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Muhammad Sannan Saleh ’22: Pin Drop Silence

Project Date:
Project Date: Summer 2022

This dystopian dark comedy, “Pin Drop Silence,” follows the story of a school teacher who quits his job to start a private academy.

About the Project

I received funding for an independently produced TV show that I began shooting in 2020. Pin Drop Silence is a 5 episode long dystopian dark comedy that takes place in Pakistan. It revolves around a school teacher who quits his job and decides to start a private tuition academy at his mom’s house.

After capturing all the footage, I began working alongside Professor Josh Gibson to make rough cuts for all 5 episodes of the show. After graduating from Duke, I was able to utilize the funding to spend the summer in Los Angeles, where I networked with a variety of professionals in the film and TV industry. Meeting Duke alumni like Kevin Plunkett, Jade Craven and Jordan Imbrey provided me with a lot of insight. Using this knowledge, I was able to continue working on refining the rough cuts and also begin planning for release and distribution. I was able to record voice-overs with my actors and remotely lead production of leftover scenes in Pakistan. After talking to many people in the industry, I’ve been able to pivot the direction of the series and rework its storyline, making it a lot more cohesive. Moreover, I’ve been able to learn a lot about distribution opportunities and marketing strategies, which is what I’m currently focusing on.

Overall, the Benenson award helped me focus on expanding my network and continue working on my project, which has advanced considerably since last year. While it is still in the works, I consider myself to be in a far better position to finish this show off and ensure that it gets the attention it deserves.

What changes did you notice in your summer experience due to COVID-19?

The main thing I noticed was the pervasiveness of digital meetings over zoom. People are a lot more accustomed now to talking about crucial things over the phone / internet rather than meeting in person. This has its disadvantages but also some advantages, which I didn’t know until I moved to LA.