Directed by Dean Merrill & Gary Robinov Written by Erin Enberg
"A man with a decision to make meets a mysterious woman at a bar on the eve of a snowstorm."
Simpatica is a short film that Dean Merrill asked me to write. He was inspired by Grace, a restaurant and bar set inside an old Church in Portland, Maine. He wanted to submit it to The Local Love Muscle Valentine's Day Film Fest, so it needed to be a romance. His only requirements were that it be elegant and required a scene outside in the snow. I hadn't written a romantic script before, so I thought about the kind of romances I enjoy; something unexpected and a little bizarre. I watched some of my favorite romantic scenes (Janet Leigh picking up Frank Sinatra in the original The Manchurian Candidate--totally weird and delicious) and tried to evoke a sense of mystery and a little film noir. I love 1940s films with snappy dialogue and attitude from the women and although the film isn't set in the 1940s, we tried to use that classic spirit. It was also my first script with a bit of a twist ending.
Gary Robinov came on as co-director and I was Assistant Director for the production. We lucked out with our leads Dana Packard and Jennifer Nichole Porter and the weather, which gave us a fresh dusting of snow the day of our night scene--Hollywood couldn't have created a prettier set!
Simpatica won the Local Love Muscle Film Fest! A big thanks to the entire crew who worked so hard to make my story and Dean and Gary's vision come to light. Check out the film in its entirety below.
Read more about the entire production and process on Dean's website.
BEHIND THE SCENES
CAST Anthony: Dana Packard Josephine: Jennifer Nichole Porter Young Woman: Kat Moraros Bartender: Lowell ”Jeff” Jeffers
CREW Directed By: Dean Merrill & Gary Robinov Written By: Erin Enberg Director of Photography: Dean Merrill 1st Assistant Director: Erin Enberg 2nd Assistant Director: Andrea Nilosek 1st Assistant Camera: David Meiklejohn 2nd Assistant Camera: Corey Rich Steadicam Operator: Robert Fiske Sound: Matt Fletcher Gaffer: Adam Belanger Grip: Drew Buerhaus Wardrobe: Alison Slattery Hair and Makeup: Tasha Judson Zwickerhill Props: Kimble Lavoie Sound Post: Seth Kearns: Tidal Sound Studio Set Photographer: Bret LaBelle Craft: Emily Young Production Assistants: Ben Howard , Kelsey Taylor, Malachi Tekur Whitten