ABOUT THE USUAL
The Usual is an offbeat drama about a reclusive woman who relies on her husband to be her ambassador to the outside world. One day, when she runs out of food, she presses her husband to get groceries for her, only to discover that he is completely unable to, and she is forced to fend for herself.
The Usual explores what it means to live shut-off from the outside world and the impact that such behavior has on one’s mind.
The film was shot on location in Northern California, along the Sonoma/Mendocino county border. It was shot on the Red Epic.
Cast & Crew
Written & Directed by:
Steve Yager, Melissa Huber
Shanna Micko, Steve Yager
IMAGES FROM THE USUAL
CAST AND CREW BIOS
Director, Writer, Editor
Shanna Micko is an actor, writer, and director living in Los Angeles. She has appeared in the HBO series Big Love, several web series, and a number of comedy shorts that you can view on Funny or Die. She is an alum of UCB and iO West, and she studied acting in Howard Fine’s master class. She is the creator of the comedy web series Leaving Bliss, which was an official selection at the New York Television Festival.
Shanna has a masters in writing from USC, where she studied with the great Syd Field, Mel Shavelson, Shelley Berman, Gina Nahai, and others. Recently, Shanna has written and directed two short films, two comedy sketches and a series pilot. Find out more about these projects here.
IMDB – Shanna Micko’s IMDB Page
Steve Yager is a director and actor living in Los Angeles.
His most recent short film Dinner Party played at the Charleston International Film Festival and the Dances with Films festival in Los Angeles. Other directing highlights include the New York Television Festival official comedy pilot competition selections Murder Investigation Unit and Leaving Bliss.
Steve’s directorial projects also include official selections of SketchFest NYC, SketchFest Seattle, the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival and NATPE’s Next TV Awards.
IMDB – Steve Yager’s IMDB Page
This particular film came to me when I knew that I was going to be visiting The Sea Ranch, a coastal town in Northern California, and I knew that I had to take advantage of the unique location. The cabin that the film was shot in feels like a time capsule, with most of its decor still the original from the 60s. I wanted to create a character who would live in this kind of space, stuck in some kind of surreal time warp. I imagined a woman who has lived in this house her whole life, afflicted by anxiety about the changing world outside her comfortable bubble. What if a woman like this had gotten married? What would her relationship with her husband be like? Could a person tolerate being married to someone so trapped in the merriment of her own mind and the comfort of a way of life that has never changed? From these questions, The Usual was born. The end product is an exploration of what it means to live a secluded life inside one’s own mind and the consequences that that type of behavior may have on an individual day-to-day existence.
This short film was also inspired by a film group that I co-founded in Los Angeles called Just Fucking Shoot (JFS). Every two months, each member of JFS has to individually direct a short film that will be screened for the entire group. If a filmmaker doesn’t follow through, he or she owes the group $100 to split amongst the productive members. This group is meant to be not only an accountability group, but also an inspiration group. JFS now consistently has 16+ filmmakers committing to creating and directing a brand new project every two months. The work I see coming from my fellow colleagues challenges and inspires me to be a better writer and director, and to remember that THINKING about creating a film is one thing, but DOING it is another.
-Shanna Micko, Director of The Usual