I.M. (Instant Message) (2009) 7 min. Raleigh/Cary, NC
Writer/Director: William Lilly
Cinematographer/Editor: Nick Karner and William Lilly
With: Nick Karner, Wanda Lilly, Mikey West
PLOT AND HISTORY:
This film came about because I had driven 90 minutes to a shoot only to find out that I’d supposedly been text messaged that the shoot had been cancelled. I checked my phone and saw no such message. I was so ticked off that I called William Lilly, who’d been looking to direct a movie, and I said “I’m in the mood to make a film, so get a script ready and we’ll shoot this thing today.” The plot revolves around HappyGuy147, a very cheerful everyman who is in an online relationship with a supposedly beautiful young woman. The picture is a headshot of my high school girlfriend, actress Caroline Overby. HappyGuy147 goes out, buys a ring and asks “her” to marry him. In the end, his “fiancée” isn’t quite whom he expected.
We were able to get a jewelry shop to let us film in their store because it hadn’t opened yet. It was thrilling to have complete control over a location because that’s often not the case when doing a no-budget film in a public place. We were desperate for someone with a distinct look to represent HappyGuy147’s fiancée. Luckily, my friend Mikey West, who lives far away, was in town doing a matinee show at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre. He graciously came by and we shot a bit with him. Without Mikey, the punchline to this film wouldn’t be nearly as strong.