Producing An Award Winning Short Film - I Miss Us Case Study


As a company, we have years of experience in the narrative space but no examples that we could show publicly or that were entirely produced under the Legion Banner. So when a close friend and Director, Roth Rind, came to us with an idea for a short film, we jumped at the chance. The original script was a sci-fi movie to be shot mainly indoors. Then COVID-19 broke out. New safety protocols meant that indoor shooting and crews in close quarters were no longer possible. As a result, we lost all of our original filming locations just a month before cameras were to start rolling. With no end to the pandemic in sight, we pivoted hard and completely rewrote the movie to account for new safety protocols. A skeleton crew slimmed down the technical approach and all outdoor locations were key. Little did we know this massive change would yield a short film that would go on to win over 19 awards


New locations meant new challenges. After rewriting the script, we scouted and secured the stunningly beautiful but extremely remote Panoche Hills as one of our new locations. Working in such a remote location presented many logistical challenges that included equipment transport, communication with no cell service, and accommodating crew with no brick-and-mortar facilities. In order to create a full-scale production all equipment and accommodations needed to be brought in with the production. We brought in generators, lighting, water, food, and even shelter to make this all possible. We built a small town in the remote wilderness of the Pinoche hills. In addition to all the usual creature comforts and necessities of life, an 18′ tall 25′ wide truss structure was also brought in and assembled to enable the harrowing stunts for the movie. 

"What was great was that Legion saw the vision of the film, and then saw a way to elevate it"
Roth Rind

Originally, Roth’s script included small-scale “scrappy” stunts. However, after a first creative production meeting, Roth would learn that Legion has an extensive background in rigging for theater and live events. That experience allowed us to elevate from small and scrappy stunts to larger-scale coordinated stunts including characters being tossed up 15′ feet in the air. Luckily all the gear we needed to accomplish this was owned and operated by Legion, allowing for efficient and, most importantly, safe execution.   

Another huge challenge was the timing of the shoot. The production was to take place outdoors during the night. Usually, this would be fine; however, in the remote areas of Panoche Hills, we were working in complete darkness. We needed hundreds of watts of light filtered through a 20’x20′ cloth to simulate moonlight. The only other natural light source in these shots was light from a campfire. Compared to the simulated moonlight, the campfire light was too dim. Hence, we suspended a 500-watt amber-colored light 20′ in the air on a massive counterweighted Menace arm to give the illusion of a brighter Campfire. We accomplished this while fending off the bitter cold and safely accommodating wind conditions. To secure all of this rigging we drove stakes 3 feet into the ground to tie down structures for safety. 


Throughout the whole production, we either endured brutal conditions or moved heaven and earth to avoid them. Finally, 48 hours before our most crucial production day, we had to completely rearrange all of our shots to account for the changing weather. The window for opportunity was so small that as we were wrapping up, we could see a storm with forecasts of snow just in the distance. 


This short film was a massive undertaking on an extremely short pre-production schedule, from completely switching up the script on a moment’s notice to creating a small town in the middle of nowhere to building massive rigs for stunts. After four days of shooting, we captured a short film that would go on an eighteen-month film festival run. “I Miss Us” went on to win nineteen different awards ranging from “Best Director” to “Best Editing” to “Best Special FX Makeup,” amongst many others.