Award of Merit – “Gatewalker” (USA)

Title: Gatewalker
Runtime: 17 min
Country: USA
Director: Grace Bjarnson
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: March 31, 2020

Synopsis: After the only boy a teenage loner cares about doesn’t show up to take her to her first dance, she discovers he’s in a mysterious coma. Will she use her ability to venture through Gates into the afterlife to reunite his spirit with his body before it’s too late?

FILMMAKER Q&A – Grace Bjarnson – Director, Producer, Writer, Editor

GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

GB: This short film was based off of a feature length adaptation of the novel “Gatewalker” by Brian Bjorn. It was a proof of concept film. I took a short film class from Roadmap Writers and was interested in what I could accomplish with the resources I had.  Budget was around $2000 (cast, crew, food, props, costumes, everything) and we shot it all in 2 days.

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

GB: I wrote the full length script a few years before, but the short film was written in just over a month and was shot very soon after. I think from beginning of writing the script to filming was a few months.  

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

GB: Adapting the feature length script to a short film was the hardest part. Figuring out what needed to be in it so people weren’t lost, but not putting in too much detail so that it got too bogged down.  

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

GB: Editing. This was only the second short film I have edited. Because this was part of a class project on Roadmap Writers I had access too feedback from an editor with a lot more experience.  I learned so much from editing this film. 

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

GB: I always hesitate to move forward afraid the film won’t be perfect. But learning requires doing. Sure my film isn’t perfect, but I learned so much and improved dramatically from my first short film. And I hope to learn more from my next project. Best of luck to all of you.