His, Ours, A (2023)
The life of a marriage told through the life of a chair.
A conceptual, dramatic short film.
Starring: Danielle Rayne, Tom Schultz
Written & Directed by Nate Hapke
Produced by Rosie Grace, Nate Hapke, & Julia Armine
Director of Photography Nicholas Ferreiro
Gaffer Alec Salerno
1st Assistant Camera Amber Buchanan
2nd Assistant Camera Ben Booth
Swing Kallie Jung
Costume Design by Rosie Grace
Makeup Department Head Lian Uritsky
Score by Caleb Parker
Edited by Nate Hapke
Assistant Editor/Colorist Nicholas Ferreiro
Final Mix Engineer Jimmy Chang
My parents instilled in me a sense of appreciation for people and experiences, and prioritizing those things above material goods. We didn't want for much, and were never hungry, which is an immense privilege and one I am incredibly thankful for. We can't take anything with us when we die, and when we get old the things that we thought we needed or put so much pride into the possession of seemed to simply become a nuisance or a relic of a time far in the past. Watching my grandparents' garage, full of keepsakes and memories they accumulated over decades of marriage and travels and adventures to all seven continents, become an office space to handle things in a box by executors of their estates was strange and formative. I don't like things, I don't want things. I just want to share what I have with the people that I love for as long as I can.
I remember moving into my first apartment in LA, and being terrified of what owning a microwave might mean to me or about me. There was some fear over not being to leave now and feeling hamstrung or stuck because I now had a possession which brought with it some fear over being judged for possessing it in the first place. As someone who loves to travel and left LA every month in 2015, I didn't want to be tied down. I didn't want to be stuck, and certainly not because of a thing that I didn't need or want in the first place. What I didn't realize was that that microwave was nothing more than a device used to reheat food. It said nothing about me and I could get rid of it whenever I wanted to, and if I wanted to.
I have always been fascinated by how the blending of individuals in love comes with the inevitable who's this will we keep and who's this will we get rid of? Which one is better? Or stronger? And once the move in happens, what will we get that won't be labeled as "his" or "hers," but rather as "ours." What if we break up? Who gets the toaster? How many memories can be had in and around an inanimate object without us realizing it's become a character in our lives. It says something, but also nothing.
For His, Ours, A, I wanted to use a shared possession, in this case a gift from one to another, as a metaphor for a relationship; something that was for him, that became theirs, and then after the relationship ends, this thing simply becomes nothing but an unidentifiable and unclaimed "a" when it is given up. They'll always have their memories of it, but maybe it is more of a painful reminder for what they had with each other which over shadows its continued ability to provide comfort when seeking a place to read. It's not the chair's fault that things ended.
Without further ado, I present to you: His, Ours, A.