A Saturday Afternoon Collaboratory: Triptych

Three films

Three filmmakers

One shared theme: beginning


The word “triptych” comes from ancient Greek and means three-fold. In the Middle Ages the triptych form – three images hinged together – became the standard for altar paintings, which conveyed deeply resonant stories in a time when the average person could not read. Now, in the 21st century, when we are overloaded with information and there are millions of stories to be told, we offer to you our reimagined Triptych.

Three artists – each with a unique voice – accepted our challenge to create a short film telling a story of beginning. Three remarkably distinctive works have emerged, each sounding its own notes, moving in its own rhythms, and articulating its own vision of a fundamental human experience.

Sitting IMDb   Facebook

Writer/director Laurie Norton:

“A while back I saw a film (which shall remain nameless) that included what I thought were token and superficial scenes of a person attempting to meditate: The character sits in a beautiful ashram in an exotic locale while the audience hears her unhappy thoughts in voiceover. That depiction struck me as cursory and unrealistic. With SITTING, I wanted to tell the story of what starting a meditation practice might really be like—for a real person with real problems who can’t afford to drop everything and travel across the globe. In this case, it’s a woman who is going through a particularly difficult and life-changing event.

Anyone who has ever tried to meditate knows it can be hard—really hard. The attempt to sit quietly with your thoughts is a mixed bag of the ugly, the painful, and the downright boring—as well as the peaceful and healing. In meditation, “progress” is relative, and a nice, tidy ending isn’t the point; after all, there is no quick fix to this “being human” thing.

After I had written the bare bones of the story, I was lucky to discover my lovely friend Kate had an established meditation practice. The story became much more personalized through her. She was the person I most wanted to see through the camera attempting the brave, difficult, and everyday act of SITTING.”

Fade In IMDb   Facebook

Writer/director Shane Dewalt:

“A white screen. A flashing cursor. A beginning.

That, of course, is where I found myself as I launched into writing this film: at a beginning with an infinite number of routes to travel. And it was this realization that led to FADE IN, the story of a writer gazing at a tremendous expanse of possibilities, unable to grasp a single one. This story is the search for story, and while many films focus on the dramatic and/or romantic aspects of creating, FADE IN looks at the mundane — the efforts that lead not to accolades, but rather dead ends which present more questions than answers.”

No, No, You First IMDb   Facebook

Writer/director John M. White:

“I once (maybe twice) tried online dating and this film is a juxtaposition of all of my frustrations. I’m pretty approachable in the real world, so learning a new set of rules for the online world and adhering to them strictly was not easy for me. The guys have the major drawback if competing with 100 other men for the attention of one woman. The ladies have to sift through hundreds–even thousands I’ve heard–to find not only a genuine person, but someone who is a suitable mate.

When everyone meets in real life there is usually a period of myth-debunking and eventual truth telling. Sometimes the discovery of a person comes too little too late. I’d like to live in a world like NO, NO, YOU FIRST, where there might be others who are willing to dive into the truth right away. At least, I did when I was still dating.

The writing and production of the film was fun as I had Amanda and Michael in mind for the roles. They are a real life husband and wife team, so I knew if I got one I would get the other. And of course it helps that they are hysterical. I find them incredibly funny and I hope audiences do as well.”