Synopsis: In the aftermath of a global pandemic that has wiped out 95% of the population, Woman arrives to Los Angeles on the last leg of an arduous pilgrimage. Alone with her traumatized psyche, she must find the only destination left of importance: Happy’s Place. But the journey comes at a price – and when traversing the city streets, there are signs that a dark fate awaits her….
As time runs out, the life she once had drives her to the finish with no compromises.
Aidan Bristow (Sick Man)
Kyle Shaw (Pockmark)
Our short film Gardenia was simply meant to be. Every element to this production fell into place naturally and it all started one afternoon after our world was suddenly flipped upside down and we were trapped in the midst of a quarantine. In need of some fresh air, I took a walk around Los Angeles and found myself looking at the vast, desolate streets. Always thinking like an indie filmmaker, I saw a golden opportunity. Production value like this would never happen again.
We dove into an accelerated pre-production phase for when filmmaking could resume again. Our approach had to be simple while also motivated. Relying mostly on available light, it took rigorous location scouting to ensure our shooting time would be of most efficient use. And in that same vein – we mainly chose a handheld camera style approach that would simultaneously create the uneasiness, paranoia and anxiety driving our main character on her journey. Of course, sticks were used when in need of stillness and control. Once principal photography began, we were successful in getting everything in the can before the city streets fully resumed their life again.
I’m honored and proud of what our small, talented team has accomplished and excited to share our story with the world. My hope is that GARDENIA will prove to be an exhilarating and entertaining experience for audiences while still conveying a powerful message: that love can drive us even in our weakest and most vulnerable moments.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Caleb King is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed short films (LOVERBOY, SEND HELP, GARDENIA), web series (WAIT CRIMES) and music videos. Currently, he is in development with his producing partner Eva Swan on the feature-length version of GARDENIA.