The Project

‘Plastic Smile’ came about as a collaboration between Heir Media and Session One, a film group based in D.C. Taken on as a challenge to dive into the horror genre, ‘Plastic Smile’ is the culmination of creating good content while being strapped for time and readily available resources — Not too unlike our feature film, ‘Saving Savanna.’

Shot as a one take, this short film follows a young woman as she is stalked by a smiling apparition. This leads to her trying her hardest to escape from its clutches. While short, the one-take is able to convey a claustrophobic and nervous tone that is kept until the very end of the film.

‘Plastic Smile’ by A.M. Bryan and Jiwon Baeq Heir Media and Session One
‘Plastic Smile’ by A.M. Bryan and Jiwon Baeq Heir Media and Session One

The Work

As we previously mentioned, we were able to keep the pacing and tone consistent throughout the film through the use of good lighting, good editing, and good choreography. Utilizing a one-take forced us to be creative on how we moved characters from A to B, and how the camera was going to frame them.

Good lighting allowed us to better convey the tone of the film, and helped showcase how the characters are perceived. Looking at the stills of the film, you’re able to quickly understand the tone and, quite possibly, the genre of the film.

The editing for this film was also key in creating the overall tone and mood of the film. The diegetic music that plays at the beginning is instrumental in allowing the audience to better understand the character and their mindset. This is in direct contrast to the non-diegetic music (the atmospheric sounds) that play right after the young woman turns off her music.

‘Plastic Smile’ by A.M. Bryan and Jiwon Baeq Heir Media and Session One
‘Plastic Smile’ by A.M. Bryan and Jiwon Baeq Heir Media and Session One

The Results

Each aspect of filmmaking was essential in creating the final outcome of this film — including the choreography, lighting, editing, sound design, and camerawork. Without just one of the aspects, the whole film would have been much different (and, maybe, would not have worked).

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Check out the ‘Plastic Smile’ film below: