Film - No Break For The Broken

"No Break for the Broken" is an abstract journey into the mind of Nancy, a woman who struggles to forget about the death of her husband. Her grief manifests itself in the form of fragmented memories and haunting apparitions


Nancy is beset by a troupe of haunting characters. A Jester and his three dancers. They appear though out the film in three distinct forms; as haunting apparitions, as porcelain figurines atop a music box, and as friendly human actors in stage makeup.

Dancers, haunting form- I went with a textural bell shaped tutu with a dark corset that would work well with the hair and makeup.

During the climactic dance routine the dancers crack apart and wip blood all over the place. Unfortunately we ran out of time during the dance shoot and had to skip it.

The Jester, haunting form - The Jester's key piece is his hat.  I wanted a twisted take on the jester hat. In the concept the hat is worn and twisted, no longer resembling the iconic jester cap, but something corrupted.
Costume shares design cues with the dancers

Coming to Life

Eric Fox of Morbx FX Lab and costume designer Megan Luby  took on the task of bringing these concepts to life.

Eric Fox preparing actor Erik Dugan for the cast.

Hat sculp in progress

Eric taking my concepts to the next level, I love it!

On set, Eric adds the body makeup -photo by Holly Rone

Dancer Jessica Kelley posing in costume-photo by Holly Rone
Megan nailed the costumes. Her attention to detail was excellent, superb work.
Megan Luby making sure her costumes are properly fit - photo by Holly Rone
Scene where we first see the Jester.


Being an artist, it was easy to get carried away with over working boards. Sometimes I'd spend all night on a page, other times I'd do them the morning of the shoot.  Of course last minute boards are nothing more than rough chicken scratch.  Often just top down x and o shot planning.

Boards and Set Dressing.


In the scene above, the Boss and Nancy face each other. The WIDE 2-Shot and the bosses MEDIUM shot have cube-land backgrounds that make the scene interesting.   Unfortunately we couldn't pull off these shots with the space we had.  Instead, we positioned the actors side by side and focused most of the set dressing behind them.

lackluster rent-an-office space.

strategic placement of wall partition to fake a cubicle.

2  partitions, posters, background extras, and framing created a nice office feel.

You can make a simple set more interesting at night with the use of light and shadows.

Storyboards for Dream Sequences:

I did these ones after casting, so the characters on the boards match the actors more closely than the previous boards.

Boards also helped to communicate ideas with the choreographer.

Rough Boards

Quick chicken scratch board indicating camera movement.

I changed the line of sight once on location because I preferred the shots I could get from this side. 

POST PRODUCTION: Compositing and FX

Sun's dramatic decent created in After Effects 

Posters along the back wall and the computer screen display were added in post.

The Music Box- 
MusicBox_1 from RoelJ on Vimeo.
Clip showing the initial footage, composited, graded and fx.