This headline might need some explaining.
During my college years, I actually made a few short films. These days, I’m mostly just a very inefficient writer. But yes, for a brief, shining moment, I was filled with ideas and had just enough collaborators to pull them off in the form of short films. I don’t much miss college, but I do miss having a bunch of people who could help me make movies. I miss the crew aspect of it all.
One of the short films I made, the first one in fact, was a thing called “Assourdissant.” I can’t really go into the details of where the film ends out of respect for another film I’m about to talk about, but the premise is one in which a deaf person gains the ability to hear, but quickly finds that the world’s noise is less than pleasant. It’s a simple concept that required very few actors and not a lot of equipment. I can’t say it was the most technically impressive of my short films, but it was a start.
Nevertheless, I mostly forgot about “Assourdissant” when my films became better and more involved. Though it certainly pushed me down the filmmaking rabbit hole, it was mostly a learning experience that I only subtly drew from in my subsequent works.
When I watched “Sound of Metal” earlier this week, I was floored by the final few minutes. Did it have a good ending? It did. Was it the kind of ending that gets you thinking? For sure. Was it basically a shot-for-shot remake of “Assourdissant?” Yes. Yes it was.
I suppose when you make a little film about a character with a defining obstacle, in this case deafness, any other film that shares that obstacle will ring similar. However, the similarities in this case were eerie. The concept or characters weren’t just in the same realm; they were almost exactly the same. Right down to the shot composition, “Sound of Metal” was accidentally biting off of my short film with 151 views on YouTube. Maybe one of those people who watched it is director Darius Marder. In that case, I’ll be waiting for my check in the mail. If this gets a screenplay nomination at the Oscars, it better be in the adaptation category.
In all seriousness, I don’t believe for a second that I in any way made “Sound of Metal” exist. Could you imagine if I actually thought I was that important? But on that note, seeing my film match up with a real movie was passion- and life-affirming stuff. Sometimes a creative needs to know their stories are valid and worthy of existence. I had that moment while watching “Sound of Metal.” It restored my belief that there may be something great in store for me yet if I just keep the ideas flowing. One of them has already broken through.
Sam Zavada is a copy editor with The Standard-Speaker in Hazleton. He previously served as the news clerk at The Standard-Speaker, working with the obituaries and the community and lifestyle pages. Sam’s work in print dates back to his time at King’s College, where he spent two years as the editor in chief of the school’s newspaper, The Crown. Earlier in his time with The Crown, he worked as a staff writer and the entertainment manager. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.