Staying Warm - Behind the Scenes


A couple try to find a winning lottery ticket in an epic blizzard.


In the biggest blizzard in NYC's history, a young couple try to find a winning lottery ticket. With nothing more than a snow shovel, a metal rake and the snow piling high, they embark on a seemingly impossible task. But when one discovers the ticket and conceals it, trust and desperation, give way to greed and treachery. When the other notices catches wind of this, they soon come to grips with their felonious and homicidal potential.

STORM's A Comin, Prepare to shoot ! - director's notes

On a Tuesday, late January, 2016, The Weather Channel reported that the "Storm of the Century" was approaching New York City. I was working as a camera operator on the TV show, "Inside Amy Schumer". The last time we had disaster weather in NYC, I regretted not shooting something. I'm of the school of thought, the worst the weather, the better the footage. It's my inner Werner Herzog at work. So by Thursday, I asked my wife, Broadway star, Zainab Jah, if she'd be up to shoot in a snowstorm on Saturday. To my utter disbelief, she agreed and went one step further, recruiting her friend, TV and Film actor, Michael Stahl - David, to play the male lead. By Friday, I mustered a small crew from Facebook, and outlined a beat sheet for a script. On Saturday morning, cast and crew showed up at my doorstep covered in snow.

We shot all day and into the night. With just an outline, my talent improvised their lines. The camera, the Sony A7s II, super sensitive to light and small, we shot without permits or professional lighting, just street light. What would've taken a truck full of gear and a small army ten years ago, required a a crew of six and the will to stay warm. From concept to wrap, we had four days and just one day to shoot. Best of all, Mother Nature pulled no punches, giving us 12 straight hours of non-stop special FX. The shoot cost me breakfast, lunch and a round of drinks. It's a good time to be filmmaker indeed.


Tim Naylor, born in Michigan, moved to NYC to study film production at New York University's Graduate Film Program. His Thesis Film, "Generic Metal Titan", screened at Los Angeles Film Festiva, AFI FF, won Bronze at Houston World Fest, Best Short at The American Film and Video FF and was awarded the Warner Brothers Production Grant. He then went on to become a cinematographer, having shot scores of indies, spots, music videos and docs. He's also credited as the camera operator for Steve Mcqueens, "Shame" and Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer".  After two decades of working as a DP, he has returned to his true passion, directing -- making a run of short dramas and documentaries in the past two years. Inspired by everyday life, not a day goes by where he doesn't see something that makes him say, "wouldn't that look great on film?"/