"Sharks Don't Bite" is a short film about two young girls who live dreadful lives. After a particularly rough evening, the two girls decide to run away to Jamaica, using one of their mother's old travel journals as a guide. On their journey, the two girls question their decision to leave, face a bounty hunter who is tracking them down, and ultimately learn how to depend on each other for survival.
This is a story worth telling.
There is a key element that separates the story of “Sharks Don’t Bite” with that of what seem like similar runaway stories: dependence. Early in the story it is established that the young girls are not dependent on their negligent caretakers. Most runaway stories follow the characters as they learn that they need to be back where they belong, where in this script we follow runaways that learn they belong on their own. Another way this films challenges the cliché is the fact that the two young girls are tough. They are capable and independent, which is not a perspective that is often told mainstream media about young girls. This fresh taste combined with the beautiful Nebraskan environments will combine to create a beautiful, visual story.
"Sharks Don't Bite" is a capstone film being produced at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film in Lincoln, Nebraska. This means that the project is a presentation of all the knowledge that we have gained in our undergrad. This film is a test, but unlike many other tests, this capstone is a full fledged project that can be released to film festivals and other distribution sources. This is a rare opportunity and is something that we will utilize to the fullest. Also, we will have a school's faculty working with us in order to get the film into the best shape possible.
Other capstone films have made it into festivals from Los Angeles to New York and have competed in international film competitions. Every bit of support will help us get to this level.
The film is fully casted and we have four wonderfully talented people on board to help bring the film and characters to life! Pictured above from left to right is Reagan Watson (Mamie), Keelyn Pearce (Tiff), Billy St. John (Snopes), and Tony Prange (Nathan).
Elijah Watson - Director / Co-Producer
Hi! My name is Elijah Watson and I am the Director and Co-Prodcuer for "Sharks Don't Bite." I found my interest for filmmaking when I was very young, and it developed into a passion when I was eight years old and decided to make my own version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The movie was awful, but it helped me discover that making movies was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Every project that I have made or been a part of has taught me something new, and now all of those learning experiences are culminating to make this project--and I'm beyond excited to get started. We have an amazing story, an amazing crew, and a fiery passion to make the best film that we can. Any support you can lend us would be greatly appreciated. And even if you can't donate, look for the movie when it comes out!
Benjamin Hartzell - Director of Photography / Co-Producer
Hello! My name is Benjamin Hartzell and I am a senior at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, and I am the Director of Photography and Co-Producer for "Sharks Don't Bite." I learned that I wanted to be a Director of Photography my freshman year of high school when I discovered that I loved the idea of influencing people's emotions and ideas with the lighting and framing of images. The led to a never ceasing curiosity and practice in cinematic language. I have been working professionally in the film/video industry since I was 16 years old and have completed several internships in that field. I absolutely love the story of "Sharks Don't Bite" and I cannot wait for me and my team to tell this wonderful story!
"Sharks Don't Bite" is the most ambitious project that we have ever endeavored to create, and with that comes a big budget to match. But with generous grants and other funding sources, we think that we will be able raise the amount needed in order to see this project through to the end.
Below is a visual breakdown of where your money will go!
In all, the project should take about six months to complete from start to finish. We have already begun working in pre-production and are currently in the casting stages, with half of the roles already cast. Once the pre-production process completes, the film will be shooting during the first two weeks in September, with post-production taking places for an additional two months after filming has completed.
Take a look at our detailed timeline below!