2011 Feature Film shot in Camden, ME
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Category — Festival Play

Belief in the YES

We got to premiere our movie in Waterville, Maine at the Maine International Film Festival — an amazing experience for all of us and also a lovely reunion with each other and the various people who helped make this film happen. After the screening which I was newly moved by–we made a GOOD movie on top of everything–the six of us who started the project plus our director of photography and our editor, all women, got up to do a Q&A. Being in front of an audience to answer questions about a film that is dear to your heart and that the audience may or may not have just enjoyed is nerve wracking. I was thankful that the questions were fantastic, insightful and enabled us to talk about the process of making a super low budget, first time movie in some depth.

So there were good questions and good answers, and then Gary Wheeler, one of the wonderful people who gave of themselves to help us make Like the Water, asked a final question of the group: “How did this process change you?” The girls started answering on the opposite end of the line and I started racking my brain for an answer. As the microphone was passed to me I realized the gift that our summer in Maine had given me: a belief in the yes. I’m generally a person who believes that people are going to say no to me. It’s just the way I approach the world. But in order to film our first movie for a very tight budget and in the great outdoors within a month, we needed all the yeses we could get. So I had to start asking for stuff, for free, on a daily basis. The funny thing that I never expected was that the people of Camden, Mid-Coast Maine, and the State of Maine at large offered our movie the yes before I could even ask, cheerfully and without asking for payback. One day when I stopped for gas at my favorite filling station between Camden and Rockland, I was talking about needing a ladder. We had an 8 ft, we had a 10 ft, but we needed a 14 ft for a specific shot we wanted to do. The cashier heard me and asked what I was up to. I told her about the movie and she said, “Well let me go out back and see if we have one.” They didn’t and we ended up finding one someplace else and got the shot we needed. But a week later I was at the same gas station and the same cashier was there and when she saw me she asked, “How did that ladder thing work out?” I was struck that she remembered me and wished us success. She embodied the yeses and the open arms we were welcomed with during our time in Maine.

Those open arms have not only continued to surround Like The Water but have made me more confident in the yes of life. It has changed me. It’s a powerful way to view the world and is due entirely to my experience in Maine making our movie.

August 6, 2012   No Comments

WORLD PREMIERE at the MAINE INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST

And THIS is how we feel:

This is Susan Main, who plays Jen Butler in the movie, jumping on a trampoline outside of one of the ice cream stands in Camden last summer. We had just completed our fourth consecutive overnight shoot at Cuzzy’s, and it’s the same kind of elation in this picture that we feel today: a big reward after a lot of hard work.

(The trampoline was actually part of Susan’s regimen for us. She was also the vocal coach on set, and since each of us had multiple roles on set besides acting, sometimes we required extra help to get focused on the task in front of the camera. The trampoline helped us to get focused and present if we were tired, listless, had a million other things to think about, or it was the middle of the night and we needed a boost. I think it worked!)

May 17, 2012   No Comments