Private Project

Pick Me Up

When a wayward substitute teacher finds himself in the company of a young boy in the school’s pick up lane at the end of day, he is surprised to find that this chance meeting is exactly what he needed.

  • Allison Tolman
  • Allison Tolman
  • Allison Tolman
  • Erin Doyle Cooper
  • Toby Meuli
    Key Cast
    "The Sub"
  • Dezi Salinas
    Key Cast
    "The Kid"
  • Demi Waldron
    Director of Photography
  • Casey Nimmer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 17, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Allison Tolman

Allison Tolman is a Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actress who successfully avoided actually making a living in the field until the fall of 2013, when she landed a seminal role in FX’s Fargo. Her performance as Molly Solverson put her on the map and garnered her a Critic’s Choice Award. Born in Houston, Texas- Allison holds a BFA in theatrical performance from Baylor University. After graduation, she moved to Dallas where she helped found and foster the independent, ensemble-based, non-profit Second Thought Theatre- while also learning that being an adult is super hard. In 2009, she relocated to Chicago and was accepted into Second City's Conservatory Training Program.

Producing theatre taught Tolman to think in macro and become unrelentingly solution oriented- skills that would eventually prove useful as she moved into serving as a creative and executive producer in film. In 2021 she wrote and directed her first short film, Pick Me Up. While she continues to act, Tolman plans to focus heavily on writing, producing, and directing moving forward. Her time in the theatre and comedy worlds generated a deep love of the collaborative process, and more than anything she enjoys the practice of helping others break story, improve their scripts, and get things done. Tolman currently lives in Hollywood with a toothless cat named Bud who enjoys sleeping in the sun and sneezing directly into her face. Other notable acting roles include Natalie in The Facts of Life, Live!, Mary Pat in Good Girls, Alma in Why Women Kill, and Seemingly Normal Woman that time she met Katey Sagal at a party.

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Director Statement

Having come up in the theater and comedy scenes before being cast in Fargo in 2013, I felt drawn to the other side of the camera but unsure of how to make my way over there. During the Covid 19 Pandemic I began shadowing directors on my acting gigs, determined to learn about other facets of the business and hopeful it would lead to directing opportunities. I later produced a short film for my friend Erin Doyle Cooper and left the shoot feeling I needed more practical experience of the dirty, technical business of directing. I wrote Pick Me Up as a way to create that experience for myself.

My nephew Dezi is on the autism spectrum, a diagnosis which can lead to difficulty connecting with others. I have never found this to be the case with him. While understanding his speech was nearly impossible for most of us until he was almost six, he has always been hyper communicative, expressive, and funny. I wanted to write something to capture him at this exact age- just before puberty, but still a little boy- thoughtful, kind, and sweet. Pick Me Up is a simple story about a kid who has it all figured out and a man who does not. It’s a time capsule of one of my favorite humans at a tender age, and my way of carefully prodding at the truth of my own life- that I don’t have it all figured out, that sometimes I don’t know what the next right thing to do is, that being an adult can often mean feeling utterly lost, and that sometimes we just need a win.