A group of travelers’ fateful encounter while stuck in a bus station overnight.

Sometimes not much narrative is needed to tell a solid and engaging story. In Mason W Dixon’s ‘Early Departure’, a simple location is the core of the storyline, where the environment almost takes on a character of its own.

It was birthed out of location scouting for another project. I found this bus station in a small TN town, and fell in love with the aesthetics. The project I was scouting for didn’t work out, but I wanted to shoot something at this depot, so more or less on the spot I came up with the short. I’ll be the first to admit there isn’t much of a plot, but more of a slice of life with the depot as the centerpiece. I felt it was really the main character, with the cast providing the mystery and entertainment around it.

It closes at night on weekends, so meticulously planned every shot beforehand and went in and shot over a long weekend last year. We brought in some of our own production design, such as the seating and our own lighting.

Claiming that there was really no reason to make the film other than exercise some creative muscles, Mason truly took advantage of the given depot by building a suspenseful and rising situation. The mystery itself drives the momentum forward while the fabulous cast delivers a stellar performance.