Houston, We Have a Crush

Finding love is hard...especially if you're an alien named Ditto on an unspecified distant planet.

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Production
Writer: Jen Kim
Director/Co-Writer: Omer Ben Shachar
Producer: Jason Eisner
Producer: Bara Kim
Cinematographer: Kai Krause
Email: jason@playpracticeprods.com
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Ditto, a lonely alien living on a distant planet, stumbles upon a phone left behind by an astronaut. As he explores this mysterious device, he falls deeper in love with the idea of who he thinks this astronaut is, until he starts to lose his grip on reality.


Ditto is a lonely alien, living on an unspecified planet. One day, an astronaut who has come to explore Ditto’s planet accidentally forgets his phone before taking off back to Earth. Ditto finds it and takes it back to his small cave-dwelling home, curious about what it is. Over time, Ditto explores the phone. He opens up Spotify and listens to the same crooning love songs the astronaut listens to. He scrolls through his pictures, able to build a visual of him, and hears his voice through his voice notes. Ditto becomes more and more consumed by the idea of who he thinks this astronaut is until, finally, he is faced with the challenge of reconciling his fantasy with the person when the real astronaut returns.

Houston, We Have a Crush is about our very human tendency to fall for the idea of someone rather than face the truth of who they actually are. We want to explore the feeling of loneliness, but also celebrate the creative ways in which our minds make up stories to fill the emptiness in our lives.

Meet the Filmmakers

Jen Kim – Writer
Jen Kim (She/Her/Hers) is a comedy writer based in Los Angeles. She’s written for Amanda Peet’s hit Netflix series, The Chair starring Sandra Oh, Season 2 of Amazon’s adult-animated series Fairfax, and Seasons 1 and 2 of Amazon’s forthcoming Sausage Party with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Most recently, she wrote for Mel Brooks’s History of the World Part II, working alongside Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and Wanda Sykes. Currently, she is writing for a Mike Schur produced Netflix animated comedy called Dang. Aside from TV, Jen has written short humor pieces that have been published in McSweeney’s, Point in Case, and The American Bystander. She also has written a comedic novella that parodies grungy detective stories called The Show Must Go On: A Detective Grit & Taylor Taylor Jr. Tale. She has the same name as her oldest sister, Jenny, but it’s not that weird because her parents didn’t know they were the same name.

Omer Ben Shachar – Director/Co-Writer
Omer Ben Shachar (He/Him/His) is a Los Angeles-based writer-director from Tel-Aviv. His short, Tree #3, won a 2019 Student Academy Award, was nominated for a Student Emmy, and received top prizes at UrbanWorld, HollyShorts and Palm Springs, among others. Omer has also directed music videos featured on Rolling Stone, Billboard, Directors’ Library, and Nowness. His video Down Here for composer Claudio Olachea is a 2023 Webby Award Winner, a 2022 Vimeo Staff Pick and was nominated for a Cannes Lions Young Directors Award. Omer is a 2023 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow. Previously, he was selected for the 2020 Warner Bros. TV Directors’ Workshop and the 2019-20 ViacomCBS’s ViewFinder Emerging Directors Program. Omer is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he received the Richard P. Rogers Spirit of Excellence Award for Directing. Omer is a member of IADAS as well as a BAFTA North America Newcomer. In 2020, he was named to Forbes Israel’s 30 Under 30 list.

Jason Eisner – Producer
Jason Eisner (He/Him/His) is an LA-based producer who recently launched his own production company, Play Practice Productions. Play Practice crosses genres and platforms, producing film, TV, and theatre, with a special eye toward LGBTQ+ content, family content, and musicals, and provides a playground for visionary artists to create socially relevant and thought-provoking works. Jason previously worked at Disney in Creative Development for the Live Action features, working on many high profile projects such as The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Cruella. He cares deeply about and has a strong pulse on the social issues of today, and as a gay Orthodox Jew, brings a unique perspective to everything he works on, valuing the importance of faith, queerness, and intersectionality of all kinds.

Bara Kim – Producer
Bara Kim (She/Her/Hers) founded Apricot Dreams, a film production company specializing in music videos, commercials, and narrative storytelling. Bara is a Korean American immigrant with a producer’s track record, working with clients like Interscope and Warner Media. Beyond their film producing career, they’re an actor, with a one-eyed cat named Prince, and a passion for movies, podcasts, and the Korean dessert bingsu.

Kai Krause – Cinematographer
Kai Krause (He/Him/His) is a cinematographer from Germany, living and working in Los Angeles. A graduate from the The American Film Institute, his work as a freelance cinematographer ranges from short form projects for clients like Celine Dion, Ozuna, J. Balvin, Gatorade, Land Rover, and Delta to feature productions. The latter include the documentary Wild Beauty, a film shot over four years that took him and his crew down 20,000 miles of dirt tracks and off-road expeditions across 13 states in the American West, the narrative feature film Breakwater, a neo-noir thriller filmed in North Carolina, and The Lamb, a movie shot in the Saudi Arabian desert late last year. Kai is represented by Michael Kirschner at Intrinsic LA.

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