Abel is a homicide detective with a stable marriage and a solid future. But when he discovers, unbeknownst to his wife, that his brother Cain is up to his old tricks, Abel decides the only solution is the final option.
Abel’s Promise resulted from discussions with my Inland Empire Film Group partner, Anthony Doiron. Our goals are short films we could produce locally, to work out our mojo, so to speak, and lead to a feature production. We are both anxious to produce quality entertainment, but I find most short films lacking in intensity and characters that we care about. While producing a movie is an accomplishment in and of itself, most shorts result in a, “ehh, who cares” reaction.
We’re trying to avoid that.
I thought I couldn’t think short form. With Abel’s Promise, I surprised myself. Normally, I do a Syd Field, 4-page treatment. If details come out, I don’t hesitate to fill in the treatment. I’m visual in a sense that I see the scenes play out. If I see a complete scene in my mind’s eye, I’ll write it all down, which inflates that 4-page treatment to whatever it takes. I’m not visual in a sense that I write about colors and materials, and how light reacts to the environment. It’s all about story, not a cinematography treatment.
Abel’s Promise was different. I went straight to Final Draft. No treatment. Through my discussions with Anthony Doiron, I had a singular shot in mind, a lone man dragging a shovel down a desert road. The story poured out from there. Done in about five hours.
Changes came when, during the casting process, I realized I needed sides for the actors to audition from. I wrote a backstory scene which lent to each character’s intensity, but was strictly for the auditions at thecastingdirector.com. Once we finished the casting session, and after unsolicited feedback by actors, Anthony Doiron suggested I include the sides in the script. I hadn’t even thought about it. I added it in as bits and pieces of flashback throughout the story.
Did it need it? No. But it gives the actors more meat.
Abel’s Promise is going into production! You can follow it’s progress on its own website: