Figure #1

Director, writer, producer, production designer, video editor, VFX, motion graphic designer, costume designer, set decorator.


Rebecca Poulsen, was born filled with disgust to human contact. Isolated in her home surrounded by her bizarre artistic creations, her biggest dream is to exhibit her sculptures at The Gallery. After being constantly rejected by the gallery owner, She decides to try something innovative by building Lus, a humanoid doll that will radically change her career and her personal life.


Lisa Pettersson as Rebecca Poulsen
Craig Wollman as Narrator (voice)
Jessica Monachelli as Rebecca Kid
Frank Craven as Owner of the Gallery
Paulo J. Maia as Hipster
Juliette Garrigues as Nun
Chus F. Sarrion as Fashion Girl 1
Silvana D'Abriola as Fashion Girl 2
Matthew Wechsler as Kid 1
Cecilia Gault as Kid 2
Joseph Galdi as Kid 3
Mattia Molini as Doctor

Figure #1 is my final thesis at the the New York Film Academy. Since I counted with absolute creative freedom, I decided to raise issues that I have always been concerned with, putting them together in a closed plot, but narrated in an experimental form.

It is a dark psychologycal drama, with touches of surreal humour. It treats in an unusual way universal themes such as human nature, death or art, through questions to associated and intertwined branches. Who is more human : the one who is jelous of its own cells or the rest, indifferent to the others "pollution" and therefore to the loss of identity? Is disgust the most human emotion? And what is it heinous? May it be what reminds us of the inevitable death? What about the art? Does the artist pursue immortality with his art? Could the creation drain its own creator? Where is the border between attraction and aversion to the-almost-human?

All these questions, far from treating them under a purely academic approach, they naturally glide through the plot points by the means of the absurd humor and irony. Regarding the style, I was looking for something non realistic, which is why Expressionism and Surrealism fit perfectly with the predominant presence of psychology in the story. Since I was in pursuit of this look, all the action takes place in interior locations. Therefore, although it was shot in NY, you cannot tell.

Narrative experimentation is very subtle, but not least: a sort of matryoshka doll of films within and feeding back each other, where the limits get lost.


Excluding some student exercises, “Figure #1” was my first short film and probably a good example of “how not to write a student thesis”. While most students try to figure out a script according to their limits, “Figure #1” pushes them.

It was produced at the New York Film Academy, but absolutely selffinanced, therefore, it counted with an extremely low budget and a crew conformed by students. I had to choose between having a great equipment and a good stock of art materials. I finally opted for art supply since I thought I would be able to boost the quality of the image on postproduction at a very low expense.

And, certainly, I did, but it took a long time of very hard work to get the desired image. It is always the same equation: work-time-money. “When you lack one of these, you need to increase the others.

The story required a total designed set in order to provide an expressionist look to the film. Two studios were rented in a building under construction in Brooklyn, at a very low cost (considering it was NY). All the scenes were shot in these two rooms, except the kids scene, which had to be rescheduled (and re-casted) due to an absence of the main character (Rebecca kid) during a blizzard.

Luckily, the core of the cast, Lisa Pettersson, is a great professional and she provided an accurate performance to what I was looking for. I wanted to cry of joy when Lisa accepted the role. She got every idea at first attempt. To sum up: The whole film was shot in seven days with the sacrifice and self fulfilment that an act of creation implies.