Amidst her parents fighting, a little girl discovers a lost stuffed rabbit and attempts to reunite it with its owner.
Writer/director: Michael Chen
Producers: Tom Szauer, Nicola McTaggart, Jacqui Kaese
For Lost, I wanted to create a film that many people could relate to in some way, whether it be remembering when your parents argued while you hid away in your room or remembering that bond you had with that special toy.
Juxtaposing these storylines was essential to driving the theme of the film, in that the little girl is very much as lost as the stuffed rabbit she finds on the ground.
I really thought about what elements I could incorporate into this film without it being too overbearing. It was important for me to convey repetition, so I broke the script down into four days with every day essentially being a repeat of the last one. I added discarded items in the composition to add to the lost, forgotten and ‘thrown away’ feel.
I also played heavily on the colour red, hoping it would be interpreted differently by everyone. Culturally, red symbolizes everything from good luck and hope to feelings of anger, hostility and death. Visually, it’s hard to not look at something red, even if it’s in your periphery.
It was the intent to have red on screen to create imbalance to the composition and to draw the viewer’s eyes and attention away from the little girl, as no one pays much attention to her in her world. By design, there is red in almost every scene.
As a side note, the rabbit I ultimately chose belongs to my wife and is a cherished toy from when she was a toddler. I did this without her permission or knowledge and I’m sure an apology will be in order when she views the film.
Lost is the first dramatic short I’ve ever made, and it’s probably the one I’m most proud of.
About Michael Chen
Michael is a writer and short filmmaker based out of Nanaimo, BC.
When he was 18, Michael submitted a poorly formatted spec script of The Simpsons and was accepted into Warner Brothers inaugural writing workshop where he was later hired to work in the television development.
Since then, he has participated in writing programs with CBS, Bell Media and the Writer’s Guild of Canada.