I have a weird love of trains.
Not like I collect them or even know anything about them, and honestly I think the last time I was on one was in 2012. What I mean is that there is a “feel” that they give me, they take me back to a different time and place…a time and place I have never been but a life in the past that could have been.
In our town there is a train station right by our local library. It is down, under a bridge and tucked away. There is a texture to the area that the station is in. The road that leads to it is broken, part of it isn’t even paved and you can hear the gravel under your tires as you drive past.
It feels old, looks old…IS OLD.
It was built in 1905, has gone under many renovations (including the restoration due to the flood of 2011) but it has purposefully been designed to resemble what it would have looked like when it originally was built.
I had a habit of taking that random back road to and from the library, past the train station and “behind” downtown to our old house. As I was driving one day the story of She’s Gone hit me. I pulled over, right under the bridge, faced the station, opened the notes app on my phone and started outlining this random short film of a female detective in the 1940’s who had fallen in love with the man she was investigating.
I love that moment when lighting strikes and I can get the whole story out. I went home and started writing and everything fell into place. It isn’t the BEST script I have ever written but I loved it. I could see the entire thing from start to finish play out in my head. I could feel the cold air…hear the sounds of the city traffic and the gravel under foot. All the while visualizing this story in black and white, because I think in black and white. I wanted that hard light, the contrast that only a street lamp could give. It was great. Yet again I called on my friend Chris and we created one of my favorite shorts. Again, not because it is the greatest script, but because of the texture, the feel, the sounds.