WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"My Happy Place" a Thoughtful "Found Footage" Short Film
One simply must give credit to writer/director Devin Scott for My Happy Place, a unique and inspired 18-minute "found footage" short film comprised of super 8mm home movies collected from swap meets and estate sales and woven into a relatable and emotionally resonant tale of a young girl in the 1960's who embarks on a cross-country journey with her preacher father in a quest to learn the true meaning of forgiveness.
The story itself is one I certainly won't share here, though My Happy Place feels remarkably familiar with a similar story likely encountered by many of us. The film itself isn't necessarily a live-action short in the truest sense of definition but instead finds us serving as an observing companion for Laura Bohlin's warm, wistful narration and imagery that we've all likely witnessed if we've ever gone through old photo albums and videos likely tucked away in the closets of our grandparents.
My Happy Place is meaningful yet quietly so. It is most certainly universal in meaning, a familiar central theme that requires processing and forgiveness along with a journey as seen through the searching eyes of a child. If you ever experienced any sort of childhood drama or trauma, My Happy Place will likely resonate with you in the way it tells its story and in the ways in which it represents the misunderstanding heart of a child who simply wants life back the way it used to be even if the way it used to be wasn't perfect.
There's a certain Disney-like whimsy that comes vividly alive in My Happy Place, our young child, Anna, dreaming of her own open road and the seeming magic offered by her happy place and the healing powers that it holds in her mind and in her heart.
It's to the credit of Scott and his team that My Happy Place feels so incredibly alive and real, Scott's own editing precise and perfectly timed while Nicholas Patrick's original music complements the film's narration quite wonderfully. Rob Amato's lensing for the film is an essential part of this nostalgic tale told with intelligence, wisdom, and insight. My Happy Place tells a story that feels so true that you can't help but want it to be true.
My Happy Place is one of the more unique indie shorts I've seen thus far in 2022 and it's certainly also one of the most memorable.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic