Short of the Week

Table for One

Stuck in the doldrums of his daily life, Philip comes home to his apartment to find his world turned upside down.

Confession time: when a film that’s over 20 minutes comes in through our Submit a Film page, my eyes tend to glaze over a bit. Let’s be honest—on the internet, 20 minutes is a lifetime. So, as I started to watch Table for One, I was admittedly skeptical. But, just a few short minutes later, I was hooked. Bolstered by very strong performances and a keen visual style, Table for One is a polished short—a story about longing for something more, about the interminable waiting game of life.

Philip is your average guy with average, boring problems. His career is stalled, his love life non-existent. He’s stuck. But, upon returning home one night after work, he finds his apartment magically transformed into a restaurant. Soon enough, he is once again waiting—this time for a table in his very own living room.

The film’s high concept becomes an obvious metaphor for life—about being forced to wait your turn through a seemingly endless song and dance of ass-kissing and people pleasing. We wait and wait as life continues to go on. What does it all mean?  When is it going to be my chance? When is it going to work out for me? Sure, when written down those sentiments seem so selfish, but who here can’t relate? It’s human to want something more, to get frustrated by the stagnant routine. Playing with its clever premise, Table for One is peppered with hilarious moments. It’s also surprisingly introspective—Philip’s journey of self discovery is relatable and poignant. Yet, at the film’s conclusion, the filmmakers give our protagonist a glimmer of hope, albeit a small one. Much like in real life, the events that can potentially incite big change usually start in the most seemingly insignificant and unexpected of ways.

Directed by Jesse Coane and crafted by WORK a boutique San Francisco production company, Table for One was shot over four full days with funding coming from both personal savings and Kickstarter. If you’re interested in the creative process, be sure to check out this behind the scenes featurette.

The same team behind Table for One has already finished its second short entitled We Were Awesome, which is about childhood friends who reconnect in their hometown over Thanksgiving weekend. Look for it at festivals in the coming year.

Ivan is a filmmaker, video editor, and motion graphic artist from the Washington, DC area. He is an avid movie watcher and podcaster. He’s also quite handsome and charming (at least that's what his Mom says). For more information about Ivan, visit Lucky 9 Studios.
  • Sindhu R.

    I think I liked what Ivan had to say about this film more than the film itself, but that’s not always a bad thing I guess.

  • Cassidy Bisher

    Great work. LOVE it.

  • Ivan Kander

    Aw…shucks. Appreciate the compliment.

  • College student Owen

    This short film has wants to represent many ideas. Many skills used as well. What I think this film still needs to improve. Add more monologue not just music. In the film when he is in the bus back to home i think the time order is not right and on he way back home it become dark it should more light and add some monologue. Otherwise everything else is good. This is my point of view for the film. Nice job. Great work.

  • Rhonda Hoskins

    I’m pretty sure I understood why the words spoken by the hostess “you’ll have to wait your turn”, were significant to the story but, I still have questions…

    Why was the restaurant named after the main character? Is he the future owner? Who was the gentleman with the white hair? Can you briefly explain the significance of the name that popped up on the phone call at the end? BTW…loved the movie but I need closure!

  • Ivan Kander

    The text at the end is from his coworker (the girl he shares a workspace with). Hence, it’s a sign of hope that things are moving forward—the start of a potential romance (after being blown off at the beginning)

  • shoaib hadeed

    loved it !!

  • shortfan

    Am I the only one to see a Shinnig referece?

  • shortfan


  • michel

    I really liked this short film,Many Skills used as well. I Love it.

    You may find more shortfilms here Lets watch,Upload,Share.

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  • markw

    I wonder if the ending might have been more of a surprise (spoiler alert) if it turned out that, after leading us to believe the restaurant/apt was a dream, it turned out that the actual content of the dream was that of what we had thought of as Philip’s normal life, his life at the job.

    In other words, it would have turned out that, perhaps because of a little too much drink, Philip forgot that he had started a restaurant in his apt. Or maybe a bartender along the way could have appeared to have possibly doctored his drink before he came home, making his memory lessened,

    Seen this way, Philip dreams of a normal life at a more predictable job reflect his desire to return to normalcy and even some failure, which has been lost because of his desire to pursue the unpredictable life, which has not been as exciting as he had thought it might, because it had become too unpredictable, and he has matured a little and seen that the constant state of the exciting life on a safe ledge has worn thin.

    Perhaps his desire to drink while working at his normal job in the office could then also be interpreted as a desire to escape the normal life. Philip is looking for a happy medium between excitement and normalcy.

    Good film either way.

  • dustin

    really cool

  • Pawe? Czerski

    This would have been a great short if it had a proper ending. You watch the whole 20m30s all excited and entertained just to be so badly disappointed by a single stupid shot that’s from a totally different story.