The city at night, a couple alone. A scream from the woman, the smoke of the gun…
In a refreshing piece of storytelling, ‘The Pavement’ blurs the lines of conventional linear storytelling and becomes an intense memory recapitulation and revelation.
The overall concept for this story really started with the structure. I was thinking a lot about what separates a short film from a feature – in my mind short films present a lot of narrative challenges but I wanted to somehow use those limitations to my advantage. I think creating a short film is really difficult because there’s always the question about how you make something work in such an odd amount of time.
If told in a regular linear fashion, this storyline could of possibly slipped up as an overly dramatic soap opera innuendo, but here it’s all about timing, and the way and order we receive the information as viewers, that builds up the greater story in the background.
Are the best short films condensed versions of a feature? Short standalone scenes? My opinion has always been that the best short films are the ones that take really play to the strengths of the format, so I wanted to try to find a story that worked best in 3 to 5 minutes. I also had this idea of starting at an almost microscope view and slowly zooming out to reveal a scene, and simultaneously I was imagining this rhythmic narration that was almost like a poem. Then it became an exploration of what exactly those details that we’re seeing are and how they change when viewed at different angles and speeds. My brother Blake and co-writer Christopher Connors really helped me to figure out what the story around those details was and how it all fit together.
We always found that using black and white in short films comes off as being somewhat of a cheat out of lighting, but sometimes, it just brings out the best of a film and its story. The contrast in ‘The Pavement’ mimics it’s blatantly sharp storyline, and the black and white accentuates the lighting rather than hide the lack of.