Cremate the body, find a spot, spread the ashes. Routine. But for Delilah, her Japanese culture demands she honor the ashes by keeping them for 35 days. What to do with your mother’s remains for 35 days? Delilah and her mother were inseparable: best friends and favorite confidantes. So why should that stop after death?
At the film's outset, you witness Delilah navigate her new life with her dead mother’s ashes: in a beautifully decorative urn. Inseparable, as in life, Delilah and her mother pick up where they left off. They journey through the ups and downs of day-to-day life, with one clear difference: mom is dust in a porcelain container. How can Delilah let go when what remains of her mother is always by her side?
Through the use of physical comedy and Chaplin-esque storytelling you will become enveloped in Delilah’s new world. Like a rose that is starting to wilt, this movie is sweet with a hint of decay.
"Necessity + Minimal Budget = Creativity"
"We want to find humor in the mundane uniqueness of life."
"I love how the unravelling of Delilah's story is reflected in the way Kris shot the film. There is a rawness and freshness that comes out of this hermetically sealed world."
"The Urn shows off our unique theatricality, which we bring to film."
"I believe in humor, and in humor as a primer for the dramatic."
"Working with my wife as an actor was fun.
Ruth is and actor, writer and producer living in Los Angeles with her awesomely creative husband, Kris and absolutely adorable dog, Jasper. She likes to help create stories that are humorous and full of heart. @ruth_coughlin, @babiruth
Kristopher Lencowski is a good Minnesota boy with an offbeat personality and desire to tell great stories. Originally coming from the world of theater, Kristopher graduated with an MFA in Directing from Brown University. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he set out with his wife, Ruth Coughlin, to make films that are funny and accessible, but with a soul. He is thrilled to make The Urn his debut in the film world, which expresses his desire to entertain with unique, clownish, underdog characters that transcend to moments of profundity. Learn more at KristopherLencowski.com
The Urn was shot on a Canon 6D, mostly with a Rokinon 35mm lens. We used a tripod with wheels for the dolly shots, an Opteka SteadyVid for handheld and our iron and ironing board holder for the shots on the bathroom mirror.
We broke the urn. Twice. Read about it
The scene in the donut shop was supposed to be in a grocery store, but we actually couldn't find a grocery store that would let us film. We were desperate to find a spot to shoot. Then, it occurred to us, what do you want more than anything when you're grieving? Donuts.
Ruth looked through at least 1,500 urns to find the right one.
Soooooo. Lesson learned filing The Urn: When you have a very fragile prop that you are taking to many different places - BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL!!! Ruth was the one responsible for holding the urn, so she is the one who had the most opportunities to break said urn.
Infamous Breakage take 1 - Kris and Ruth were in their living room rehearsing a final moment in the film when the top flew off onto the ground and broke into many, many, many pieces. Ruth was rightfully horrified, but almost instantly knew that there had to be a way to remedy it. Thanks Gorilla Epoxy!! Kris was mortified and decided to be out of the house while the urn was fixed, (“I can’t look!”) but in the end it came back together.
Infamous Breakage #2 - Picture it. A beautiful sunny day in San Diego. Going to shoot the scene where Ruth takes the urn out of the car. For some bad stroke of luck, it slips out of Ruth's hands and lands on the pavement. The top, which had broken before (see above), is totally okay, but the body is in 11 pieces. Ruth proceeds to break down into a sobbing mess, Kris’ mouth is agape. The ride back to LA was not a joyous one… We were 75% of the way through filming, but a very critical 25% still needed to be filmed. If we couldn’t fix the urn, we would have had to start all over. BUT Ruth got it together and broke out ye ol' Gorilla Epoxy and viola! It's in one piece again. It's now at a solid B- in the looks.
We've got lots of fun stories about shooting the film, from getting creative while shooting on a low budget, to breaking the urn and gluing it back together, to working as a newlywed husband and wife team, to what this material and how we deal with it means to us. Check it out and contact us to hear more!