Eye Through Lens | Experimental Drama Short Film | Ladera Ranch, CA

“Eye Through Lens” follows a recent high school graduate who takes pictures of people at the park, but one day he is caught in the act. Travis, our main character, struggles with his physical and mental health, and he uses his camera to connect with others. The way in which he decides how to cope with his issues creates a form of stalkerish characteristics that haunt his normal suburban setting.

My name is Jack Parker, and I am an 18-year-old filmmaker from Southern California. I’ve been making movies for as long as I can remember, but did not try to make anything too serious until last summer. During that summer, I decided if I truly wanted to be a filmmaker I must dedicate myself to the cinema. So, I set a goal to watch and study 3 films a day. I had to schedule this around 4-5 hours of water polo a day as well. It was tough, but I am now grateful for the hours I put in. Next spring, I’ll be majoring in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

This film came out of my previous failures. A few months ago, I decided to direct a short film starring my friends. I got my cast and crew together, and we set out to make what I thought would be an easy script to film. My presumption was incorrect… We got through about half of the film, but It was in the middle of AP testing, and nobody’s schedule seemed to allow for 2-hour shoots after school. Sadly, I decided to scrap the film. I wasted my friend’s time and effort on something that we never finished. So, I created this film. A film that I could do with a very small cast and crew to regain trust. So small in fact, that only 3 people had to work on it. These three included my best friend and cinematographer Audrey To, my actor neighbor Gavin Blackwell, and myself. We did everything, and for the first time, I even acted in my own short film.

Since the cast and crew were so small, I had to set limitations on myself. The biggest was that I had nobody to hold a boom. So, I wrote around it. The dialogue is depicted differently than most short films because of this one decision. I wanted the viewer to feel isolated from the conversation, just as Travis would feel in a confrontation with another person.

This has all been an amazing learning process. I’ve learned how to shoot a zero budget short film with a very small crew. I’ve pushed myself to focus on how and why I edit, and to create a solid pace throughout the film. Finally, I’ve learned that you just have to trust the people you work with and let them truly shape the character they play. Nothing that the writer puts on the page should be set and stone for the film.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story. I put a lot of my heart and soul into this film, and hopefully it all works. I would love feedback, especially constructive criticism, and can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

-Jack Parker

Email: Jackparker17@icloud.com
Instagram: @jackparkerfilms
Youtube: Jacked Toe

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