2011 Feature Film shot in Camden, ME
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Category — Camden

Thank you for The Strand.

This is a very belated ‘thank you’ to all the people who came out to see our movie when we screened it in Rockland Maine this August. It was an evening that still gives me a  rush when I think about it; ‘Like the Water’ on the marquis, a line of people around the block, such a great and enthusiastic response after the screening.

It was thrilling to screen our movie in a theater I had spent so many hours in growing up. One of those moments where you think: “Ah, if only my younger self could see me now.” It is a satisfaction devoutly to be wished. But beyond the full-circle pleasure of screening our film at the Strand, the true joy of the evening was the incredible turnout; the people who showed up by the dozens to support us and witness our work. While there were some in the crowd who were strangers to me, the majority of the audience I knew well and have known most of my life.

It is a humbling experience to make a movie; the number of people required who come together around a single purpose never fails to awe. It often feels, on a movie set, that there is a kind of perfect storm of industry; that somehow everyone knows where to be and what to do and all these efforts combine to create the  miraculous moment the camera can roll and the director can call ‘action.’

It has occurred to me that – if you’ll forgive the metaphor – my life as an actor has been in many ways akin to a movie set, and that any accomplishment I have made, is due in such large part to all of the hands and voices and talents and love and support of all the people I have been lucky enough to know. Particularly, particularly all of the people who were in the theater on August 8th.


If you weren’t lucky enough to come from a small community, with little nightlife and one hell of a community theater scene, then let me tell you: the people who come out to watch you perform in your bad and usually long and usually musical performances, are an invaluable gift to any wannabe child actor. When you walk onto the stage at the local opera house and the seats are filled, you feel a little infinite, a little famous, and really proud and excited to be a storyteller; you feel that this thing you love very much is indeed a worthwhile pursuit. And that feeling will sustain you, years later, when you are living in LA and out-of-work and wondering why the hell you have subjected yourself to this career path.

The trouble with being an actor is that you can’t do it without an audience, and to those who took the time to be an audience me as a child I have to just say Thank You Thank You Thank You. So many of you were there at the Strand that August evening, and I can safely say: I would not have had the gumption or the desire to be an actor let alone make a movie of my own had I not had a lifetime of support from all of you. It is a gift beyond measure and I strive every day to make you proud and return that gift in this way that I know how. Thank you.

September 14, 2012   No Comments

Behind the scenes of Like the Water

In honor of our premiere in just FOUR DAYS, and in anticipation of a glorious reunion in the state of Maine, here is a little insight to what it was like this make this movie together in such a spectacular place.

Music: “Life by the Mile,” by Andy Laird.

Editor: Kathleen O’Loughlin of KTO Video

 

July 10, 2012   No Comments

Exciting News All Around!

Well, we did it! Like the Water is complete. It seems that the hard part is over but we know it’s still a long road ahead. We’ll of course keep you updated about festival premiers, and let you know as soon as you can see the film.

Caitlin is having wonderful success. Damsels in Distress is getting wonderful reviews and great press, some of which we have already posted. (We’ll post more, don’t worry.) AND she was just in NY to shoot a pilot Masters of Sex. We hope it’s as awesome as it sounds. You can see here more about the project and her involvement. It was lucky for us because we managed to overlap and get her in the ADR booth in the last weeks of sound post.

Ask anyone. ADR is so weird. Here are the ADR bandits, Caitlin FitzGerald and Susan Main in the recording booth.

We can’t wait to share the final product with you!

 

April 9, 2012   No Comments

Caitlin in Zink Magazine!

March is proving a big month for Like the Water’s co-writer and star. Here she is in Zink Magazine, being called “The next Audrey Hepburn.”

March 9, 2012   No Comments

Caitlin and Like the Water in Paper Magazine!

March 8, 2012   No Comments

The Grand Finale.

While the incredible work and spirit of our actors and crew has never ceased to amaze me in how much work outside of their roles everyone is willing to take on to get through the shoot and have a great film result, it is really the dedication to the story that constantly moves me. We are a young group, freshly (many of us first timers at our positions) into the world of filmmaking and the respect, patience, generosity and flexibility with which we all merge into each day on set never slows. The actors and crew serve as art department, props, costumes, clean up, our DP arts, our AD grips. We started this project as simply a project and it quickly developed into a film as our script evolved and as the film we needed shoot to capture this story grew exponentially. Our crew and cast remained the same man power and as a result, it is the biggest collaboration and most work I’ve ever been a part of. Successfully so with what we have shot this summer. I feel honored and indebted to each person I get to serve this film with every moment of every day.

I have to share the work around our final shot that began at dinner last week and resulted in Wednesday night’s magic. While the shot was a huge success, it really was the spirit about which this came about and was executed that tells the most about how this film has worked. Under the incredible leadership of our DP Eve Cohen, our crew has been working long hours and stepping into bigger roles than they had signed up for. Even with all this work, they took the time to make Eve and my dream come true of the last shot being from the middle of the lake looking back to the dock. Over dinner after 12 hour days, Eve, Liam, Ryan, Ari & I daydreamed, drew, plotted until we had a plan. Most of my contribution to this was simply beaming, eagerly nodding, asking how I could help and buying drinks. I will not do justice to all the steps that went into pulling this off (and hope Ryan shares his brilliance in this coming about) but in brief, our crew dedicated their day off to pick up a boat in Camden’s harbor, Alli & Conor drove it in her truck out to Jefferson, while the rest of us caravanned (with bathing suits, towels & beers in tow) and we spent the afternoon setting up the boat, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and shooting rehearsals of the scene with our handsome crew posing as the beautiful girls. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. Though we did wrack up: a canoe overturn (almost a concussion), a foot sliced in half, many debacles with the boat, massive spiders & general hilarity which added to the greatness of the day.

The day of the shoot there were thunderstorms, so we waited a second day. Cables, the Sony F3, the EX3, lenses were not going to be put in the water when lightning was overhead. The next day we went down to the water, the crew working with the greatest focus and care. The actors, so used to helping anyway they could, were landlocked while the rest of us were in kayaks, canoes, boats in various formations for both scenes. Our other essential crew who were not in the water hid behind trees along the shore, their work an equal part in bringing this moment about.  We shot the scene and then the finale (which had to be a one take wonder due to actors & wardrobe getting wet) we had one chance for it to be pulled off. Eve & Ari took their positions with the cameras, the rest of us formed a line to hold up the cable between the two so it didn’t land in the water and we were ready to go. The actors’ and crew’s shared passion for all the creative, logistical work to bring about this moment and all the work of the actors to get to this shared space was so thick in the air, that we got the shot.

With actors like Caitlin FitzGerald, there are so many moments when everyone on set is moved to tears. I experienced the most beautiful acting moment, yet again on this set, when our four lead actresses approached the lake and shared a word-less scene on the dock before our finale. The crew’s baited breath and the space they created for these actors to step into as well as the actors tender care of one another and admiration for the crew brought this moment to fruition. On the other side of the dock in the water, I sat in a kayak, pulled by Sheldon, as Ryan pushed the canoe with Eve & Ari who were shooting this scene from our man-made (literally) water dolly. The crew’s, actors’ and my joy at what the crew had pulled off to bring about this moment was palpable on set and as a result in this moment in the film. We are each a filmmaker serving this story and I am one lucky, lucky girl.

The crew of our film sets up for the final shot.

August 6, 2011   1 Comment

Day 4 – This actually happened

So the best laid plans of mice and movies…

Of course our intention was to write every day, and give you the full countdown, and then the full build-up. However, Camden has been so absorbing and we’ve been so caught up in the pleasure and planning of being here, we’ve been neglecting to update you. Like in all film as we understand it, there’s the way you plan it and there’s the way it goes.

I wanted to share with you just one example of many of the ways Camden manages to express a level of unimaginable generosity:

The Camden/Rockport area is a film center as home to the Maine Media Workshops, which have been training film professionals in many ways: MFAs, professional certifications, and summer enrichment. When Caitlin and Caroline put the script together and we confirmed we would shoot this summer in Camden, there were A LOT of people we were told we must meet for their experience, contacts, generosity, locations, and general goodness.

One such person is Jack Churchill. Whereas he used to travel the country working in film, now he teaches film studies to high school students, collects and fixes motorcycles, and keeps spirits up around Camden. Jack has helped us find many young people eager to get some film experience in his high school class, and he speaks like a beaming father of the work his students produce.

Emily and I met up with him Thursday afternoon on his semi-regular perch that is the bench in front of Cappy’s Chowder House at the literal center of town. Jack has a jovial face and white beard, and you can see his smile from a block away. We approached and exchanged our niceties and I noticed he was wearing a bright yellow shirt (under his green fleece) that said “Trust me” in tiny letters and then PRODUCER in huge red type. Then it went like this:

me: I gotta get me one of those shirts.

Jack: You the producer?

me: Yeah…

Jack: Well I wore it just in case…

And then before I could say anything, THE MAN HANDS ME THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK. Then he casually puts back on his green fleece, zips it up, and sits down on the bench to give us a wonderful lay of the land on Camden, his students, and other folks we should contact. He knew just about everyone who walked by us, too, and greeted them with his glowing smile.

I thought it was just a figure of speech, but his shirt was a literal expression of all that Camden has done for us to this point and continues to do, and it was so fitting that it happened RIGHT in the center of town.

July 2, 2011   1 Comment

6 Days!

We open the production office in Camden, Maine in SIX DAYS.
After the addition of Erica Anderson to our production team, we are really raring to go.
I just want to share a little bit of the feeling going on here:

The support of our friends, family, and creative community has been nothing short of breathtaking. I have said it before and it’s worth saying again that Camden’s open-hearted generosity has made possible what we were told was not possible. There’s a joke that if it takes one woman nine months to make a baby it should take nine women one month. I am starting to believe this group of women might be able to do it.

Being on a low budget means everything is DIY, and it’s actually surprisingly pleasurable: poring over the details of your own life to piece together the lives of these characters. We are spending our days collecting props from home, organizing craft services (catering), finalizing contracts, and crossing t’s and dotting i’s of our clearances. (As a side note – I completely understand now why “clearing houses” were invented. It’s a time consuming job. That being said, even the incredibly nice woman at Big Buck Hunter, from whom we have to obtain a clearance to film at Cuzzy’s bar, has visited the website, and sent her excitement and well wishes along with the contract.)

For those of you who have read the wish list and donated – you cannot imagine how much each little bit of your support has mattered to us. The little purchases we make funded by the wish list – the makeup, the hard drives, the coffee maker – are encouraging benchmarks for us that what started as an idea has fully manifested in reality, in all its minute and complex splendor.

So clearly we’re pretty pumped. There are still, of course, hundreds of details to attend to which momentum, excitement, or stress might cause us to miss. So when it seems intimidating I remember something my father taught me: just do the next right thing right. One foot in front of the other, even if it is a full out sprint until we wrap.

We’re making a movie!!

June 21, 2011   No Comments

Another big THANKS

In further service to their name, The Community School in Camden Maine has shown their enormous support of all things community, and offered to put up some of our folks.

Take note filmmakers! There is lots of support in Camden!


 

June 17, 2011   No Comments

Camden Needs a Thanking!

Holy moly!

So, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our small but fierce group: cast, crew, and friends, we are ready to head to Maine and open our production office in just 12 days. It is worth saying today that none of this would be possible without the incredible generosity of the people and businesses of Camden.

We are so thrilled to be able to work with Market Basket (delicious food!), ConnectSpace (beautiful office space!), High Mountain Hall (stunning location!), Cuzzy’s (best bar ever!), and many other businesses and people who we will tell you about along the way. The owners of these businesses have been generous in their support and more than willing to go so far above and beyond to help us find cast, crew and things we didn’t know we needed.  These people make up part of the broad network of support for the film industry in the mid-Maine coast. Thanks very much to the Maine Media Workshops, the folks of Camden are so used to being on film (because of the students filming all over town every summer), they make just about the best background talent you could ask for.

We hope to be at the beginning of a tidal wave of films shooting in Maine, and will do our best to spread the word on behalf of all the generous folks who make up the Maine film community (and its supporting constituents).

So this is the first of many posts to say, THANK YOU, CAMDEN!

 

June 14, 2011   No Comments