At the end of last semester we had our first cut of what will be the Monster Roommates story. In its current form we knew that this story would be ambitious for a team of 10 people. 5 characters and around 8 minutes of footage was a tall order, so we knew that we needed to do some subsequent passes over the summer too make the story leaner, and frankly more doable for a team of our size functioning within the challenges of working on a student film during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After taking a couple of weeks off at the beginning of the summer, myself and a small team of students endeavored to make a new cut of our story. In our time watching short films, we keep coming back to the notion that a good short film is as efficient as possible. This was our directive for the next version of the story.
The following are some of the main highlights of the new version of the story:
We removed one of our monster characters: Walter, our vampire. We liked him a lot, but we realized that he didn’t serve a purpose in the story that Aldo or Arnold couldn’t.
We removed some scenes that were less important and more costly. Namely the monsters cleaning up the apartment.
We re-wrote the scene surrounding how the apartment got destroyed. As fun as it would be to show the apartment getting destroyed in some sort of horrendous Rube Goldberg scenario, doing so would require a lot of screen time and pipeline resources, and not really do much to push the story forward. Instead, we’ve opted for showing the catalytic event (a picture frame falling off the wall as Aldo tries to straighten it), then cutting to outside the apartment and showing an implied explosion, then cutting back inside to find the characters among the aftermath. Much more succinct and still funny.