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How I Won Canon's Project Imaginat10n Contest: 'Chucked' Director Used a Robot as a Touching Metaphor

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire November 18, 2013 at 10:00AM

Writer/Director Jared Nelson didn’t kick off my his process by writing one script; he wrote six over the course of two enervating months. Still, nothing was clicking.


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"Let My Machine Talk to Me"
"Let My Machine Talk to Me"

[Editor's Note: All filmmakers want to be noticed and contests are one way to make that happen. But what does it take to make a film that wins? This is part of a series of five articles that profile the winning directors of Canon's Project Imaginat10n and how they created their incredible short films. To learn more about Project Imagination, please go HERE.]

Writer/Director Jared Nelson didn’t kick off my his process by writing one script; he wrote six over the course of two enervating months. Still, nothing was clicking.



"About a week before the deadline," he said, "my team and I sat down and went, ‘OK, we have this robot based on the image — let’s just do this.’ So we sat there and wrote it."

The resulting film, "Chucked," took eight hours to shoot, and six days to prep.



The Short's Official Synopsis: In "Chucked," a book return shaped like a robot falls in love with a human girl.



The Short:


How He Won the Contest: Nelson went with the first photo that "sparked" him. "Something about ‘Let My Machine Talk to Me’ (Heather Evans Smith, Winston-Salem, NC) really lit a fire inside me," he said. "I showed the picture to my uncle and asked him to build it for me."


For Nelson, the robot served as a personal metaphor, one that clearly struck a chord with the judges.

 "The story’s written from personal experience," he explained. "You meet a girl, you learn she’s dating someone, and you feel like the world is passing you by. I feel that sometimes."

Advice to Other Directors Trying to Make a Break: "Just do it," Nelson stressed. "Try to have game plan but be a part of 'it.' You have nothing to lose, but just a bit of time. And we all waste time anyways."

Indiewire has partnered with Canon's Project Imaginat10n, the first film festival inspired by your photos.

This article is related to: Canon Project Imaginat10n Contest, Short Film, Shorts, Filmmaker Toolkit: Shorts, Interviews






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