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My idea for quite a while had been to create a super short ‘micro’ film - under 60 seconds to help improve my storytelling abilities by forcing me to use the essentials only, plus something I could use as the start of a series of short horrors.

I had created many shorts before, but never anything like this.

My thoughts continued on this for some time. Always thinking, writing. But the ideas kept expanding, growing.. Which was great, but no good for my micro idea. Putting those larger scripts away I decided a meeting with my DoP, Sam Hoggarth, was in order - A great visual technician, and always has a keen imagination for films. Ideas were bounced around but again nothing seemed to stick.

It was on Sam’s final idea, something that seemed to come out of the blue that was the winner. It seemed so outrageous a horror I knew it would work immediately. So I started formulating the script right away. After a quick back and forth with Sam, it was ready to be unleashed on those who would help us create..

The team was a small, not quite a full film crew but there was enough for this. Seemed quite fitting given the timeframe. We didn’t need much. A location, an actress, some blood.. Someone who would be happy to play dead. The usual. For me at least.

We had planned it well, and not tried to stretch ourselves to thin. Keep it simple. Keep the focus on the concept.

Our actress got into her part with extreme gusto. Feeling it, being.. There were lines written, but it was felt that some improvisation would help add to the part. And it did, the lady in red was born. Only on screen for less than 60 seconds, but an upmost driving force for the story.

Alongside Sam helping the visuals along in his professional manner, the team stuck to their roles well - even our ‘corpse’ helped out with the lighting.

I feel that doing films in really tight timeframes makes you think harder about you want to visualise, and what really needs to be filmed to tell your story. This is the perfect tool for those starting out as it allows someone to get their work out for not a lot of expense, being creative with the items to hand.

-Written by Danny Cotton, Director of Dinner Date.

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