Its been a little over a week since I wrapped Gone For The Day, my latest short film project and its taken me about that much time to process the whole shabang and gather my thoughts.
I’m not even going to try to fight the sentimentality. Much like one’s first love, nothing will ever replace the experience of your first film but the thing about love/filmmaking is, well at least I feel it should be this way, is it grows, matures, learns from its occasional rash decisions and comes out the other end of whatever ordeal wiser for it. I’m dreadfully thankful to say that couldn’t be more true of my second go at directing.
Your's truly in 2010
The genre of GFTD was a total departure from THE SAVING, I went all dramedy borderline rom-com, compared to THE SAVING’s psychological thriller mindfrakk pace this was a walk in the park. In all honesty it was a breath of fresh air for my heart and mind. If any of you have read samples of my work you guys know the vast majority of it is dark introspective soulful stuff so GONE FOR THE DAY’s playful storyline and easy going romp-in-the-park sorta pace was far from the norm. So much so when I let a my best friend read the first draft she accused me of the story not being my work because it was “too adorable.” All that to say the tone is lighter but the inspiration behind it was very concrete. Pulled from personal experience to write the character’s fleeting interactions and leave the audience feeling charmed, hopeful, and (fingers crossed) thankful for the relationships that come and go in their lives.
That last sentence sums up what I want my filmmaking experience to be for myself as well as for those who I’ve worked with. I’m a firm believer in the idea that there should never be room on set for Divas. Not even the Director. As the youngest person on set excluding our female lead (which always seems to be the case on
A little over a year later
my films) finding the balance between being in control and making sure my vision for the film is carried out and stepping back and listening to advice and letting people do their jobs is always an interesting one. One of the most encouraging things someone said to me after we wrapped was simply “The maturity that you’ve achieved in just this one year is huge and profound.” The speaker was on set for both THE SAVING and GONE FOR THE DAY, hearing those words lit up my heart.
I step back now and safety say THE SAVING was a controlled train wreck of a production, the film was completed, made it to its destination but lets just say sparks flew, things got blown up and had to be roughly welded back together. It was an extreme learning curve where the mantra “fake it to ya make it” couldn’t have been more true.
The fact of the matter was, on GTFD I didn’t have to fake it… you know, as much I had done “that directing thing” and while it will never become old hat having one film under your belt really shows you the important things and in the end, its what’s on the camera and the memories your cast and crew walk away with that count. My goal was to have everything run smoothly and keep everyone happy. And oddly enough I’m pretty sure I was able to do just that. There were plenty of hiccups along with way (the props bag and half our female lead’s wardrobe got caught up in a PA’s bag that wasn’t coming back to set and lived a good hour away.) I attribute the smoothness of the shoot most wholeheartedly to my absolutely AMAZING Crew and Cast. Especially my DP Rebecca. That chick seriously cares about indie film, she stuck her neck out for me, EP-ing THE SAVING and happily jumped on board as Director of Photography for GONE FOR THE DAY. I couldn’t have done it without her. The knowledge, know-how, care, and attention she showed the project and this Director will stick with me forever. I’ve already decided she’ll be on my TY list when I snag my first Oscar All this to say THANK YOU REBECCA! A shout out to Matt Brammer as well, who was GFTD’s Key Grip/Gaffer, the totally self-taught lighting genius brought his industry level brilliance to our low-budget short without a minute of hesitation, his total A-game. Between him and Rebecca, we have one da*m good looking movie on our hands.
Having these people by my side every step of the way (among many others like the ever sporting nerd t-shirt MU/H/W Goddess Apryl Mitchell Snyder) the two days we rambled around Traveler’s Rest SC (population 4k, more then three fourths of which are apparently in Church on Sunday morning) made all the difference as we rambled around this small town. Did I mention I have a brill Cast as well. Both Daniel Bostic and Catherine Allen nailed their roles with ease and effortless charm. And I’m pretty sure that they had a blast doing it as well.
To step back and clearly see the steps forward I’ve taken in this past year is nothing but encouraging and challenges me to continue to grow. So much still to learn and experience. As for GONE FOR THE DAY, we’re looking at a picture lock before Christmas, and the release date is being hammered down sometime in early February 2012. A very quick turn-around and then its off to the Festival races. My ten year plan for #IndieFilmWorldDomination continues!
To end with, while sorting through the clothes that needed to be laundered after the weekend shoot I stumbled upon one of my favorite shirts that I didn’t actually end up wearing on set. Scrawled across the front was the simple yet profound phrase “Oh the places you’ll go.” I can’t help but smile, half because its Dr. Seuss and he’s made of AWESOME but mostly because the statement is so darn true. But I’m gonna take the liberty of tweaking it a bit. “Oh the places WE’LL go.” I strongly believe we’re in this together, cause honestly, who else would I be making movies for
You guys rock and thanks for reading!
They were amazing at faking that they weren't freezes their butts off.
GFTD's lead Daniel Bostic and Catherine Allen. The intrepid duo.
Guess who was actually more savvy on the guitar