Denton, Texas | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

Tito Contreras

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

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It's about a young, sensitive college student who hates profanity. He's been dealing with this since he was in junior high, and now he's fed up with it. He decides to make the wish that everything in this world is "censored", in which the profanity that people use will be replaced by silence.

About The Project

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Mission Statement

The themes of this film are the freedom of speech, acceptance, and individualism. Everybody has the right to say whatever they want. They should also accept everyone who are different from them. If they get to know them, then maybe they would like them. Most importantly, be yourself. Simple as that.

The Story

Although I've made several kinds of videos such as vlogs, news packages, PSAs, and promos over the course of six years, this is the first time that I'm going to make a narrative short film. I've been working on this film since Christmas of 2017. At the time, I made an outline, a treatment, and a character grid for the main character, Marko. After that, I started working on the script in January 2018 and finished it a month later. I made several revisions of the script until I finished it in January 2019. It took a while for me to edit my script, but it's a rewarding experience for me. After that, my crew and I got to work such as location scouting and holding auditions. Now, I'm getting close to the point when I actually shoot the film in early April 2019. I can't wait to find out what it's like to direct a film.


"Censored" is a comedy-drama film. Although there may be funny parts here and there, this film deals with serious issues such as loneliness, censorship, and the dark side of superiority. The most important theme is freedom of speech. Everybody has the right to say whatever they want, including profanity. No matter how much you want to, you can't control other people's lives to make them the way you like. The other theme that is explored in the film is acceptance. People should accept others the way they are, no matter how different they are. For example, Marko is very sensitive to profanity. This may sound weird to the audience, but's that a part of who he is. Nevertheless, this shouldn't discourage anyone to get to know him. He may be the perfect friend that someone wants to have. Finally, the other theme that is explored is individualism. One of the most important messages in this film is to be yourself. It's as simple as that. You don't have to conform to be happy. Just be yourself and you will be the happiest person in the world.


This short film is based on my personal experience. The inspiration of this film started out in 2009, when I was 12 years old. There were a lot of changes that happened in my life. First, my best friend moved away to Wyoming. Right after he met me in school when we were 10, we instantly got connected and became best friends. We hung out together almost all the time. We made awesome memories such as riding on go-karts and spending time in his house. He was a perfect friend for me. Unfortunately, he had to move away when we were 12. I was really heartbroken because I wanted him to be in school with me until we graduate. I became really sad after that point.



However, this is not the only change that happened. After summer, my sister moved away to college. It was really hard for me because I didn't know what it's like for a sibling to move to college. Finally at school, I was having more classmates. The class was getting big to the point that I started seeing a group of girls talk to each other while a group of boys did the same. I tried talking to them but they seemed to ignore me. As a result, I started becoming lonely and depressed. There were a lot of changes in my life in a very short period of time. It was too much for me to handle.


Whenever I turned 14, I started becoming very sensitive of two things. First, I started hearing my classmates use profanity. I didn't want them to say bad words because I thought they are bad. Since I was little, I was taught by my parents to not say them. So, from what I've been taught, my classmates were doing the wrong thing. I started telling them to stop saying bad words, but they either ignored me or they argued with me by saying that they are not bad words. I wished there was a way for them to stop using profanity, which is the main motivation of the Marko, the main character of this story.


At the same time, I started to hear jokes that I didn't get or pay attention to, which caused me to have anxiety attacks. I would get so angry to the point that I burst out crying. Anxiety attack is something that I'm exploring in the first scene of the film. This scene is raw because I'm showing the audience exactly what I went through to have anxiety attacks. This is something that I don't want to go through ever again. 2009 to 2012 were the worst years of my life.


However, something really important happened in my life that was an eye-opener. One morning, I was talking to my mom about this problem, and what she did next is that she gave me one important advice. She said something like "Don't worry about what other people say. Just focus on your own problems." From that point on, somehow, my life was starting to get better. First, I started seeing my classmates in a different perspective. I didn't see them as heartless jerks anymore. I started seeing them as the people who just want to have fun. At that point, I started getting along with them and having fun with them. I realized that I was becoming optimistic.


Finally, I graduated high school as a valedictorian. I was so grateful about that because I had been dreaming of being a valedictorian since I was 12, but it finally came true. I made myself a graduation speech and I spoke in front of the audience during graduation. I told them this story and how much I'm going to miss my classmates. After I finished the speech, the audience clapped. While I was on my way to sit back on my chair, all of my classmates came up to me and gave me a group hug. That was the best moment that I ever have with them. That was the time that I felt so much love from them. The feeling was overwhelming that I screamed in joy. I will never forget this moment.



After graduation, I went to South Plains College to major in Radio, Television, & Film. I was so excited to go to college because I wanted to meet new people. While I was there, I made a lot of new friends, including my new best friend. I met him during my second semester there. He was like the best friend that I had when I was 11. We talked a lot every day. We were talking in the cafeteria and we talked while we were walking around campus. Those were amazing times because I hadn't had a friend in years who I actually hung out with. I was having a true experience of friendship, something that I see people have every day. Unfortunately, we had to part ways when we left South Plains College. I was really sad because I thought the same thing is happening again. I won't see my best friend anymore. What was different this time is that I knew how to face these changes because I've been experiencing them. Because of that, I wasn't depressed for a long time. I knew what to do. I've been keeping in touch with him sometimes since then. I hope that I can see him again someday.



Finally, I am currently at the University of North Texas where I am trying to make my first short film. This is really cool because I am a writer and director of this film. I love being a writer of the film because I can tell a story that is based on my personal experience. I now have the ability to tell the story in a script. This is amazing because I want to express myself and let the audience know what I went through in junior high and high school. I also love being a director because I can be a leader and assign my crew tasks to get this production done. I want to be a leader because I want to have the ability to reach my goals. If I don't, then it would be hard for me to pursue my dreams.


Well, these are all the themes and inspirations of the film. I want to make this film because I want to express my personality and tell a story based on my personal experience. And, I also want to inspire everybody with all the themes and messages that I'm trying to convey. Making a short film is a completely new experience for me. Since this is my first time doing this, I know for sure that there will be a lot of new things to learn along the way. I'm really excited for that because I love to learn. I want to know how filmmakers are involved in a production. I hope that I can be able to shoot the film and complete the production. It would be the most rewarding experience that I have in my life.


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Distribution to Film Festivals

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I would like to distribute my short film to films festivals, so you can all have a chance to see it.

Snacks and Water

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I need them to give my cast and crew something small to eat and drink during the shoot.

Olive Garden's Lasagna

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I need it to bring dinner to my crew during our first day of the shoot.

Chick-Fil-A's Chicken Sandwiches

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I need this to bring lunch to my cast and crew during our second day of the shoot.

Domino's Pizza

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I need this to bring dinner to my cast and crew during our second day of the shoot.

Dunkin Donuts

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I need this to bring breakfast to my cast and crew during our third day of the shoot.

Jimmy John's

Costs $168

I need this to bring lunch to my cast and crew during our third day of the shoot.

About This Team

My crew consists of people who do have experience and those who don't. I have the ones who are experienced so they can give me advice on what I should do during the production. As a result, this would help me get through production in a right way. At the same time, the other people in my crew don't have much experience. But fortunately, I can be able to help them do the things that they're supposed to do. I love to help others out, so this is an opportunity for me to use my leadership skills to help them. I also want to give them a chance to show their skills, so they can be able to have more experience and succeed in the film industry.


Director and Writer: Tito Contreras


Producer: Nishma Santos

I met her in one of my Media Arts classes in Fall 2017 at the University of North Texas. At first, I thought that she's cool. But when I got to know her more, I realized that she is really nice. We've been talking to each other once in a while throughout my two years here. I wish I can hang out with her more often. Nishma was one of the first people to join my crew. She didn't have much experience in film production when I had her at first, but she has been gaining more experience through internships and jobs in production companies. Right now, I've been helping her on what she has to do as a producer such as budgeting and promotion. She is a really nice person, and I believe that more people should consider her to work in production companies, so she can have the experience that she needs.


Associate Producer/Associate Director/Production Manager: Matthew McHenry

I met him in one of my Spanish classes in Spring 2018. We met each other the day or so after I pitched this film in the Short Film Club. He told me that he liked the idea of the film and that he wanted to work with me. I agreed with that and he was one of the first people to join the crew. He is a very chill and nice guy. He's one of my best friends in UNT. We've been talking plenty of times since then. He has been very helpful throughout the production. He shot about the whole trailer. He's been involved in productions of music videos and short films in the past, but I don't think he has been involved as an assistant producer. So, I've been helping him budgeting and location scouting. He is a really supportive guy and I can't wait for him to help me out during the shoot.


Director of Photography: Gary Pierrot Jr.

I actually met him just a couple of months ago, in January 2019. I had another cinematographer but she graduated already. So, I needed to find a new cinematographer. To my luck, Gary came to the rescue. Since the day that I met him, he is a really nice guy. We went over some stuff such as his videos that he made in the past and the storyboard that I made recently. We've been getting along really well. Right now, he's been getting more experience as a cinematographer. Very recently, he shot his latest short film "Frankly". People should check this out when it's done. I'm excited for him to start shooting my film. I'm going to find out in person what he's made of. ;)


1st Assistant Camera: Tanner "T.Rex" Matthews

I think I met her in Spring or Fall 2018. Although we haven't been hanging out often, I think she's a pretty cool girl. I really want to hang out with her more, though. I know that she has plenty of experience being an assistant camera, so I have confidence in her to work with me during the shoot.


2nd Assistant Camera: Ariel Rosete

I met him in January 2019. Although I haven't been seeing him much, he's been a pretty nice guy. I'll also find out what he's made of during the shoot.


Lead Audio/Boom Operator: Dianne Ducking

Although she joined the crew at the end of Spring 2018, I didn't actually meet up with her until the beginning of Fall 2018. I met with her during one of the Short Film Club meetings. She is a very nice and supportive girl. We talked a lot during our first meeting. I didn't want it to stop. I really want to hang out with her sometimes. She's really nice. Also, she has been helping me with a lot of things such as planning to hold auditions, reserving equipment, and making the trailer. I know that she has a lot of experience being the Lead Audio in other short films, so I have confidence in her to work with me during the shoot.


Gaffer/Key Grip: James Weaver

I met him in Fall 2018. He's a pretty nice guy. He has been helping me figure out what I should do next in a production such as making a trailer first, then casting. I know that he has plenty of experience in working for other short films, so I have confidence in him to work with me during the shoot.


Production Designer/Prop Master/Hair & Make-Up Artist: Phoenix Roberts

I met her in Fall 2018. She is a very nice and supportive girl. She has been getting jobs done such as costume and set design. She has been also helping me in a few things such as scheduling the shoot for the trailer in a studio in the Media Arts building. From what I've been seeing of her, she is really responsible. I'm very excited for her to work with me during the shoot.


Script Supervisor: Lauryn McCollum

She is the latest addition to my crew. She just joined a couple of weeks ago. As far as I know, she is really nice and helpful. She has been trying to find dorms to shoot and people who would be interested in auditioning for my film. I think she will be nice and helpful during the shoot. I can't wait for her to work with me then.


BTS Photographer: Amanda Juarez

I met her in Fall 2018. As far as I know, she is pretty nice. I haven't been seeing her often, though. I hope that I can hang out with her sometime. I'm excited for her to shoot a lot of b-roll for the film. I really want to show all of you how we're doing during the production.


Composer: Fadi Khoury

I met him in August 2018 before the semester started. Although I haven't seen him since then, he's a really nice guy. I'm extremely excited for him to compose the music for my film. I never thought that this would happen so soon. Making original music for my own film. To me, this sounds awesome. I can't wait to see how he makes the music.


Editor: Venkat Thiru

I would say he is my best friend from the University of North Texas. I met him during the first day of my first semester at UNT, in Fall 2017. We've been talking and having a lot of fun since then. To me, it feels great to hang out with him because he has been supporting me and he is an introvert like me. I wish we can hang out every day and do lots of stuff such as watching our favorite movies and TV shows. I'm going to miss him the most when I graduate in Fall 2019. I am very grateful to have him as my editor because he has been with me for emotional and moral support throughout the process. I'm also grateful that he would be responsible for finishing my film. I'm very excited to see what he can do while editing. I hope he's going to make me proud. :D


Well, that's everybody in my crew. I am beyond grateful that they are taking their times off to help me get the experience that I need in a production and make this film a reality. They are a great group of people and I would love to have them collaborate with me again in the future.

Current Team