Private Project

A Special Night - Short Film

(Dark Comedy)
Edward Woolf invites his closest friend over for a special occasion he's arranged. She rejects his proposal, which leads into a tenacious negotiation. Each struggles to gain control over the existential crisis that's come about.

  • Diana Kaluza
  • Diana Kaluza
  • Chuck Griffith
  • Alyssa Devine
  • Nicholas Wolfe
    Key Cast
  • Dasha Flynn
    Key Cast
  • Lou Peterson
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 31, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    28,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Diana Kaluza

Diana Kaluza studied film marketing and production at New York University. She's worked on several short and feature films, including "I Am Legend" and "Blackout". "A Special Night" is Diana's directorial debut.

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Director Statement

I wrote this script while dealing with an emotional wound. The circumstances vary, but the course of the story has repeated itself several times in my life. We’ve all fought for someone we care deeply about. And some of us have lost that fight at least once in our lives. The painful lesson repeats itself. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

My intention isn’t to impart doom and gloom. The audience should enjoy the playfulness of these characters and how they challenge one another. The style is a nod to the classic Theater of the Absurd (including character names from two prominent writers of the genre -- Edward Albee and Samuel Beckett). In this story, Edward decides his life struggle is futile. Having failed at developing healthy, romantic relationships, he chooses to accept defeat and give up on life. Sam refuses to let him quit. She cares too deeply even though she’s tried to keep a safe emotional distance. Tension builds in this tug-of-war -- each character pulling towards their own goal.

From a visual standpoint, I’m inspired by the rich, somewhat exaggerated colors in Baz Luhrmann’s, The Great Gatsby. Reality is likewise slightly distorted in the story of this tragic figure. The saturated colors absorb us into the world of Edward Woolf.

In casting this dark comedy, I sought actors who could convey the unique complexities of these characters and still maintain their humor. Edward’s narcissistic tendencies project an image of someone confident and satisfied. Below the surface, he struggles with his demons and uses codependent partners to build up his self esteem. Sam’s independent nature helps protect her and gives her a subtle confidence. She has deep compassion, but holds back scared of being hurt. Each character operates with their own level of fear and conviction.

The editing builds tension with shorter cuts as the audience anticipates the ending. I want them to become invested in Sam’s efforts to divert Edward from his objective, but also feel her optimism as she progresses. The tragic finale remains inevitable in the course of this story. We leave the audience to reflect on it within the context of their own experiences.

Log line: A writer delivers an unusual proposal to a close friend and instigates a battle of wills.