|Directed by||Douglas Harvey|
|Written by||Samantha Harvey|
|HSRB||GS for some crude humor
|Cinematography by||Douglas Harvey|
|Edited by||Douglas Harvey|
|Distributed by||Harvey Studios|
|Release Date||December 13, 2008|
|Running Time||8 minutes|
|External Links:||Official Website|
The Gift is a 2008 comedy short film directed by Douglas Harvey based on a story idea by Samantha Harvey. The film stars Samantha Harvey as a teenage girl named Lanie Finch who is tasked with delivering a Christmas gift within a timed deadline. But hilarity ensues when Lanie's short attention span gets the best of her during the two-block trek to the Post Office.
The film spawned two sequels - one of which was filmed - but neither have been released. There is talk of either a reboot or an official sequel being produced in the near future, this time taking place during a birthday party.
Lanie Finch (Samantha Harvey), a 14 year old girl, finds a wrapped gift on her dining room table one morning. The attached note from her friend Fracesca reveals that Lanie must deliver the gift to the Post Office. Lanie dresses in her outwear, collects the present, and exits the house.
Outside, Lanie slips and falls on the ice and then composes herself. She treks two blocks up the street to a waiting mailbox, but is unable to open it. Frustrated, she throws the gift at the box and then crosses to a UPS box at the corner. This is also unable to open.
Flustered by her lack of luck completing this simple task, Lanie rounds the corner and walks down a commercial street looking for something or someone to deliver the parcel. She is distracted by the sight of a Dominoes pizzeria and takes a detour. Once fed, Lanie rushes home - only to find that she is still hungry.
Lanie violently plows through her various cupboards and drawers, coming across any snack foods she can find - small hard candies and a GooGoo bar included - before collapsing to the floor. When she rises again, fully fed, she inspects the gift's letter once more. This time she realizes there was a time limit on her delivery deadline - 12 minutes left to spare.
Unfazed by the ticking clock, Lanie plays video games and lays around until it is too late. Once the deadline has passed, Lanie curiously opens the gift and reveals it to be a care package of even more junky snack foods. This excited Lanie beyond measure.
Francesca (Douglas Harvey) arrives home and finds Lanie has defiled the package and failed to deliver it. He questions her, but Lanie is as stupid as she is gluttonous. At the mention of "pie" (a small word Francesca uses as a means of keeping her from getting confused), Lanie's eyes light up and her attention falls from the task at hand into a need for pie.
The film was shot almost entirely in chronological. During the shoot on December 12th, 2008, the storyline and dialogue at the end of the film was improvised by Samantha Harvey. This brought along her writing credit.
For Francesca's scene at the climax, only actor/director Douglas Harvey was present. For this scene, the camera was set on a cabinet shelf. This explains why his shots were the only ones that were not stabilized and immobile, unlike Lanie's, whose shots were entirely handheld.
The names - Lanie Finch and Francesca - came from Samantha Harvey, who also came up with most of the dialogue at the end of the film. The sequence of events taking Lanie from the beginning of the film to her final climactic intake of junk food were improvised by a joint collaboration from Samantha and Douglas. It was made up almost entirely as shooting went on. Only the basic concept - a girl has to deliver a gift and hilarity ensues - was decided before shooting began.
This was Samantha Harvey's debut as an actress in a Harvey Studios production. She had previous experience in school musicals. Francesca was created toward the end of the shooting as a means of giving the Lanie character human conflict. Director Douglas Harvey stepped in to fulfill this role.
Filming took place almost entirely in chronological sequence on December 12th, 2008. The second sequence in the house where Lanie goes on a junk food binge was shot after the first interior sequence (the introduction) was shot. Then, the entirety of the outdoor scenes were shot in the order they appear in the film. After this, Lanie's half of the climactic conversation was shot, followed finally by Francesca's half.
Editing & MusicEdit
The film was edited within 12 hours of completing shooting. The score was composed by Director Douglas Harvey, and features loop samples built into a composition specifically for this film. The style of the music is orchestral/electronic and features a fast, bouncy beat and light orchestrations that reflect the pace and mood of the film.
Release and ReceptionEdit
The film was released on YouTube on December 13th, 2008.
The film has garnered 121 views and 1 like/1 dislike as of January 2014.
According to YouTube statistics, the primary audience of the film resides in the United States (102 views), followed by Ukraine (6 views). The remaining views come from the United Kingdom and India (1 view each)
Two sequels - The Gift II and The Gift III - were written in the spring of 2009. The Gift II was shot entirely and a rough cut of the edit was finished. However, the film became lost while various life events ocurred, and has not yet been resurrected. It is unknown (but unlikely) that it'll ever be released officially.
A reboot or an official sequel is potentially on the horizon. If it turns out to be an official sequel, it will take place at a birthday party as opposed to the Christmas season. However, if it is rebooted it is unknown what the setting will be or if it will be a remake of the first film.