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We Need to Talk

A very short comedy where two friends finally confront their need to talk. Because they totally need to talk. I mean seriously. They need to talk.

  • Mishu Hilmy
    Written and Realized by
  • Kitty Fenn
    Key Cast
    Hot Summer Daze, The Book of Birdie
  • R Marie Dozier
    Key Cast
  • Giorgio di Campo
    Music
  • Akanksha Cruczynski
    Sound Recordist
    Close Ties to Home Country
  • Mishu Hilmy
    Editor
  • Post Maybe
    Post Production Sound Mixing
  • Post Maybe
    Colorist
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 21, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    750 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85:1
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography

Mishu currently writes, directs, and produces films of various lengths in Chicago; where the past winters have been so cold the only imaginable reason he has stayed must be undefeatable self-loathing. He has previously lived in New York (Brooklyn and Binghamton), New Orleans, and Whitewater Wisconsin—where you can go to find cheese hats, Miller High Life, and rock bottom.

Prior to filmmaking, he had spent the past decade desperately seeking validation in a profoundly unsuccessful career in theater and comedy. His theater experience—which can only be described as the opposite of lucrative—lead him to writing and performing in an original comedy special 'Trapped in the Netflix', devising the “diluted social satire” play 'Good Morning Gitmo', and directing the interactive theatrical experience 'Out to Get You'; which the Chicago Reader chronicled as “the sort of unwieldy mess only true ambition could create.”

Mishu is grateful to have taken a step away from theater and live performance to focus on filmmaking. Since the transition, he has written and shot six short films. He is now raising funds to shoot a feature film for a screenplay he has written.

He is forever thankful to Audrey, his family, and the casts and crews who generously share their time. But most of all, thank you to you in the audience: You are the gods and goddesses of this show.

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Director Statement

We Need to Talk. We. Need. To. Talk. We dot Need dot To dot Talk! So let’s talk.

I started to notice that when I bumped into friends—whether at sidewalks, events, or cash only dive bars—we’d spend more time talking about how much we need to get together and catch up than actually having a decent conversation. So I jotted down an idea about two people getting stuck in a circular loop of just talking ad infinitum about how desperately they need to talk—which, let’s be honest, is how it sometimes feels trying to reengage waning friendships. Maybe I just need less ambitious friends…

Once the script was written, a casting notice was posted on Backstage and I was fortune enough to find Kitty Fenn and R Marie Dozier. We met for a two-hour rehearsal to get a sense of rhythm, pacing, and tone. Then we shot it the next day at the Acting Studio Chicago: where the sound recordist was blessed to have a heater roaring over-head and a class next door filled with pre-teen thespians doing vocal drills.

The shoot took about three hours, and the edit took thirty. The script was explicitly written to be finished in black and white for several reasons.

First was to break through a yearlong creative implosion and to combat perfectionism (insecurity). I knew that if I had to be literal with color, it would be one more block, lurking doubt, and piece of resistance that would inspire fearful delay rather than action (getting hung-up on camera sensors, lighting source quality, costume, set dressing, make up, locations and whatnot).

Another reason was that I did not see this as a literal interaction, I thought it more a distillation of the sentiment of ambitious/busy people not making time to see each other: like a supercut of all the emails, texts, or passing conversations with what could be a potentially close friend who falls by the wayside for whatever reasons.

Lastly was budget. After spending a decade involved in theater and performing, I have a bit of a bleeding heart when casting. I make sure that not only does the crew get paid but the actors as well. So instead of spending hundreds on renting a delicious camera kit, I prefer to compensate the actors (two thirds of the budget went to paying cast and crew for their time). And because of that choice, I could live with shooting it on a Nikon D3200 I bought from a pawnshop seven years ago.

Thanks for reading, now I invite you to call or text a friend and get to talking about something meaningful.