Synopsis: Harold, a hermit living in a remote cabin, uses a self-made dating tape to talk about his search for love. As he bears his soul to the camera, we see a montage of his daily activities and it becomes clear that all is not right in the world. An alarm keeps going off and there are newspapers with troubling headlines plastered all across the windows. A lurking threat is just out of sight, but not even the apparent apocalypse can dampen Harold’s spirit.
Cabin for Two was written and shot pre-COVID, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from watching our film. A single actor, playing a maximally isolated character who’s just trying to make the best out of a bad situation, sounds a bit like a convenient quarantine script. A viewer might think to themselves: Isn’t this is a rather heavy-handed commentary on the isolation we’re all experiencing in the current pandemic? It wasn’t supposed to be so on the nose.
I wrote Cabin for a few reasons, none of which included an imminent quarantine mandate, or the temporary demise of physical dating as we know it. But hey, sometimes you get lucky.
No, I originally wrote the film because I had previously tried my director’s hand at a multiple character story with lots of arcs and snappy dialogue. This proved to be beyond me so I decided that for this film, I could handle writing exactly one character and directing exactly one actor. Thus Harold, my protagonist, was born.
More than anything, I wanted to know what the apocalypse might look like for a terminal optimist. What would a Leslie Knope or a Michael Scott do in the face of near-certain annihilation? Imagine Mad Michael or I am Leslie– show me THAT movie. I figured that if I had a character who could always find the silver lining, then the end of the world might just be all right.
Sam Hoiland is an LA narrative director originally hailing from Portland, Oregon. His past films have shown in over 20 cities and in 2019, his short “R & Rx” received the Best Sci-Fi Film award from the Oregon Independent Film Festival.