My current project in-progress, THE CAVE

THE CAVE by Sylvia Toy, playlist on YouTube

My projects have 3 phases: 1) story and character development through acting improvisation; 2) scene rehearsal and production design; 3) production with continuity.

I studied dramatic writing for about 7-1/2 years between 1990 and 2000 and wrote about 20 plays. In making my movies,  I use acting improvisations to create each character’s backstory and story; and I rely heavily on my writing education and experience pull the improvisations together into one overarching story. 

More specifically: I improvise on camera in character, letting each character tell his or her own story/backstory. Once I have a throughline that connects the characters to the same story, I improvise scenes between characters using costumes and makeup to portray different characters via Chromakey and splitscreen. That is a big acting job but it is not as unwieldy as it might sound since as a theater artist, I specialized in playing multiple characters interacting with each other.  This process leads to a throughline, but also usually leads to a number of scenes that don’t contribute to overarching story. Those scenes are cut. The scenes that work together are produced with continuity and the highest tech that I’m capable of.

Sketch of the inciting incident
Preliminary character, costume and makeup sketches of the three primary maile characters
Romito, the protagonist
Neo, primary male supporting character
Sketch of opening scene
Toumaï, primary male supporting character
Sketch for scene between Romito and N