Brooklyn-based director Michael Hobbs only ever imagined he’d have the opportunity to work with a dream team on his latest short film, Short Lived. But when Hobbs sent an email on a whim to Brooklyn-based director of photography Alexander Crowe, he got more than he bargained for. “I didn’t expect a reply because of his caliber, but he got back to me,” Hobbs says. “This was a really big deal.”
Hobbs, called “Boofa” by his friends, hails from New Zealand but has lived and worked in Bushwick since February. He had written a short story before moving to New York, then in March turned that story into the screenplay for what would become Short Lived. The screenplay is about a woman living in Brooklyn who is coming to terms with her depression; the film is a day in her life as she struggles to discover meaning.
“It’s semi-autobiographical, I suppose,” Hobbs says. “The female lead character is expressing some of the stuff that’s happened in my life.”
Once Hobbs had recruited fellow Brooklynite Julie Sisson to produce the film, the next step was to find a director of photography; that’s when Hobbs sent out the fateful email to Crowe. Crowe was behind the camera for the short film Abigail, which won 2nd prize from the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury at Cannes.
“I’d seen Abigail at the beginning of the year and it just blew me away,” Hobbs says. “It was a slow-paced short film that was really beautifully shot. My dream was to have this director of photography work on this project with me.” Ask and you shall receive.
Short Lived shot this spring in Greenpoint and Williamsburg; a dance scene was filmed at Williamsburg’s Triskelion Arts performance space, and the outdoor scenes were filmed at Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park. The crew wrapped shooting for the short film, which was paid for out-of-pocket, and post-production has been put on hold until the film’s Kickstarter campaign reaches its $3,500 goal.
“The campaign is just over a third of the way through, and it’s just about on track,” Hobbs says. “It looks like it’s on its way to being successful.”
Like LES filmmaker Jason Wishnow, Hobbs decided to raise money after the film had been shot, instead of before. “It gives people who are interested in investing in the film an idea of what the film is going to look like,” Hobbs says. “It also gives them confidence in knowing that they’re going to see something for their money, rather than investing in something that might not get completed.”