It’s been a hard year.
We’ve all been tested.
Some of us have fought,
and some of us have lost.
Some of us have gained,
and some of us have sacrificed.
But the holiday season is here,
and with it comes a new year.
An opportunity for a new beginning. A reset.
Even though the holidays may look a little different this year,
it doesn’t mean they’re any less special.
So find a way to connect with the ones who matter most,
show them how much they mean to you,
and always remember that life is the greatest gift of all.
From the Director, Derek Dienner
When Lisbet and I were discussing our 2020 holiday film we asked ourselves the question, “What story do we want to tell people right now?”. And our answer was, “A story that shows how life is a gift!” Lisbet took that theme and wrote a beautiful script that was focused around the challenges we’ve experienced this year but also the blessing of being alive and healthy.
While directing this film I kept in mind that I wanted to portray a balance of hardships and blessings. Visiting with vulnerable family during the holidays will look very different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be meaningful and special. Getting through 2020 healthy is a gift. As a cancer survivor I understand the thoughts of mortality and I’m thankful for every day I have on Earth with my friends and family. I hope this film encourages you be thankful for the gift of life and reminds you to show some extra love to those around you this holiday season and beyond.
From the Writer, Lisbet Byler
I was honored to write this year’s holiday film for MAKE/FILMS, inspired by events my family and so many other families experienced in 2020. The MAKE/ crew took my script and ran with it and made something truly beautiful. I hope this film inspires you to find a way to connect with those who matter most in a creative and safe way. Happy holidays!
From the Director of Photography, Steve Buckwalter
From the Producer, Grace Wagner
MAKE/ wanted to create a holiday film that represents what a tough year 2020 has been for people in different stages of life. Lisbet came up with the concept and wrote a script from her heart that ties together multiple story lines. The rest of the Makers used their talent to bring it all together to create a wonderful film that represents the 2020 holiday season.
Nurse: Danielle Hartman
Pa Pa: Sam McCrea
Mother: Leslie Talley
Father: Brandon Talley
Daughters: Cora, Vivian, & Marley Talley
Dog: DJ Norris Byler
Directed by Derek Dienner
Written by Lisbet Byler
Produced by Grace Wagner
Executive Producer: Derek Dienner
Director of Photography: Steve Buckwalter
Art Director: Catlin Williams
Editor: Jordan Graff
VFX: Allen Clements
Colorist: Steve Buckwalter
Gaffer: Aaron Dienner
Jib Op: Jim Mundell
Aerials: Get Kinetic
PA: Zacc Bangert
PA: Jeremiah Lapp
Dog Handler: Lisbet Byler
Marketing Manager: Lisbet Byler
Composer; Piano: Derek Dienner
String Arrangement; Cellos: Dave Eggar
Acoustic Guitar: Phil Faconti
Engineering: Mike Stephenson
Recorded at Classic Recording Studios Bristol, TN
Special thanks to
Womb With A View
Cavod Academy of the Arts
Garden Spot Village
For press inquiries please contact Lisbet Byler at firstname.lastname@example.org
A MAKE/FILMS Production
This was a fun and challenging short film with a lot of locations and some ambitious shots to pull off in one day. Grace, Derek, and I planned each sequence with a careful shot pattern that would have the most impact for each scene, but also serve as a connective thread through all the characters. I chose to shoot on the RED Komodo because it’s the perfect size for speed and agility without compromising image quality. Paired with the Sigma FF primes, it’s a killer combination. We were also able to get some aerial assistance from Derek Sander who used Get Kinetic’s Inspire 2 drone to get a simple, unshowy “crane” shot for the opening of the film. For the final sequence my good friend Jim Mundel brought his 18ft jib out to help get some cinematic shots in the third dimension. His remote head work is amazing and it was a lot of fun to do a shoot like this with him.