Posted on May 10, 2016

By Matthew Skala

A film about autism

Here are some shots from The Boy Who Cried Fish–a film about autism that I shot for Director Dalia Musaad. The story centers around a boy reacting to news footage of a female protestor getting brutalized by the Egyptian military. As she was beaten, her top was torn off revealing a bright blue bra and the media coined the incident as “The Girl in the Blue Bra.”

I started production on this short with no prep. So it was the first day of shooting that set the bar. I was immediately drawn in by Musaads impeccable taste–her casting choices were top drawer and her attention to detail was evidence of a real artist in the making. Therefore, I couldn’t help but set the bar as high as possible with the resources we had.

As the schedule got tighter It became an ongoing challenge to stay ahold of that bar. It didn’t feel right to compromise the lighting and camera work because the script and performances were so good. And therefore Dalia insisted I take the necessary time. Thankfully I had a great crew that got inspired by the quality of work we were doing and really stepped up to the plate.

Another challenge during the shoot was with a school yard location we got stuck with. Dalia had lost her preferred location last minute and we had no choice but to shoot the scenes in a parking lot. If anything else it resembled a prison yard. I encouraged her to embrace this location for what it was and not what she wanted it to be. We focused on using lenses and angles that could hide or obscure the unpleasant surroundings. And at the end of the day we were happy.

This small sensitive film garnered 8 wins and 2 nominations on the festival circuit.

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