Private Project


Officer Joanna Parker has seen a lot of death already in her short police career, but has escaped the terrible predicament of one of her loved ones becoming a victim. Until now. Joanna walks into her nightmare - her best friend, Ellie, is dead. Overcome with emotion, Joanna leaves the crime scene... only to find herself in the same room. Joanna tries again, and again, with the same result. She has become a prisoner to the crime scene. Overwhelmed, Joanna decides the only thing she can do is solve her sister’s death. As she investigates, clues begin to materialize: traces of spilled wine and vomit, a ring, a photograph, and initials spelled into dust rings. The story forms in Joanna’s mind - her sister was killed by someone close to her, on a date that went terribly wrong. Joanna recognizes the initials in the dust rings as her partner's, Officer Daniel Chaff’s, initials. At that moment, Daniel walks into the crime scene, and the clues begin to disappear. Fueled by grief and panic, Joanna cannot decide whether she has uncovered a terrible truth, or been driven insane.

  • Tori Layne
    Imagined, A Year Ago Yesterday
  • Tori Layne
    Imagined, A Year Ago Yesterday
  • Tori Layne
    Imagined, A Year Ago Yesterday
  • Michelle Haskell
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Psychological Thriller
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 20, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    500 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 - Tori Layne

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Tori has traveled across the country and even across the world to work as a writer, director, and script supervisor. In her short but blossoming career, she has helped create dozens of short films, several feature films and three television shows to date. She finds the process of creating truthful emotional moments fascinating, and strives to be a continual student, not only of filmmaking but of life.

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Director Statement

I created Vestige initially out of a quote I heard: “Creativity flourishes within limits.” For Vestige, those limits consisted of one room and one day to film. In fact, the room where we filmed was where I lived while working on a television show. Looking around the room, the inspiration for a detective thriller started manifesting itself, similar to Joanna’s experiences with the clues she finds as she investigates Ellie’s murder. I am drawn to stories having to do with the mind, where everything is not as it seems. In this case, following Joanna’s mental piecing-together of the crime, while being a prisoner to the crime scene, sounded like a challenging and interesting story to write and direct. By the end of the short, I want our audiences to be feel that they have reached the same tipping point that Joanna has. After all, we don’t know what is real – the clues disappear when Joanna faces her partner. Has Joanna discovered a devastating truth, or has her entrapment driven her crazy? I leave it to our audience to decide.