The Birthday Cake Short Film

The Birthday Cake Short Film

The first of many Bret Allen stories to hit the silver screen?!


Helloo all-

During the past year, a local filmmaker called David Martin approached me, seeking a short story that could be turned into a short film script. While many of my stories were a bit too fantastic for an independent filmmaker (without a huge budget), I did have one story which was small, self-contained and simple- The Birthday Cake.

Some of you may recognise this from my collection, Strange Matters. The Birthday Cake was inspired, in words alone, by Neil Gaiman’s flash-short ‘Babycakes’. The idea is simply this- what if a birthday cake were actually, literally, a cake made of birthdays?

Thus, this very short story was born. I suggested it to David and he liked the idea, so armed with a band of helpful volunteers he created this 6 minute short, also titled The Birthday Cake. I know David faced considerable adversity with this project (not least of all my wordy script!) so he did a great job in bringing it to life. You can see it right here!

The Birthday Cake was a fun story to write. To enhance the mystical feeling and make the birthday itself more significant, I chose to set it around a young Jewish boy’s 13th birthday- as he became Bar Mitzvah. Obviously, this just highlighted the symbolic significance of the birthday and the passage from boyhood to adulthood. You can see that setting reflected in the video, along with the background of Grandfather Mort as his memories pass into Lucas.

This is one of my favourite stories, because of its simplicity and poetic neatness. I’d also like to thank Martin Morris of the local Stoke-on-Trent synagogue who helped me fact-check the script for accuracy regarding Jewish traditions (magical cakes notwithstanding!). You can see more of David Martin’s filmmaking work here.

I hope you enjoy the short! If you want to read the story version, grab a copy of Strange Matters today-

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by Bret

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