• Paula Tiberius

Drained

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Making a film can be a long and grueling process – unless you only have two weeks and have a mandate to shoot on an iphone!

The World’s Smallest Film Festival held a call for submissions last month with three main rules:

1. Must be three minutes or less

2. Must be shot on a mobile device

3. Must incorporate the theme of water

I forwarded the notice to my friends Andrea Csabai and Dominique Buda right away – we’d been talking about making something together with all our combined writing/directing/editing/producing experience. This seemed to be just the low stakes we were looking for! And what better theme than water for three women living in a drought-stricken state? Add to that that Andrea’s husband Yuri Reese just happens to be an Emmy award-winning sound mixer…and, well we just couldn’t NOT make it.

So we got off our asses and made this movie!

Dominique sent a rough script right away about a woman saving water next to a wasteful neighbor, and we had a lot of fun pulling the footage together, mostly during one long shooting day at my house using our current system of collecting water old-school style in buckets, and using it for the garden. I’m proud to say that with this system, Richard and I have reduced our garden hose use by about 80%. Yay!

I should also point out that the soap we use is all-natural, phosphate-free, and ‘green,’ so the suds don’t harm the plants. In fact, it works as a non-toxic pesticide as any dish or laundry soap does, by clogging up the exoskeletons of offending bugs.

I personally had some adventures getting the shots of the dry dams, gulches and waterworks around the city, as well as the panoramic views of the city itself.

I borrowed Andrea’s bike and rode up to the Hanson Dam near my house and got lost on the dusty back trails looking for a better shot of the empty dam. Along came a woman on her horse who was a bit spooked by the sound of my tires on the gravel.


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Bizarrely, a group of twenty-something guys appeared out of nowhere on the other side of the ‘river.’ They traipsed across the precarious series of logs that were floating in a chain, and got to my side, where I frowned and asked them if they thought I could do that with my bicycle. One guy named Roger Sanchez said, “I’ll take it across for you.” I was a damsel in distress! Of course I took him up on it and he traipsed back from where he had come, holding the heavy bike with one arm. I followed along and when we got to the other side, he asked for my phone number which was adorable, since I could have been his mother. Instead I took his e-mail and am sending him this blog. Hi Roger! Why didn’t I take your picture? Here’s the logs, anyway….

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The panorama shots of Los Angeles at the end of the film were taken at ‘golden hour’ one weeknight near the end of Violet’s school year. I picked her up and we drove up to the top of Mullholland, shooting the city at its glowing best.

Thanks to The Mamas & The Papas and The Ventures. We really appreciate your music!

Drained 1

Now Andrea and Dominique and I are looking for a new theme for our next short. Any ideas?

#Drained #AndreaCsabai #PaulaTiberius #DominiqueBuda #shortfilm

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