Cafe in Fall

Café in Fall is a visual poem led by narration which guides us away from routine and existential dread and into the sonic daydream of the natural world.

  • Forrest Sassaman
  • Forrest Sassaman
  • Chelsea Massey
  • Jaime Dufault
    Key Cast
  • McKenna Parsons
    Key Cast
  • Shuyuan Liu
    Key Cast
    "Cafe Goer"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, Lyrical, Narration
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 20, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Red Helium 8k
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Forrest Sassaman

After a brief stint as a stage actor in Virginia and then working at Red Lobster Times Square, I found myself in the US Air Force as a Chinese Language Analyst.

Confined by the structure of a military lifestyle and devoid of art, I quickly began making films as a means of internal exploration and escape. I would gather friends and coworkers, leading them into the jungles of Oahu Hawaii- where I was stationed - and together we would make movies.

I later went on to study film at Wesleyan University where I received honors for my 16mm thesis film GoGo 274, a sci-fi dystopia film about community which I made at the height of the pandemic lockdown.

Since then I have worked in and around the industry in all sorts of ways. From DPing a short film in Paris to shooting for non profits on Rosebud Reservation with the Lakota Sioux, to working in both camera and Grip and Electric, and then finally landing on starting my own production company Deep Star, my road has and continues to be long and winding.

Through the confusion though, what keeps me moving forward is my love of movies, my drive to make them, and my hope that my work will resonate with someone out there.

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Director Statement

Café in Fall came about as a means to escape. I was feeling, and to some extent I imagine will always feel, a profoundly helpless mix of existential dread and confinement. I think that these days we all experience varying degrees of feeling trapped, and I think Café in Fall visually explores what it is like to allow your mind to wander away on a cloud.

Many of my films lately have been a result of gritty producing and team building. I think that in the independent space and with little resources, you have to be gritty to get anything done. I wrote Café in Fall so that my crew, all of whom are good friends and many of whom work in and around the industry and always seem to be doing me favors, would have as smooth a production day as possible without taking away from the film. I think that there is certainly a balancing act between making the set an enjoyable experience and ensuring the product is worthy of that experience, but regardless, to make a film and to direct, is to, in a sense, force one’s will upon others or, maybe more optimistically, inspiring others to force your will upon the world.
Maybe a part of that is getting your collaborators to internalize the experience itself.

I hope to do more of these little vignette movies throughout the seasons as a sort of workshop between larger projects - either personal or client. I think that the most important thing for a filmmaker is to get in their reps, and they must do this any way they possibly can.