Private Project

Have a Nice Day

Have a Nice Day is a dry comedy that follows the story of three everyday strangers trying to live while they can, with the destruction of Earth just on the horizon. Eli is a 20-something who’d rather be at home playing video games instead of working his job as a liquor store clerk during the end of the world. His boss, Lawrence, a middle-aged divorcee, offers Eli a bonus if he buckles down and does his job well. On the off chance the world doesn't explode, Eli hesitantly agrees as his landlord is breathing down his neck for rent. When a 16-year-old girl, Tina, approaches the counter with a fake ID trying to buy alcohol, Eli turns her down. She punches him in the face and leaves with the beer anyway. Eli, battered and bruised from his scuttle, goes for a walk outside to find Lawrence and Tina goofing off and throwing empty bottles just to watch them shatter. This frustrates Eli, being promised a bonus to work hard in the face of imminent death while his boss gets to play hooky. Lawrence reveals the bonus was fake, he too was just trying to escape his existential dread and his wife leaving him. Tina, frustrated by Lawrence's betrayal, forces him to give Eli his bonus anyway. The three strangers step outside after a busy day of doing nothing. The three strangers, now turned family, accept their shared trauma, crack open a beer, and watch as an asteroid barrels toward Earth. Cheers, to the end of the world!

  • Ethan Lien
  • Harrison Brown
  • Trey Daub
  • Sam Evins
    Key Cast
  • Brittany Mendoza
    Key Cast
  • Harrison Brown
    Key Cast
  • Justin Owens
    Key Cast
    "Homeless Man 1"
  • Ian McKracken
    Key Cast
    "Homeless Man 2"
  • Amadeus Bennett
    Director of Photography
  • Alex Kimose
    1st Assistant Director
  • Hannah Sheldon
    Production Designer
  • Makayla O'Malley
    Script Supervisor
  • Hunter Thompson
  • Stevenson Sakalian
  • Ethan Lien
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Apocalypse
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 10, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    4,925 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 - Ethan Lien

Ethan Lien is a Denver-based filmmaker with a passion for telling stories and visual art. Ethan specializes in directing and editing, winning numerous film festival awards for his work. =After finishing his BFA in Film and Television at the University of Colorado Denver, Ethan has continued to work on numerous short films, music videos, and commercial projects, continuing his 7+ Years of experience in the Denver film industry. When he’s not on set or editing at his computer, Ethan is outside shooting 35mm film on his favorite stock Kodak ColorPlus 200.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Once I began reading Have a Nice Day, I was instantly excited. I knew that thematically this was a story I could tell well and differently. Our characters, Eli, Lawrence, and Tina, are deeply flawed people, yet their actions are "excusable" due to the incoming asteroid about to destroy the planet. This dynamic between, not only our characters but with imminent death leads to a fun, exciting, and quirky, dark comedy. These characters are faced with death and must silently accept their circumstances.

My goal is to make this an exaggeration of real-life dark comedy. Characters know their circumstances are absurd, yet they accept them as part of their world. Each of our characters represents a piece of ourselves when faced with such an existential threat; depression, rebellion, quiet submission, routine, and most of all fear. Emotions and feelings we all experienced with the pandemic, are brought to life by over-the-top and fun characters, along with existential dread looming directly overhead, all shown through a cheerful light.