I received the news of the Maine International Film Festival invitation while at my parents’ home in Exeter, New Hampshire, only a short 15 minute jaunt to the border of the great state from where our film was born. With not a moment of hesitation, we jumped at this serendipitous opportunity to bring our film back to the state where the incredible generosity and spirit of its residents allowed our work to come into existence and constantly surpass our (already high) hopes at each step of its life.
As I drove to Maine this past Friday night, a wave of nostalgia and excitement hit me as I returned to LIKE THE WATER territory. This past weekend I went to Portland to attend the Camden International Film Festival’s screening of Tyler Hughen and Kahlil Hudson’s LOW AND CLEAR, an exquisitely shot and edited portrait of two men, their friendship, their expeditions fly fishing. LOW AND CLEAR was the SXSW Audience Award winner at the 2012 festival for Best Documentary and very worthy of its accolade. CIFF, under the great leadership of its Founder Ben Fowlie (who we lucked out to get as an extra in some long overnights and hot days last summer in our film) brought LOW AND CLEAR and one of the film’s talented co-directors Kahlil Hudson on a tour of Maine to Portland’s Space Gallery, Rockland’s The Strand and North Haven’s Waterman’s Community Center. I got to catch this film at its kick off in Portland.
Seeing a great film in the state of Maine? What more could one ask for on a Friday night!
After a packed screening and Q&A, we headed to a brand new bar in Portland, LFK, launched by some folks involved with LIKE THE WATER, including Johnny Lomba who led the way with music for our film during our shoot and last Fall and Kate Smith, our talented Production and Costume Designer. LFK just opened this past week and in the massive crowd that was a Friday night out in Portland, I got to meet the owner of the home on Tenants Harbor, where we shot the Lobster Bake scene in our film. An easy consensus among cast & crew, this Maine picturesque location quickly became a favorite two days of our group. We found ourselves having to take moments to ask one another if this was actually our reality – this place too beautiful for words (snap shot above!). Because of his friendship with Kate and his naturally generous disposition, this man had given over his family home to a film crew for two days of intense shooting –never having met us, no questions asked, no hesitation, simply saying “Yes, by all means. It’s all yours.” Incredible.
Maine. The state that has not slowed for one moment in its generosity and support of our work there. It was good to be home. I hope others find such incredible luck in their lives to find a road to that leads them to Maine.
May 20, 2012 No Comments
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
One of our main characters has a thing for vintage clothing so we were thrilled that this was park of the April ZINK Mag spread Caitlin was in. Love this.
May 15, 2012 No Comments
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
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.
We can’t wait to share the final product with you!
April 9, 2012 No Comments
Caitlin had just finished her work in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress when we rocketed up to Maine to make Like the Water. She was just in an awesome photo shoot with her cast mates from Damsels in Town and Country magazine. We love it! Especially the “wickedly smart and poised to school Hollywood” part.
March 15, 2012 No Comments
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
March 8, 2012 No Comments
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
I’ve been asked to write about writing for our blog. I am both embarrassed and excited to do this. Embarrassed because as a very first time screenwriter I am bashful about the moniker and, because I didn’t write this script alone but had an invaluable partner in Caroline von Kuhn. And I am excited to write about the writing process for exactly the same reasons.
Caroline and I shook hands and agreed to write a screenplay together on what turns out to have been a fateful evening in December of last year. Neither of us had ever written a screenplay before, nor had either of us co-written such a long or personal document as this one turned out to be. We didn’t know if we could actually write a script, much less do it together. But we agreed that we would. End of story. It was going to happen.
We began by writing back and forth for a month about various ideas and inspirations. When it emerged that we had both had a formative experience in our early twenties surrounding the death of a close friend, we decided that that seemed like a goodly complicated place to write from.
We decided to start by writing a treatment and spent the next couple of months working out the intricacies of our plot (almost all of which changed when we began to actually draft our script), characters, and tone. By the time that was finished we were about three months from our scheduled shoot start date and it seemed like it might be a good idea to begin writing things like scenes and dialogue. Caroline was working for the Tribeca Film Festival in a PR capacity and barely had time to breathe let alone to write so she bravely entrusted me with the writing of our first draft.
I would like to take a moment to inform my readers that I am not necessarily new to writing and have flirted with the discipline on and off for much of my life. These flirtations however, have resulted in a consistent stream of half-finished, or more often, barely begun works. In this literary graveyard one can find single-drafted poems, the beginnings of a few novels, a couple of plays with two acts. What is missing from the pile is any sort of screenplay attempt or anything finished. These two facts did not bode well for our movie but, given the tightness of the deadline and the love I bear for the group of artists who were patiently waiting for pages, I began.
I decided that the only way that I would be able to write was to get up in the morning at an hour when the voice of resistance might still be asleep and before I’d even had coffee (a testament in itself) I sat down with the treatment Caroline and I had worked on and wrote. I would imagine most writers are familiar with this “voice of resistance.” It likes to say things like “who on earth do you think you are sitting there in your pajamas like a fool trying to write something that you have no business writing. Why don’t you just go have breakfast and leave the screenplay writing to the big boys who know what they are doing…Loser.” It can be very hard to identify this voice as what it is (fear) and not as gospel. To that end I would trick it by getting up before my rational, careful brain could kick in, and would write just until I started to hear its nasal tones begin to ramp up. In a moment of fury I endowed this voice with human attributes and an image rose up of a squat, bow-tied man who was peering down over his spectacles at me with a “You’re never going to be a writer, never” kind of stare. Now when I hear that voice I imagine that man, I make him very small, small enough so that he can stand on my palm and with my other hand I give him a punch and send him flying.
I wrote long hand on white paper using a pen that Caro gave to me during one of our camera tests in Maine. She didn’t know at the time what an attachment I would form to this cheap, half-full Bic (an attachment that sent me, desperate, into half a dozen office supply stores in New York looking for more of its kind when it finally gave out), but it was just foreign enough from my usual pilot pens that every time I wrote with it, I felt like I was entering a new and different realm of writing. Maybe just maybe a realm where I could actually finish something.
I finished the first draft in a dizzy ten days, convinced that if I didn’t just hurl it out of me I would only get in my own way. So I hurled it out and tried not to go back and re-read anything the next day so as not to freak myself out. After I finished the first draft and Caroline was released from Tribeca we began the arduous process of editing. What we discovered, to our delight and surprise, is that neither of us had any ego about throwing out moments and lines and even characters that weren’t working. We were writing very much against the clock and as July twelfth approached we became even more rigorous with ourselves. What we found very naturally was that we worked best when I wrote words on the page and then we got together to read the draft aloud to each other and then discuss. Working this way we had some of the best conversations I have had in my life, about writing or otherwise.
I can’t recommend a writing partner enough. If you are as lucky as I and find one with whom you can work so well, they are genius at banishing the voice of resistance. I had abandoned my early writing attempts always for the same reason- that I would hit a wall, feel that I didn’t know what to do next, decide I was kidding myself that I could ever write, shove whatever I was working on into the back of a drawer, and go out for a drink, little bow-tied man in tow. With Caroline, I would approach a wall and she would be there to suggest the absolute right next thing, the turn that the path needed to take. I hope that the same can be said for me vis a vis her.
Whatever kismet occurred to give us the great gift of this summer, I am particularly grateful to have had the chance to write this script with Caroline. I am also particularly grateful to have had such good and wise actors and collaborators and supporters from all corners who gave us great suggestions and critiques along the way. My hope for the entirety of this project is that it will serve as an example for all that if you desire to do something you’ve never done before, go for it! Give yourself a ridiculously short amount of time in which to accomplish your goal (in our case about six months), get up early in the morning, and get it done. The satisfaction of the words “End of Movie” emerging from beneath my pen bought me years of probably unearned confidence. I mean look at me, I just wrote three pages about writing. Who do I think I am?
September 30, 2011 3 Comments