Filmography – A Message of Peace and Happiness (2013)

A Message of Peace and Happiness

(Watch on Vimeo)

“Know that you are loved.”
A Message of Peace and Happiness

Starring Sean McGehee and Haley Bertelsen

         This little love story was concocted in the winter of 2013 for the Ellensburg Film Festival: Show Us Your Shorts competition. It was thought up and filmed all within less than a day, with nothing more than a bucket of props, a tripod, a camera, a girlfriend, and myself.
We were given three guidelines to follow:
Theme the piece around the color blue, include a moment of breaking the 4th wall,
and a time limit of what I believe was 10 minutes.

This film almost never happened in fact, as our original idea was to go camping for the weekend and set whatever we wrote around the woods. Shit happened, and I was my usual prick-self at the time, and I decided to not go on the trip. Haley stayed with me as well, and I realized that we should at least come up with something to submit, rather than looking like fools for paying the entree fee and then not submitting anything.



         Do not read the following unless you’ve seen it already.
Major spoilers.

         The premise of the short was pretty simple: a scientist develops a machine that can send recorded messages to alternate timelines. He decides to send the message “know that you are loved” to impress a lady, and the message travels to all alternate timelines, changing the course of events within them. Within each of these timelines, the message occurs in some strange way, like through a radio, or over an intercom, each time getting harder to understand the deeper and farther it goes through these timelines. Every moment the message is heard by the scientist and woman’s alternate timeline selves, it ends up bringing the two closer together, leading up to the final moment when they are together. The unique twist I decided was to show these effects in reverse, so instead of the two appearing to grow closer, they actually grow apart, until the final scene where we see what is really happening.

         There were many similarities that pop up in each timeline, such as references to classical music, and the scientist becoming more and more “sciencey” as time progresses. Because of this, when watched for the first time, the short seems very confusing, being just a poorly shot collection of random scenes, with no real plot occurring. In the end, I don’t think this really was my best. I was in a bad place at the time, not truly enjoying the things around me, which showed in my work. I would love to revisit the premise in the future, maybe do a remake with better cinematography and a more cohesive storyline.


The one saving grace I find from this film is, ironically, the message itself, which strangely seems to have lingered into my reality as well.


         – Back to Filmography


Published by

Sean McGehee

CEO of the Department of Imagination.

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