In an effort to be more social, two friends find themselves consistently sharing rides to and from their friends’ events. Along the way, their casual friendship begins to deepen into something decidedly more… complicated. As they sort through the complex nature of what they mean to one another, we’re riding shotgun, watching their heartfelt, hilarious, and altogether unexpected moments of clarity from the passenger seat. From their drunken first kiss, to their awkward attempts to define their relationship, their modern day love story unfolds in front of us, despite the unusual location, or the unexpected guests who stumble in (two words: Uber Pool). At its heart, Ride Share is about the weird wonderfulness of love, and all the messy, funny, heartbreaking moments we endure in our efforts to find it- and make it last.
Starring Bryce Harrow and Allie Leonard
Co-Starring Mackenzie Breeden, Nate Hapke, Gwen Hillier, Aaron Sanders, Jack Thomas Williams
Directed and Edited by Nate Hapke
Written and Produced by Rosie Grace
Produced by Sophia Zach
DoP Dana Fytelson
Costume Design by Rosie Grace
Production Design by Ben Booth
Score by Caleb Parker
Production Sound by Eric Tormey
UPM Julia Balayan
1st AD Sophia Zach
Script Supervisor Kelli Kuschman
Hair and Make Up by Amanda Walter
Gaffer Rene Yescas
Heading into the Fall of 2019, I knew I had to shoot another short. It was going to be my 12th short film, thereby completing my original checkerboard of posters hung in 4 rows of 3. This project was affectionately going to end P 1 2 3's "Phase 4", a riff on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in name only, that referred to the top row of films on the wall of posters. The start of this fourth phase of my short films, coincided perfectly with the beginning of my creative collaborations with Writer/Producer Rosie Grace. After our first two collaborations (She & Her (2019) and To the Moon and Back (2019)), we knew we wanted to do something different (tonally, aesthetically, and technically) in our continued desire to grow and learn as artists as well as our desire to affectively showcase the breadth of our storytelling capabilities.
The first idea that came to mind was a short adaptation of the feature idea we submitted to the Sundance Institute back in 2018, Good Grief. (Fun fact: the treatment for this feature was actually our first collaboration.) After not getting in to the program, we decided that a better use of our time was to focus on producible short films that we could make now in our desire to showcase our writing/directing as opposed to fully fleshing out a project that might not get made. This led us into the preproduction for She & Her back in 2018 all the way up to the short adaptation of Good Grief.
When the larger than expected budget breakdown was released, we realized that the production of the project was untenable and antithetical to our ability to make something before the end of the year. But, rather than waste any time at all, we creatively pivoted to a different project entirely: one that could be made in one day, in one location, for less than a third of what the budget for the Good Grief short came out to be.
When I asked Rosie about ideas, she reminded me of an story she thought of back in 2018, loosely based on the beginnings of our relationship, that could achieve our desire for a different tone (a romantic comedy), a new aesthetic (shooting entirely handheld within a car), and a technical challenge (having to utilize the lighting technique of poor man's process trailer, to achieve the idea that our heroes were in cars that were actually driving while keeping every member of our cast and crew safe in and around a stationary vehicle).
One of the most rewarding parts of this project was how well everything came together in a relatively short period of time. We got to cast a lot of the "Nate Hapke Players" (a term coined by my 4-time collaborator Gwen Hillier) in addition to my ability to get back in front of the camera for the first time since Ashes (2015).
The project ended up being one of our hardest yet from both a technical and scheduling standpoint, but we got through it with smiles on our faces and the knowledge and experience gained by trying something new.
The effort to adapt our feature treatment for Good Grief was not lost as it reinforced our appreciation and zeal for the story, motivating us to fully flesh out the script into what will be our first feature in 2020. In the end, everything happens for a reason.