Short Film Profile

Once Beautiful Past

A reclusive man struggles to connect with his estranged daughter. Henry Hall finds his quiet life turned upside down when details of his wife’s death fourteen years’ prior compound growing complications from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Involved with an unsympathetic and selfish girlfriend, Henry realizes that the accident that took his wife’s life has had equally devastating effects on his daughter Jessie. Forced to choose between the daughter he left behind and a new marriage, Henry embarks on a journey of self discovery to settle ill feelings before time runs out.

Film notes

Once Beautiful Past was initially inspired by my own personal experiences, and like many writers, took on various incarnations up and through the present script. My grandfather died from complications very similar to the condition of the main character of this story, Henry Hall. I am compelled as such to base this story in the 80's when my grandfather succumbed to the illness, drawing from that time for the foundation of Henry Hall's world. Whenever possible, I have also included contributions made by the cast with regards to their own work with the characters and story. I believe in the process of exploration and dedicated over a month of rehearsal time in preparation for principal photography in late March 2007.
While this story takes place in very specific locations, I have not focused on recreating the society of the 1980's but more purposely the individual settings of the characters, their wardrobe, hairstyles, and the colloquialisms of the time.

The principle locations in the film are Henry's home, the public library where he works, and the apartment where his estranged daughter Jessie lives. Where possible, we have utilized existing locations but have also built sets when necessary to achieve the specific design elements of the characters. In addition to these locations, special attention was placed on the acquisition of picture vehicles as well as surrounding background vehicles and locations in an effort to remain true to the recreation of the period.

Part of this story is told using flashbacks that serve as back story for the main character, Henry Hall. The flashbacks take us to 1966 and careful consideration has been taken for authenticate wardrobe, picture cars, and the environment. While the specific details of the flashbacks do not encompass a broad view of society as a whole, period specific wardrobe and makeup has been used to convince the audience of the time and locale.




Copyright © 2007 Rory Dean

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 13 Feb 2011