It's Not About the Nail

Writer and director, Jason Headley talks about acting and directing a film on the finer points of marriage. He shares his insights into what really makes a great marriage - which is to ignore the nail. 

It's not about the nail

There have been plenty of studies over the years exploring the different types of logic men and women use. Men just want to fix things and women just want to be heard. Jason Headley as director, writer,and in this case, the male actor as well, encapsulates this relationship dynamic in 'It’s Not About the Nail'.  

“The idea for this script actually came out of a conversation with my wife about the importance of listening. I said to her, 'Yes, sometimes I just need to listen. But sometimes there’s a solution. Sometimes it’s like you’ve got a nail in your head and you’re complaining about a headache.' Later, we were out to dinner with some friends when my wife said, ‘Jason has this thing about a nail in my head.’ Our friend said, ‘You should do a short about that.’  I realized, 'Oh my gosh you're right'."

"I wrote this script two days later and we were in production within two weeks of that conversation. This script felt like it practically wrote itself. In fact, there was only one draft. The only thing I changed was the title which was originally called ‘The Nail'."

“I found a reference piece for the look and sent that off to Jessie Eisenhardt our DP. We shot the scene in my living room here at my house. The whole team was only five people, including me as director and actor. All I really needed was a little monitor setup so I could talk with Jesse and see the framing without having to get off the couch.”

"The actress is Monica Barbaro. I had worked with her on a Lumosity TV commercial I directed. She was great in that and easy to work with. I reached out to her, sent her the ridiculous script, and she was game."

“The whole point of this thing was to ignore the absurdity of the nail, so we really tried to stay in the zone, trying not to crack up. And that wasn’t particularly easy." 

 "I guess the most difficult part to shooting this short for me, was at the end when Monica and I are supposed to go in for this 'almost' kiss. I have been married for 10 years now. So, not being a proper actor, this whole kissing someone else thing didn’t feel at all right for me. Because of my nervousness, I over-choreographed that part so much that Monica was probably thinking, ‘What's is wrong with this guy?’ It’s in the marrow of my bones now, that I am not to kiss any women other than my wife. So I guess I have been listening to at least one message in my marriage."

"For the record, my wife loves this short film. I remember this thing on TV where they would say ‘…and knowing is half the battle.' After 10 years of marriage I’ve learned that you can know a lot of things about your marriage, but that’s only half the job. Execution is really the key part.”


Director Jason Headley
DOP Jesse Eisenhardt
Assistant Camera Ben Lunden
Editor Tim Fender
Production Sound Paul Dorough
Sound Mix Joaby Deal
Title Design Elina Frumerman
Colorist Ayumi Ashley
Male Actor Jason Headley
Female Actor Monica Barbero

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