Back to IndieWire

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

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

[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.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Toolkit and tagged , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox