Christopher Shawn Shaw is a Christian Filmmaker who served as an Executive Producer, a Producer, and the Director of the faith-based short film, “One Nightstand” which recently placed 3rd in the short film category of the International Christian Film Festival.
Christopher, tell us a little about “One Nightstand”.
“One Nightstand” is an approximate 19-minute Comedy short film that poignantly tackles the sin of adultery. Traveling businessman Barry Riven (played by Pastor/Comedian Thor Ramsey) hires a lady of the night (Kimberly Durrett). However, before she arrives to his hotel room, God intervenes and thwarts Barry’s original plans through two quirky hotel employees and the sobering contents of his hotel room’s nightstand.
Where did you get the idea for the film?
Writer/Producer Gary Emrick and I met through the 168 Film Project in 2010; the 168 Film Project is a faith-based speed-filmmaking competition where teams from around the world have 168 hours to shoot, edit, and turn in a finished short film, based on a theme for the year and a Bible verse related to the theme…randomly drawn by the filmmakers. Well, just prior to the start of the 168 hours, after drawing your team’s Bible verse, you have around ten days to write the script you’re planning to shoot during the 168-hour portion of the competition. Well, Gary wanted a practice-run at writing a short film script in the approximate ten day time frame, so he randomly opened the Bible and landed on Titus 2:11-12…and wrote “One Nightstand”. After we had completed our respective short films for the 168 Film Project 2010, he shared about the “One Nightstand” practice script…and we eventually decided to produce it together with me directing.
How did you select your cast?
Some of the cast were people we had worked with before or met through the 168 Film Project competition, and some we met through a casting call and audition for the project. And even some of the ones we had known and worked with before still auditioned. We had a number of EXCELLENT auditioners who we wanted to cast, however there just weren’t enough roles…and Gary and I went back and forth on some of the decisions, because it was genuinely difficult to pick between such stellar performers.
What is your favorite scene?
Hmmm. Hadn’t really thought much about that before. That’s kind of tough, because one thing I really like about this short is that it flows well and actually feels like a ten minute short (plus credits). I guess my favorite scene is with Barry Riven (Thor Ramsey) and the Bellhop (Nathan Ford), because it is the funniest scene with the most consistent laughs, to me.
What has been the response to “One Nightstand”?
Although it won’t be released on DVD and Blu-Ray until later this month (maybe even later for Blu-Ray), we did have a cast and crew screening that had a very good response to the film and the special features on the DVD. Also, really exciting news, it’s been submitted to a couple or so film festivals thus far, and it recently won 3rd place in the short film category of the International Christian Film Festival (ICFF) online competition based out of Orlando, FL!
That it is not only well-received and seen by the masses, but that God truly touches and moves people’s hearts and lives as a direct result of watching this film. It may be a comedy…but it does poignantly tackle the unfortunately prevalent issue of adultery.
What other faith-based projects have you done?
I’ve produced and directed five+ 168 Film Projects (four of them with Thor Ramsey as Writer and Actor), “One Nightstand”, some one-man productions that are also on YouTube. Golly, I’m guessing around ten shorts that are faith-based, plus a documentary.
What other faith-based projects are you currently working on?
Thor Ramsey and I are embarking on another 168 Film Project this month (May), and we recently shot a documentary for the 168, too (the documentary category not associated with the 168-hour speed-filmmaking restrictions). For the speed-filmmaking entry later this month (May), we have a fundraiser on Indiegogo.com to help us with money for the crew, food, gas, props, and other related costs…Here’s the link: http://www.igg.me/at/Team31
Veteran 168 Film Project Producer Susan Shearer and I have a faith-based supernatural drama in development. We both wrote the script, are both producing, and I’m planning to direct. It’s called “Familiar Spirits”, and its Twitter handle is @FSMovie, and its Facebook Page is https://www.facebook.com/FamiliarSpiritsMovie.
Thor Ramsey also has a faith-based feature-length script written, a romantic comedy/satire called “Youth Group”, that we hope to shoot this year (2013). We shot a trailer a couple years ago to envision financial backers, and the trailer finally caught the attention of a “name” actor and his producing partner/manager, who have expressed high interested in producing alongside Thor and me, including finding the funding for the film. Here’s the link to the trailer we shot specifically to envision support: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF5zaIkqw2U
If God has placed something on your heart to do, go for it. Whether you are working a full-time pay-the-bills job or not, there are things you can do to work toward the goal He’s placed on your heart. For example, I had a full-time job working at a call center and took vacation time to participate in at least three of the 168 Film Projects I’ve done thus far…and made some HUGE connections. Whatever it is…even if you’re not there yet and feel “stuck” at a job you don’t like…there are still things you can do to incrementally get to where you need to be…by the grace of God. God Almighty bless you with His direction and His dreams…that He fulfills to fruition, in Jesus Christ’s name, AMEN!!!