Hello! How are you? It’s nearly Thanksgiving already (!), but we’re in a great place. It’s been another big push lately, and I’m proud to say that June Falling Down has officially wrapped.
Exhale. Massive, massive exhale. I think I spent this entire weekend exhaling. I couldn’t believe how much more energy I had Monday at work. I think this is why: the burden has been lifted. For now. (ominous music)
The first ten minutes or so of June take place in San Francisco. First on Ocean Beach with some cutaways to the Lower Haight/the Mission. Then later in an apartment – which we shot here in LA.
It’s funny, there was something so strange about shooting this “prologue” and playing June here instead of in Wisconsin. It felt almost like a completely separate movie. And of course we had a brand new cast (who knocked it out of the park) and California (obviously) has a very different feel from Door County.
And I’ll just say this right now: I don’t know how we could have ever, ever made such an indie feature film in a city. We are so lucky to have made our movie in Door County. I mean, where do I begin? I know – parking. Parking and carrying equipment and location scouting in San Francisco. For just a couple of locations – that was enough. Everything takes so much longer in a city. So if you’re as teeny and indie as we were – shoot in the country where people are awesome and excited and parking is free and easy and you have space to think and remember what you’re doing there in the first place. The end.
(Full disclosure: We lived in SF briefly and then later in Berkeley and have a love/hate relationship with the city. Yes, it’s stunningly beautiful. Full of romance and mood and history. A lot of mood with that fog. And I miss it! I especially miss how literary San Francisco is, especially in comparison with LA. But it is not a romantic bohemian city of artists (etc, etc) anymore, not with Silicon Valley moving up from Palo Alto. The poets and painters – and budding filmmakers :-) – are in the East Bay now. So it goes with cities.)
Anyway! Almost immediately after that shoot, we did a rush edit on our latest short film, Cam Companion, and got it in about 8 minutes before a film festival deadline and we weren’t even sure if the link we sent in was working properly until the next morning (loading issues, long story). So that was satisfyingly stressful and knocked us out for a couple days.
And now it’s back to organizing June footage and moving little tiny colored clips back and forth on a timeline. For hours. That is virtually what editing is. It’s a kind of madness, I won’t lie. Someday we’ll hire an assistant.
But I love having control over the editing right now. I really don’t feel like this would be my movie if someone else did it at this point. The cutting of our film, especially with the more abrupt/collage-y editing style that I’m admiring lately (think of, say, Dallas Buyers Club) feels like a very personal process. Yes, I wrote this, I’m in it, and I directed the actions that happened within these clips I’m arranging (all for better or worse), but now I really feel like it’s only mine if I assemble it the exact way I want to. I know the filmmaking process is much more collaborative, but while I learn the ropes on this project and start to discern my particular voice, whatever that may be, I want the cutting to be in my hands. It seems like a lot of people don’t experience this with their first features, but I really consider myself lucky to have this much creative freedom while I figure out what I want in a movie.
To end: I like signs. I don’t know if I believe in them fully or any of that hoopla, but I really want to and I really like them, and I suspect that might be enough.
Maybe one person reading this (out of our, I don’t know, 3 readers?) remembers that I found a four leaf clover while we were shooting our Indiegogo way back in the spring. I was literally lying on top of it while we took the photo that is our fake poster at the moment. It is here:
It felt magical and shivery to find it. Because I (I can’t speak for Chris) was so terrified to make this movie, any kind of sign was a source of comfort. But….
Look what I found about a week after the END of our shoot:
Yep. You can only take that one way. We had luck on both ends of this movie. And it’s true. There were so, so, so many things that could have gone horribly wrong. And there were a lot of little moments where things got very frustrating (which happens with every creative project, every darn one) – but there was a lot of magic. We were bookended by luck, by good omens, by signs from nature – NATURE!!