Chaim Perl's blog on the topics of wedding photography and video, large group photography, 360 degree panoramic photos, and other projects.

Short Film: Did You Daven Yet?


This is my first short film. Read more about the story and why I made it for maximum impact.

[youtube width="960" height="540" video_id="pUQV62pRnfo"]

Last week I had the honor of bumping into an old student of mine, Zevy Blokh.  I happened to be driving up Kingston when I noticed him leaving 770 after davening. While catching up with Zevi, he told me about his Yeshiva life and some of the struggles he and his friends experience when it comes to making choices in Yidishkeit, over something else that they would much rather do.

Zevi, who himself has chosen to stay in Yeshiva over going to an art school, spoke to me about going into photography and videography professionally, and asked me my opinion on the subject. I asked him if he felt he could write a script, create storyboards and direct a film, to which he responded affirmatively. While only armed with my camera (I basically carry it everywhere) I made the following proposal.

I challenged him to direct a short film. The guidelines were simple. It must have an impact, be written up and shot in under 30 minutes, he would act, I would film, and he would need to use the surrounding area and what he had on him as his stage and props.

Excitedly, He asked me when the 30 minutes begin, I told him they just did.

He agreed and we quickly drove to Grand Army Plaza, which would set the backdrop to our video. On the way there, we talked about the concept and together we quickly came up with an idea, which we then put into writing. A few basic Storyboards (see attached image) later, we jumped out the car and shot the following film.

A part of me did not want to publish the video, due to the lack of stabilizing equipment, however the story itself pushed me to share it as I feel the concept Zevy came up with, is brilliant... Do you agree?

Feel free to share this video with others and join the conversation on my Facebook where it was first published.