I am Shaw Austin, and this single blog entry will give you a brief look at the story and meaning behind our new short film, "Remember Me". If you are interested in seeing it, it is posted right here on Studentfilms.com, as well as on YouTube on the Rookie Ace Channel.
When we first wrote the idea for "Remember Me", our goal was to create a story that gave respect to the forgotten soldiers of the Civil War - those who fought and died for their cause, and those who behaved heroically in little ways which were never remembered by anyone. Our title is an instant clue as to the direction we are taking with our main character's journey, but it is intended to take on an entirely different meaning once you've seen the film itself. Who exactly are we remembering? Is it Earl, the protagonist? Or is it someone else entirely?
We decided early one that our main character was a member of the Berdan Sharpshooters, an elite group of soldiers who stayed on the fringes of battles, picking off key targets. Once that decision was made, we were able to choose a real date from a real battle the Berdan Sharpshooters were present for, July 2nd, 1863. From this, we coordinated all the pieces of our script, right down to the weather. We chose this date because after a somewhat successful skirmish, the Berdan Sharpshooters were forced to retreat from the battle as the Confederates moved up. This perfectly sets up the drama to unfold.
In order to better understand our main character, we came up with the idea of entries from his journal being read at intervals throughout the film. In the spirit of historical obsession, each entry's date is attached to a real event that would have involved the Berdan Sharpshooters. For those who like digging for information, these Easter eggs reveal even more about Earl.
As we reworked our script endlessly, we came up with the idea of symbols being woven throughout the tale, to subtly hint at the deeper conflicts within characters. One of these is the sound of ravens or crows, warning of danger and even death. Another reoccurring motif in the film is that of the water canteen, which is both tightly related to the script and symbolic of thirst in the film. Earl's memory is unreliable, hiding some parts of his past from him and us. What exactly did he do in the past?
"Remember Me" is a psychological drama that increasingly focuses on one man in the midst of a harsh war. It is a respectful ode to the forgotten soldiers of the Civil War.