Dear Stranger

an extension of the short film "Dear Stranger" and its major thematic element: Fantasy


Problems with the trailer

If you have had problems with watching the trailer, try again. Uploaded to my own server. Sorry about the trouble.

Thanx Trevor


Shooting in Subways question

Got a question from a reader about the scenes in the subways, thought it would be interesting to share it.

I am planning a 10 minute short where 85% of the story takes place in the subway. I found out about your website and short film from I really enjoyed the trailer. I look forward to seeing the entire film. I had questions about the sections of your film that are on and around the subway. How difficult was it for you to get those shots? Did you steal them or get a permit? Are all the subway shots close ups? How long was that shoot day; to get what you needed? I noticed you used a subway stops that were elevated; was that a lighting decision? Sorry for the barrage of questions.
Thanks for your comments. Love to answer the questions. Gives me some format to explain what happened on the shoot. The subway shoot happened in two halves, one with the cast & "crew" and second with me and my camera shooting pick-ups (a day before I moved to North Carolina). The main subway scenes took about 4 hours in the middle of the day. I chose that time only because I wanted enough light coming in so the actors were lit. I had initially imagined the scene at the end of day but because of the schedule and other logistics (more crowds, inconsistent light), I decided to shoot in the afternoon.

I had no permits. However, I suggest to anyone shooting in NYC to get them because though we were not harassed, there have been other times where I have been. To our credit, the set-up was pretty light. One camera with a reflector and sound, we just blended in. For the most part we were pretty invisible to the straphangers. One naughty thing we did do was take up a lot of space with our bags. Did not really plan to but it kept people away from us, so we kept doing it.

We went back and forth on the "N" train. I chose that train because I was fairly sure that 1) it was relatively quiet during the weekday afternoons 2) a pretty ride 3) the cars are colorful and clean. I would not suggest any of the trains in Brooklyn because they are pretty crowded all through. The "7" train is definitely a no go for the same reasons. However, I am not sure that the "N" was the best train. I think if you are shooting so many scenes in the subway, I would suggest shooting on the "A" train (I think) that goes to Far Rockaway. It is a long and pretty ride when it goes over the water with no stops and barely any people. I did not do that because it would have taken us almost an hour to get back to the city where we had to film scenes before the day was over.

My choice to shoot on the elevated platforms was purely practical. There are scenes in the actual film that happen on the platform, I had no lights so shooting outside was a no-brainer. Also, the station (Astoria Blvd) we used was very photogenic.

The number of close-ups happened because I liked it aesthetically but also because I had no time to cover the wider shots. I frankly wished I had more medium and long shots. Another reason, I kept shooting Close-ups because we had constantly get off a train and jump on to another (going the opposite way) across the platform. The posters in the back were always different, so I figured for continuity purposes to stay close. However, I think those problems were irrelevant. I have not noticed the background in my editing or watching the film. Just be careful of major jolts not those little things you cannot control.

Hope that helped. Feel free to ask more questions and keep me informed on your progress.



Hunter at Helios

Pics of our composer, Hunter MacDermut a.k.a The Tourist, putting on a very intimate show at Helios. By the way, his song "Dead Ringer" has been chosen as Indie Rock Song of the Day (Friday, February 10th.) at Make sure to check it out.


Getting a DVD Copy of Dear Stranger

If you are interested in buying a copy of Dear Stranger, shoot me an email indicating you are interested and I will put you on a DVD buyer list. When the film is ready and the DVD's are printed, I will send you a notice. I will not use your email for any other purpose but for this one transaction.

The DVD will consist of:

  • Dear Stranger (15 mins)
  • A paper DVD case that will have the fantasies submitted to this site printed on it, so keep submitting.
  • Deleted scenes or alternate versions
  • Two of my earlier short films:
  1. Once Upon 13 (college grad film, 12 mins)
  2. Streams of Love (beautiful little love film, 4:30 mins)
The DVD's will be professionally printed and should be priced for $18. I would also encourage you to catch Dear Stranger at your local film festival. Will provide a list of them when I have it.



Dear Stranger Trailer

Watch the video
Mirror site

Check out the trailer, tried hard to describe what goes on without giving away everything. The music is by Lajko Felix, Hungarian based violinist. I have no rights to this music, so whoever does have the rights, please resist the temptation to sue. This is just a trailer and your music fits real well. Thanks to you for letting me use it and for making such incredible music. To the readers, make sure to comment and tell me what you think of the trailer.

Note: This page will updated to add other links of video on this blog.

Other video: