A lonely man sets up for his 39th birthday party.
He’s made all the right preparations. He’s sent out invitations to friends and family, and even invited everyone from the office.
Did he buy the right amount of refreshments? What about the cake? Is there enough to go around?
Writer/director: E. M. Walker
Producer: Kegan Sant
I’ve always wondered what a weekend or birthday was like for that quiet person in the office – the one nobody really talks to. So I set out to tell a story about this guy named Bill O’Donnell.
I looked at the film as a test: what kind of story could I tell with as little as possible? I challenged myself to keep my script under 10 pages, the locations minimal and, lastly, I could only ever have our protagonist appear on screen.
We shot the film in one long, yet rewarding, 16-hour day all thanks to our stellar crew. Every single person involved brought their A-game, from sound mixer to set dresser, producer to PAs and everyone in between – it was nothing but top-notch work all around.
The truth of it is that the film rested on the shoulders of our only actor Christian McKenna and, wow, did he ever do an amazing job!
My favourite scene takes place in the bathroom where Bill rehearses his greetings. There is this brief moment where he pauses glancing down at his hands. He’s so emotionally naked and vulnerable. We’re just flies on the wall of this tiny apartment watching this poor schlub shuffle about. You the viewer are the only guest at the party and Bill doesn’t even know you’re there.
It’s a dark story – sad, kind of depressing. But there is something of a silver lining, even if it is just for the audience alone.
About E.M. Walker
E. M. Walker is a self-taught movie buff turned filmmaker who’s been volunteering and working in the industry in a variety of positions since early 2011. He’s had a hand in everything from features and music videos to short films and commercials.
In 2013 E. M. wrote and executive produced a proof of concept for one of his feature length scripts entitled Shadows (directed by Colin Berry).
In February of 2015 Shadows was posted on a number of premium video outlets. Surprisingly enough the one that garnered it the most attention was World Star Hip-Hop, where it racked up over 100,000 views in less than 24 hours.
In the summer of 2015, E. M. wrote and directed one short film a month from April to June: Neighbours, Curiosity Killed the Cat and, lastly, Bill’s Birthday Bash.