Hey, he’s walkin’ here!
A new short film about an old man’s shuffle to the grocery store, written and shot entirely in Brooklyn, will debut at Videology in Williamsburg on Jan. 30. The filmmaker said she was inspired to make the flick when she witnessed an elderly gent taking his sweet time to cross an intersection in Manhattan.
“This guy was walking slowly, cars were backing up, and the man just had such a look of contentment,” said Alexandria Collins, who wrote and directed the short film, dubbed “Milk Run.” “I just wanted to look at a normal morning in the life of this older man.”
Shot almost exclusively in Park Slope, “Milk Run” follows the brief journey of an elderly man whose wife, frustrated while he works on a piece of classical music that has vexed him for decades, sends him out on a mission to buy ingredients to make pancakes. The film only runs for about 10 minutes, but in that time, the man, Petey, has a series of interactions with people along his route that turn the trip to the store into a much more significant morning.
Collins said she saw the inspiring oldster last summer, and the project moved swiftly from there. The gears started turning, with the outline of the film soon unspooling in her imagination, and within two weeks, she had written a draft of the script, she said.
After talking the script over with friends and members of her writing group, she hooked up with producers and a crew, hired actors, and barely half a year later, the film ready is ready to premiere. Collins said once she got the idea, she had no choice but to act fast.
“I’m one of those people who when I have an idea I have to push it forward and do it,” she said. “One problem people have in this industry is they doubt themselves and their idea, they take time, and then the passion is gone.”
Collins said she wanted to tell a story about elderly people, but without the dramatic and dark trappings that people often associate with aging.
“I think as part of society’s obsession with youth people look at aging as depressing, like arthritis and forgetting things,” she said. “Those things are very real, but it can be fun, too. Older people have their own rhythm and pattern.”
Collins lives in Bushwick, where she moved last winter after finishing school in Florida. The film takes place in Park Slope near the Seventh Avenue F and G stop, which Collins said she and her producers picked for its instantly recognizable brownstones and also as an homage to the filmmaker’s adopted borough.
“I thought it would be best to set it in Brooklyn because I wanted to showcase the best borough,” she said.
“Milk Run” at Videology [308 Bedford Ave. at South First Street in Williamsburg, (718) 782–3468, milkr