The Bench

Three women from different worlds meet unexpectedly at a park bench and share their stories and hardships, connect, and support one another in a brief but influential moment before continuing on their way.

  • Ivy Bona
    Director
  • Ivy Bona
    Writer
  • 28 Productions
    Producer
  • Hard Out Media LLC
    Producer
  • Tatiana Pavela
    Key Cast
    "Spencer"
  • Ivy Bona
    Key Cast
    "Mia"
  • Lia Lee
    Key Cast
    "Jenny"
  • Ben Bach
    Director of Photography
  • Ben Leiataua
    Assistant Director
  • Trina Griffin
    2nd Assistant Director
  • Peter Carrs
    1st Assistant Camera
  • Brett Benson
    DIT & Unit Production Manager
  • Phil Ryan
    Production Sound / Boom Operator
  • Preston Standiferd
    Key Grip
  • Adam Rosencrantz
    Gaffer & Best Boy Electric
  • Christina Perry
    Script Supervisor
  • Gabriela Noble
    Production Assistant
  • Karen Mann
    Production Assistant
  • Ivy Bona
    Art Direction
  • Ben Leiataua
    Art Direction
  • Memphis Ribic
    Hair & Makeup Consultation
  • Taryn Graham
    BTS Photography
  • Trina Griffin
    Covid Compliance Officer
  • Henry Honig
    Editor
  • dQniel Kaufman
    Colorist
  • Hannah Judson
    Original Score
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Drama
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Ivy Bona

Ivy Bona started making short films and home movies when she was in elementary school. She loved the whole process from the creation of the concept to shooting and editing. When her movie making friends & cohorts “grew up” and went off to study other subjects, Ivy continued to explore film as she ventured into the local Seattle film community. While she mostly participated in front of the camera, she was equally interested in the larger filmmaking process and took notes. She decided to try her own hand at writing a screenplay which quickly turned into a film in progress. At first unsure about stepping into the role of Director amongst a seasoned crew, she ultimately decided she wanted to learn the technical processes of navigating her vision across the whole project.

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Director Statement

At the end of 2019 I decided to try my hand at writing my first screenplay. Having recently graduated from the U.S. public education system, I watched the different directions taken by friends and pondered the prescribed paths that we had been taught to value. I wrote the screenplay in a frenzied purge.

This was my first attempt at a technically professional film and I knew I wanted to start with something logistically simple that could be shot by a small crew on a tight budget. I wanted a single setting and a limited number of characters, just enough so they could each find commonalities and differences over the course of a brief encounter. Many of us have had momentary exchanges with a stranger at a park bench at some point in our lives. The camaraderie of a shared park bench can console and inspire in unexpected ways.

I had not yet planned what my next steps would be for this screenplay, but a couple of days after finishing my first draft of The Bench, I saw a post from a DP on a film chat group. He was looking to collaborate on a narrative project. Even though I wasn’t quite sure if I was ready to move forward, the timing and the opportunity were so fortuitous that I sent him my freshly penned screenplay. He liked my attention to the technical requirements of setting and was up for shooting my film. We spent the next month or so planning and creating the story boards with a goal of shooting in March of 2020. I reached out to a friend for AD and Production assistance. A crew was starting to come together. As we began compiling the crew and equipment needs and posted our audition call, Covid 19 was making itself known and we had to quickly adjust our plans. We switched to online/video auditions and pulled together a crew of professional and semi-professional experience levels, who were willing to commit to an undefined shoot date in the future. Once we had cast the film, we began rehearsing virtually, which ended up giving us more time to prepare and develop.

By the end of summer 2020, we were able to start making tentative plans for our shoot date and get our permits approved. The film was shot over two wonderful and cold days in early October at the Washington Park Arboretum. The crew was fantastic and everyone worked together to bring The Bench to life. The next ten months were spent doing post production via remote communications and learning what we missed in the planning and shooting phases! And yet we still figured out how to pull together the vision that inspired the screenplay a year and a half earlier. I've always been someone who learns best by doing. The Bench was a marvelous learning experience every step of the way, a wonderful collaboration of talented and hardworking people, and a great introduction into the professional culture of filmmaking.