The Film

Colleen invites her estranged sister Eleanor to meet her in a diner late at night. The meeting does not go exactly as she planned - Eleanor is not what she expected.

Project History

In 2017, Dani directed Katherine and Mary in Cool for Five Seconds for a theater festival in Chicago, the Women’s Theatre Alliance Actor Showcase. They fell in love with the script and its story, and decided to keep working on the project by turning it into a short film. Mary and Katherine became the producers of the project, and the filmmaking process began. Together, Dani and screenwriter Calamity West adapted the play script for the screen. With our Director of Photography, Jason Chiu, we shot a proof of concept trailer to test out our ideas and filmmaking chops. After the trailer was finished, we added Dana Macel (production designer), Gabby Henderson (Production Sound Mixer), Reba Wilson (1st AC), Cole Moore (Gaffer), and Travis Delgado (AD) to the team.

We shot our film at A&T Pancake House in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago on November 29th and 30th, 2018. We are currently in our post production process.

Director’s Note

There is a glaring lack of nuance in the way relationships between women are represented in media.  Playwright Calamity West’s mission as a writer stems from this deficit: “I write very tangible characters, regardless of gender, because that is still a revolutionary act in 2018. A lot of times my female characters are described as...not very good or virtuous people, because of their language or their motives or their stakes. I just want people to know that I really, really love these two women, meeting in a diner. And I think they love each other, and that they are not as callous as they would like the other to perceive them...I just think they are really good people. And complicated, like we all are.” Cool for Five Seconds provides a depiction of women rarely seen in film: one of being multivalent, complicated, messy, beautiful, and totally real. This story communicates a potent and necessary message: that to love someone does not mean to reduce them to a flat stagnant thing that you can understand, but rather to embrace them as ever-changing, always becoming.

- Dani Wieder, director