints in the sand are a great way to show the way a couple has to go to find each other, over and over again. And water is commonly recognized as a symbol for connecting with our emotions.
After intensive people watching under the California sun on the beach, I spotted a couple that had a very strong chemistry and they were happy to help me out and act in my short video. Sometimes, it is that easy. It is a very basic exercise and a very simple film, but I was amazed on how powerful and real such a purist setup can be. Enjoy!