PLAYING WITH FIRE (2021)

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A Short Film

Producer, Co-Creator, Co-Writer, Actor (Hattie)

After a barn fire kills their parents, siblings Henry and Hattie’s bond is tested by Hattie’s domineering fiancé, as they fight over control of the farm.

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PRODUCER'S NOTE

The sparks that would some day become Playing with Fire first flashed in the winter of 2017. I was fresh out of the conservatory program at the Atlantic Theater Company, where the motto ‘create your own work’ had been drilled into us for two and a half years, and Ben was entering his final semester at Dover High School. We met weekly for months, fanning the flames of our ideas, hoping that from the embers a story would emerge, something we could pour our souls into. We were both hungry to work, to be able to show what we had burning beneath the surface as actors, and longing to work at a caliber that we could set ourselves. The prompt ‘what is missing from our reels’ launched us into a collaborative pitching game where we built the world of Hattie and Henry over our glasses of iced Americanos.

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Our ambitions were tall, but we were lucky to be surrounded by other artists with similar goals, such as my collaborative partner JJ Blake who flew in from Washington, DC to work on the film, and a local production company who believed in the characters we’d created. And as a first-time producer, the support I received from my community was immeasurable, from the generous families who donated their locations (and horse) for filming, to those who contributed to our crowdfunding campaign from all over the country. It was their support that inspired me to keep going, without whom, our dreams of creating our own work wouldn’t have been possible.

 

Working on Playing With Fire taught me how to be a leader, to stand up for my artistic ideas, and to believe in myself as an artist. I learned that I don’t have to wait for others to give me permission to create, so long as I have an idea that I believe in, and a team who believes in it too.

 

As a first-time writer and producer, I’m thrilled to share Playing With Fire with the world.

Devon Padley

Producer, Writer, Actor, Creator