When Jim finds a free door at the side of the road, he approaches the presumed owner to ask if he can take it.
What results is an absurdist comedy about seizing opportunities and the regrets and repercussions when we do not.
Produced with a grant awarded by bravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent), a division of Bell Media Inc.
Writer/director: Michael Schmidt
Producer: Jonathan I. Schwartz
Michael Schmidt says:
“The idea for Free Door came to me while driving on a country road between Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario. I happened upon a lonely door stretched out on a small hill, complete with a sign that read (you guessed it), ‘free door.’ As with Jim in the film, the door called out to me and I started rolling over the scenario in my head and how it might play out in a film.
I immediately saw the comic potential in someone asking for something that had been left for the taking and I liked the idea of the nice guy finishing last. I felt it was something that an audience could relate to: being nice but coming up short.
I think there’s a bit of Jim in all of us, where our manners can get the best of us and we’re afraid to act without permission. We can get paralyzed by our own politeness and, worse, we use it as an excuse to close doors on opportunities rather than take them when we have the chance. It occurred to me this was a particularly Canadian dilemma, and so I set out to capture that feeling.
Later, when I was prepping production on the film, I came across a real free door in my neighbourhood and I seized the opportunity to grab it without asking! This became the door we used in the film.”
About Michael Schmidt
Michael Schmidt’s work can be described as simple moments transformed. Whether creating humour or drama, he enjoys juxtaposing the every day with the absurd in ways that delight his audience and present his stories in a new light.
His award-winning films have screened internationally including the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Film Festival and Banff World Media Festival, where his writing and directing won a Rockie award for best pilot for American Wife, starring Kristin Booth and Patrick McKenna.
Michael has directed for Ford, Diageo, The History Channel and the acclaimed music video for The Elwins’ single Forgetful Assistance.