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We’re going to spend the next couple of weeks in tribute to the crowd who made this film possible, many of whom are working on incredible projects of their own.
This is a photo of the whole cast and crew together at the end of our first week, and fourth overnight in a row. For me, it was level of exhaustion and elation I hadn’t before experienced. But I think everyone looks spectacular! And a HUGE thanks, of course, to Cuzzy’s Bar and Restaurant for loaning us his awesome Camden spot for three nights. (And special thanks to his amazing staff who had to work around us three mornings in a row during the high season!)
May 14, 2012 1 Comment
We have to say, it feels like a good tiding that our first mention in 2012 is with this stunning photo of Caitlin FitzGerald in NYLON Magazine. We love that she shared that she wrote the boilerplate draft of the screenplay in her PJ’s on the floor of her apartment:
We are hoping for a Spring 2012 festival release, so we can show you what you have all helped us to make possible.
A healthy, happy, creative and BIG 2012 to you all!!
January 2, 2012 No Comments
In honor of our lovely writer and actress’s birthday today, I want to share (I feel like a proud parent) some exciting news regarding Caitlin FitzGerald’s recent film work outside of ours.
As many of you know, Caitlin starred with Ed Burns in his latest film NEWLYWEDS which was Closing Night film of the Tribeca Film Festival. It took every ounce of integrity I have not to share this news with Caitlin when I learned she was closing our festival – I’ve never kept a secret like this and hope no one asks me to keep one like that again. It was the greatest pleasure to join her for the party with the cast & crew, the red carpet and sit with her and her family in a house of 900+ New Yorkers who came out for our closing film, where Caitlin’s performance shone. (Also those I work for let me play hookie for a night to be a guest at the festival, which was not a bad perk to the evening!). Earlier this month Tribeca Film (Tribeca Enterprises’ distribution leg) acquired the US and Canadian rights to NEWLYWEDS, so you will be able to see Caitlin in a theatre near you or on DVD shortly thereafter.
Read the news here.
For more from Caitlin in ELLE Magazine during the festival, click here.
As if closing one festival were not enough, another of Caitlin’s films from this past year, VIOLET WISTER’S DAMSELS IN DISTRESS from the great Whit Stillman (the man who brought us THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO, BARCELONA, METROPOLITAN) is closing Venice Film Festival, exciting news we learned during our shoot. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the worldwide distribution rights to the film last Spring but have yet to announce the release date.
Caitlin has not one but two films closing major international film festivals this year, and we have a gorgeously shot and acted film from our summer in Camden, Maine that will soon be heading with me into the editing room. Much to celebrate on your birthday, Caitlin. Happy birthday!
August 25, 2011 No Comments
We are about to begin our very last night of filming “Untitled Camden Maine Film” (we will do better with the title by release-date, we promise). In the next few weeks we will have time to share many more stories from these past four incredible weeks.
I want to write something (eventually) that will do justice to this experience, although as even the topic of our film suggests, there are times when words just fail.
This has been the most challenging and rewarding four weeks of my working life to date. We came together as a small, young cast and crew and there were times when it seemed like getting to today might be impossible. There weren’t enough days, not enough hours of night (to shoot all the night time scenes – something we could/should have known but didn’t know to ask!), not enough of us to do all the jobs we needed to do. However, I watched every single person here step up and do the work of two, three, four people. Even our interns, who are with us to gain work experience, have all become essential to this production on a daily basis, assumed roles far beyond their pay-grade, and performed exceptionally and gleefully. Harper Alexander, a film student, writer, and aspiring DP, showed up to lend a hand and immediately became and essential part of the G&E team. Shelden Overlock, who started out delivering the catering each day, mentioned he had some theater lighting experience and would like to help, and has been an absolute champion for all grip needs. Ella Smith stepped right in with Alli Birney and became a key person for the sound department on our big shoot-days.
I watched our entire crew last night push through a brutally long night because they can see the finish line. And the collective will of this group wants not just to finish, but to really succeed in doing their job the best they possibly can. Each time one crew member steps up, it challenges the rest of us to step up, too. And at the end of an incredibly hard night’s work, everyone was smiling, cheering, clapping, cracking jokes, lending a hand wherever it was needed to wrap up and get home to bed. And they’re sleeping and preparing to wake up and do it all again.
I am so deeply inspired by and grateful to every one of them. And on top of it all, they’re all delightful humans to be around.
I know that I won’t ever find the words to tell them how much this all means to us, who set out to do the impossible. Their hard work made it possible. And possibly spectacular.
August 7, 2011 No Comments
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.
August 6, 2011 1 Comment
We knew we needed coffee and lots of it (60 pounds minimum) to keep our hard working crew sharp and awake during long shoot days. We wanted it to be good and local, too. Erica Anderson, our wonderful prod supervisor/2nd AD, wrote to area coffee roasters asking for donations or a bulk discount. Rock City Roasters in downtown Rockland came through with more than flying colors. Though in the middle of a move, Yvonne and her crew helped us out with an initial donation of 20 pounds of their delicious North Beach Espresso, ground for our industrial size percolators. And today, we picked up another 20 pound donation.
The shop at 252 Main St in Rockland is adorable and very worth a visit. Thank you Yvonne and Rock City Roasters!
July 20, 2011 2 Comments
So I think I was a “filmmaker” for about four hours, describing to someone the specs of this project, and when I finished was immediately asked, “So, what’s next?”
While it’s easy (and in many ways, advisable) to get completely consumed with the current project, the film industry is always interested in the next thing. So, sometimes in in spite of ourselves, we are all thinking ahead to what comes after this, for the film, for us personally, and also for filmmaking in Maine.
We have two members of our core crew who are Maine locals: Cole Christine, our 2nd AC also doubling as DIT, and Alli Birney, who around here just goes by “Sound.” Cole grew up in nearby Damariscotta, and is a recent graduate of the Maine Media Workshops. He has been cutting his teeth on a lot of small local projects, and is incredibly hard-working, capable, focused, and also fun. (We are slowly discovering all of his many other talents: piano, guitar, drums, beat-boxing, singing, visual effects in film, the list goes on and on!)
Alli is tough as any sound person we’ve met. She can be a one-woman show (mixing, boom operating all at once – see photo!), and is also incredibly hardworking, making sure she let’s us know when sound is being compromised. Ignoring the sound person is a crucial misstep in many low-budget films, and she keeps us on task. Even though she’s a recent Portland transplant, Alli would love to be able to work full time in sound – a passion and profession she shares with her husband Colin – in Maine, but there’s not quite enough work to sustain them.
We are thinking ahead to the future for them and also for filmmaking in Maine. Cole and Alli are the perfect examples of the kind of young people Maine cannot afford to keep losing to jobs out-of-state, where better incentives attract film-makers. These two are young and have long and illustrious careers ahead of them – that much is clear – but exactly where those careers will take place remains to be seen.
Yesterday, after we wrapped our fourth overnight shoot in a row, we stepped out into a spectacular Maine summer day and decided to all go swimming together in Megunticook lake (thanks to even further generosity of Cuzzy, who after opening his bar to us for three days of shooting then opened his home to a gang of eager swimmers). It was heaven. I know that Cole and Alli would love not to leave this idyllic place, and in the best case scenario, would have the opportunity to ascend in their careers in the place they would most like to call home.
We’ve also had the incredible help of many of the high school students that are currently enrolled in or passing through Jack Churchill’s film program at Camden Hills High. These kids talk with excitement and passion about film-making; they show up to set and work hard with excitement to learn at each step. Maine Media Workshops provides the opportunity for continuing education in film and media, but then what?
I had a wonderful meeting today with Brian Hodges at the Camden Town Office, and I know there are a lot of people here working hard to bring film (along with many other industries) to the mid-Maine coast. It’s a delicate balance between a way of life which can and should be preserved and the need to provide opportunities to a vibrant and creative community of the young and talented. We hope we are doing our part and can continue to do so for years to come.
July 19, 2011 1 Comment
So we are all now trying to re-set our internal clocks to become nocturnal, at least for the balance of this week, as we wrapped our first overnight shoot at our location in Jefferson, and will spend the rest of the week filming at Cuzzy’s from 2am-2pm every day. Yucky.
Just that we are making a film together makes the wee hours not just tolerable but even fun. However, there is a constant reminder here that we are in NATURE, which is very NATURAL. Sometime around sunset, we were all bowled over that on the night of our first exterior night shoot we were able to watch the full moon rise over the lake. And as we all stood oohing and ahhing while the moon crept through the low-lying clouds to emerge bright and spectacular, we were absolutely swarmed with bugs of every size, shape, and bloodthirsty desire.
Fortunately, we came prepared with appropriate clothing and mosquito netting for the crew. And while slapping at bugs can be exhausting, it was offset by the sheer joy of working with people who looked like this all night:
July 16, 2011 No Comments
A good friend and filmmaker Adam Leon has given Caitlin and myself some invaluable support in our endeavors and in one of our first conversations around this film he asked the question “Why?” This crucial question is what every artist should ask him or herself before adding to the vast sea of expression that mostly only contributes clutter but on that rare occasion beauty. So often artists go astray by focusing on the “How” rather than the “Why”, an understandable mistake with the daunting work it takes to pull off such an endeavor, but unforgiveable for the art.
Caitlin, Emily, Susan, Salome, Emily, Eve, Liam & I will each answer uniquely, yet this question is what brings us together to create this film. Now. We have a story to tell – as women, at our age. And the medium of digital film is how we can, in fact must, tell it. The (please indulge me for just one moment) absolute beauty of working with this troupe is that they constantly ask the “Why” at each step, and then proactively accomplish the “How” simply to serve the “Why.” This film is coming into existence because of its six specific core female artists, now joined by our talented Director of Photography Eve Cohen and Assistant Director Liam Brady. Each collaborator has a generous, intelligent, passionate yet grounded voice, and the film that we are creating is a direct product of this particular chorus today. This story is the universal feminine, in a way that film never allows the feminine to be portrayed. I find an urgency for us to tell this story with these women this summer because our voices are right for it at this moment.
With age does come wisdom, or, at the very least, a more weathered, cynical perspective. The 20s are a time of incredible growth – evolution into one’s adult being at a rate truly unfathomable until experienced – resulting in an awareness and deeper appreciation of the world and the self. It is this exact moment between our eight artists that will culminate to create a specificity and truth that would weaken with time and age. The rawness of our main character’s journey must be told while this story is in my and Caitlin’s recent history, before time begets a more critical perspective on what is so palpable to us today. There can be no all-knowing tone of forgiving judgment in how we tell our story – in the writing, the acting or the filmmaking. This is the collective “Why,” and that Why is personal for each of us involved in this cinematic creation.
May 25, 2011 1 Comment