The Dead Drop 2020, 09:59
When precocious kids stumble on a mysterious coded message, they become pawns in a game of espionage cat and mouse.
Lifft India Best Children’s nomination, IndieFEST Award of Recognition, New Filmmaker NY official selection, NY Lift Off Fest selection.
For a link to the full film, hit me up.
The seedling of The Dead Drop was planted one afternoon when I happened on the costume department of The Americans, which occupied a storefront in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn at the time. I was with my kids, so I had them pose for a snapshot in front of the sign to amuse their mother. This led to the idea of precocious kids getting mixed up in spy vs spy games.
As the story started to form, I knew I wanted the four kids who appear in the film to the be the gang, starting with my own, and built everything around that. The treatment and first draft of the script even uses their real names. If any of them had not agreed to be in it, I’m not sure what I would have done, but luckily I didn’t have to confront that possibility because I had the right balance: Oliver is the de factor leader, Talulah is the dramatic one, Jeff the sensible one, and Aiden is the instigator.
Inspired by 80s Amblin’, I picture The Dead Drop as a thriller, but as imagined by a 10 year old. Both the spies are a little larger than life and on the cartoony side, which is how a kid would picture it, but the way they interact and engage with each other is grounded in observation. There is truth in the portrayals, even if it’s a child’s truth.