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Jesse’s Girl

Ashley has second thoughts that come to a head during her bridal shower. The chaos crescendos to a fever pitch and Ashley takes explosive action to avoid a future she may regret.

Hindsight may be 20/20, but it can’t undo past mistakes. Ashley falls victim to familial pressure and her own rosy outlook, ignoring her gut instinct about her fiancee. The chaos crescendos to a fever pitch at her bridal shower and Ashley takes explosive action to avoid a future she will regret. The U.S. divorce rate hovers around 40%–why don’t more people make better choices when choosing a partner? How do familial and societal pressures nudge us towards a potentially bad decision? And why don’t we listen to our deepest gut feelings? This film is about a woman who finally starts listening to herself and attempts to alter the path she is on.

We (Caitlin and Keegan) developed the script over 2 years and 26 drafts, with Caitlin writing and Keegan giving notes. The initial production budget was privately raised, largely from friends and family. Jesse’s Girl was shot in three days at a friend’s house in Santa Clarita, with an additional pickup day after the initial shoot. We shot on Canon’s C300 with a small grip & lighting package. We had a crew of twelve, with equal gender representation. Our cinematographer Sean McDaniel did a lot with a small amount of resources and we were lucky to get a SteadiCam operator for a few hours on one shoot day.

Keegan got his start as an editor, so after the shoot we got right to work editing the movie. We knew we needed to raise additional money to afford a professional sound mix, color grade, score and film festival submission fees. So we cut a teaser for the film which helped us raise the funds necessary for post production via a crowdfunding campaign on Seed & Spark.

We love the musical score created by David Cieri and the sound design by Keegan Duncan. We loved working with those two artists to create an immersive soundscape that elevates the visuals of the film.

Jesse’s Girl is the type of film which the story just grows on you through its characters. With every little discovery we are constantly whirlpooled into this unique crescendo, built up not only by the main character (played by Caitlin Norton), but also the supporting cast who bring an important amount of reason into the film’s catastrophic turnover. With its very dark twist, the film still holds a good the humorous side which sort of eases us through the end.

Our goal was to create a film that sets a grounded lead (Ashley) against heightened but real characters in a world that seems familiar. We want the audience to ride the rapids of a river with Ashley as she struggles through a nightmare of a day, getting pulled in multiple directions as she tries to listen to her inner self about what she is feeling.

Keegan and Caitlin produced the film together from start to finish and in doing so discovered a unique working relationship. We hope this short can advance the acting and writing career of Caitlin and the directing career of Keegan. We are currently in the development phase for our next project, a low budget comedy feature film about a hustling mother and daughter duo that has a similar tone to Jesse’s Girl.

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