SHADES OF GREY
Nothing is ever truly lost...
It was 3 AM one morning in August 2005 when I awoke from a sound sleep and, sensing that all was not well, rose to check on Dakotah, my twelve year old dog. Ever protective of me, I found him wide awake lying on his side just outside the bedroom door. When he tried to rise, he let out a sharp cry of pain.
The vets said that he had suffered an age-related spinal injury and most likely would not survive. While his family struggled to make peace with what seemed inevitable, Dakotah surprised everyone by fully recovering. But the grief I experienced when it seemed he was lost haunted me and inspired SHADES OF GREY. We shot the film in late September just seven weeks after his injury and locked the picture by early November. There were other projects to complete however, and "Shades" remained unscored and uncompleted.
Two and a half years later, Dakotah passed away and that earlier grief returned a thousandfold. Hoping to assist the healing process, composer Adrian Hernandez offered draft after draft for the film's score until finally in early 2009 SHADES OF GREY was finished.
My clinically stated goal for the short was to elicit a powerful emotional response from viewers in two minutes or less and without the use of any dialogue. But in reality, it was to convince myself that the soul of such a perfectly gentle creature could yet love a very imperfect earthbound spirit.
During its test screenings and premiere, even audience members who said they didn't like dogs admitted to getting misty-eyed by the two-minute window into a pet-owner's profound grief.
Indeed, nothing is ever truly lost...