LINGO – Making a short comedy in Denver

Monday, August 24th, 2015

I once believed filmmaking to be easy. If you’re passionate and without a budget, what’s the struggle? Organize your friends, white balance the camera, shoot in a day and release it on YouTube. First dive into directing, this was my mantra. Some interesting sketches came to fruition because of it. Like this one:

Mind you, I was sixteen. Although my sense of humor remains bizarre, I’ve since expanded my projects to consider an audience outside of my pre-pubescent friends.

Realizing I could be paid to make videos for the web, I turned from YouTube comedies, to client projects.  Bigger budgets and ideas quickly expanded my portfolio. By working for others, I quickly learned how to invest my vision in products and stories outside of myself.

Bringing us to today. It’s a week until I produce my first short film (in what’s been close to five years since my last).  If you’re in touch with any of my social media, you know that I’ve been posting about LINGO daily.

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This is a photo of the cast, left to right: Brandt Wintzen, Erick Yokomizo, and Edina Loskay

This project began in May. I entered a self-proposed challenge with my friend and colleague Liz Giorgi. Summer of Shorts. Write, produce, and direct a short film by the end of summer. We auditioned in June, cast in July, rehearsed in August, and now, on the first of September, we will wrap production.

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A cold read in July

So why has it taken four months to produce a six minute short?

Looking past location battles and scheduling conflicts, the reason I’ve come to surmise is the scope. For the first time, I am not writing for myself or a client, but truly considering my audience. I want to captivate them! Crazy right?

Because of the time, sweat, and dollars my crew and I have invested in this, people need to love it. I’ve taken a step back to analyze every sequence and storyboard. I challenge myself to think, is this practical? Who’s laughing, me or the folks in the theater?

It’s also the first time that I am letting go.

In previous productions,  I was meticulous when it came to who was doing what on set. Now directing twenty plus people, I don’t have the time or desire to micromanage. It’s teaching me to inspire my crew and trust them with my vision, instead of enforcing it. I’m growing as a director. That takes time.

Greatness takes patience.

I wrote the script, I shared my story, I waited four months for the perfect cast and location. Now my team is working with me to transform it into a spectacle.

I can’t wait to show you the final film. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen, and the first of many more.

Find LINGO on Indiegogo


Chase Bortz is a videographer for Mighteor in Denver, CO.