Using Film to Send a Deeper Message

By Abby Hale

In my independent study for Film II, I was instructed to write a one-page story that would eventually be turned into a script. For this project, I was the writer, producer, director, and cinematographer. It was obviously extremely challenging, but the end result was totally worth it. I want to make films that are relevant, meaningful, and personal, and I think I accomplished that during this shoot.  Awumbuck is an inuit word that describes the anxious feeling indigenous people would feel as they scanned the horizons for incoming visitors. It has become an obscure word to articulate the unsettling feeling one gets when they are waiting for something or someone. I wanted to articulate this feeling in my second short film, “Awumbuck”.



This short film was inspired by my own social experiences this year. Often times we know lots of people, but they don’t really know us. The majority of my social interactions are surface ones and I don’t get much time to go deeper with people. I feel like this is a common theme for people, especially when they have busy high school schedules. This film sprouted from my desire to truly connect and branch out of my social circle. The main character, Ryan Rivera played by Jonathan Fitzsimmons (17), is popular but lacks deeper connections with his friends. He enjoys spending time with them, but once they leave he’s left with a sort of emptiness or loneliness. These feelings stem from Ryan realizing his friendships are shallow and have no substance. Even his girlfriend, Rachel, played by Lexi Velarde (18), is somewhat distant.

I didn’t want this to be a cliche film about how partying and material things are unfulfilling. I think both things can make you happy, but none of it matters unless you can rely and confide in people that make an effort to understand you. What I’m learning (and what Ryan is learning as well) is that it takes effort to build lasting and meaningful friendships. You reap what you sow. While there may not be a solution for Ryan in this piece, there has been a solution for me and there can be for you. If you feel isolated and like no one knows the real you, get out there. Push yourself to meet new people. Ask others how they are feeling and confide your inner troubles to those you trust. Build deeper relationships. It takes time, but you can reap a bountiful harvest if you’re patient and persistent.