Diego is desperate – for a job, for excitement, for love. When he gets hired to work by Vasquez, the absurd boss who loves data but can’t type, Diego finds himself in the strange, strange land of Data-Mart. There he meets June, an incredibly fast filer, and as the two make their way into the secret world of underground filing, things will never be the same.
Diego agrees to be her coach and manager, and as June rises up through the underground filing ranks, the two begin to fall for each other. But do they really have a shot, or are they just fooling themselves?
This movie is about magic. But it’s really about the true magic of friendship, and connecting with people, and how that’s actually a million times more powerful and interesting than paperclips coming to life, or even magical technology like the internet. My story, the story of writing this film, starts almost 20 years ago, when I graduated from film school and faced the real world for the very first time.
It was 2003, and we were in the middle of a recession. I couldn’t get a job writing, or filmmaking, or anything creative. As I widened my search, I found I couldn’t get hired to do anything. I thought I was a sure hire for a courier service, where the boss was astounded at my typing speed, but they never called me back. So I signed up with a few temp agencies, and a few weeks later, I was getting called in as a substitute employee to offices all over the Southland.
Some had no sunlight. Some were very strange. Some were very noisy, and others were deathly quiet. All of them were very boring. All of them were very grey, sparse, and colorless. I began to meet a very interesting group of people - people who took naps under their desks, who found keyboard shortcuts to hide the contents of their computer monitor when the boss came around. And I found lots of time to imagine magical escape routes out of the grey cubicles where I was trapped everyday.
One story was about a character named June who was incredibly fast at filing. Another was about a man who found a way to actually live inside the office. Another was about a boss who always found a logical way to defy logic. The stories I wrote during that time of my life are what eventually transformed into All Sorts. This movie is a magical office story about the surreal world of Data-Mart, and the eclectic people who work there. It’s my second feature-length film as a writer/director, and it was put together with a lot of paperclips, staples, and heart in Yakima, WA.
This is the second feature we’ve filmed near my hometown of Granger, WA. We had so much fun making the first one, Cement Suitcase, in and around Tri-Cities and Yakima, that I knew we had to come back to film the next one. And we were lucky - a lot of our cast and crew from the first film came back to film with us for 18 days in 2018 and make it all happen! We did film a few additional pickups in Los Angeles, but almost the entire film was shot in Toppenish and Yakima.
All Sorts is truly a community-made film. The producer and art director stayed with me at the house I grew up in. Other family friends invited crew members into their homes. David Carstens, the cinematographer, asked if he could skip his hotel room, and live in the office where we filmed instead. It was just like the character I wrote! So we moved a mattress into the corner office, and that’s exactly what he did. He set up a lot of shots before anyone showed up in the morning, and after everyone left for the day he’d walk around the cubicles thinking about the next day’s scenes. And that’s just one example. Everyone really pulled together, and made a lot of sacrifices, to make this film the best it could be.
My hope with this film is that it encourages people to find magic. When they look at a filing cabinet, a paperclip, or a copy machine, I want them to have the same feeling I had hiding in a closet after reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, or seeing a red stapler after watching Office Space. As companies slowly start to transition back to office environments, I want them to use their imagination as they think about their own office lives. This is a very positive movie, about love, about friendship, about finding magic in a dim, drab place.
I hope this film becomes a route to finding that magic yourself.