Often times in the hustle and bustle of freelance production work, it’s easy to forget what it is we love about filmmaking. It’s different for everyone. Maybe it’s the technical stuff – how the lighting is controlled or the process of mixing the perfect sound. Or maybe it’s the ability to work outside of the monotonous 9 to 5. Whatever it is that drew you to this crazy work, a raison d’ être is sometimes buried under early call times, or unappealing catering, or wearing one too many hats. That’s why sometimes passion projects are important. Like a breath of fresh air, a small passion project brings together a select few friends who can remind each other what is so great about this business. That’s what the short film project Young Love and the Mofilm project Modern Love Story were for me, fun reminders that I love the storytelling of filmmaking.
It isn’t just the normal storytelling–the “duh, we’re making a story together”– I
love. No, it is the actual experience of putting together a team of (shockingly) storytellers. And the thing about storytellers – is that not only do they have their own stories to tell but they also love talking about stories. On Young Love, it wasn’t just a day filled with working towards a common goal of finishing a film but also a day of like-minded people talking. Director/ writer Jacob Michael Keller brought together a diverse group of people who believe in him and his story to lend a hand throughout the day. During downtime, one of our young actors shared the plot of the book she had just finished (an intense work about kidnap and faith, which title escapes me completely) while revealing she had never read any of Roald Dahl. One of our background actors shared stories from her recently wrapped production, Walt Disney’s Frozen. While our costume department led a lively discussion on academic research of fan fiction and fan works in general. It was an endless stream of environing conversations amidst the camera set-ups, contract signing, and rehearsals. We shared our stories for a day, while creating a story to share.
Just days later, I had the unexpected surprise of being on a set with two fellow ReKon Producers for the Modern Love Story shoot. Fellow ReKoner, John Schrad rallied a group of us together to shoot his tale of how MapQuest played an integral part in a modern-day love story. A day filled with a lot of running around and laughing, it was broken up by an oddity in the production world – an hour-long sit down lunch where the entire crew fit at one table. It was here that a group of “grown ups” delighted the two kids sitting at a table nearby, when we all joined in to sing the chorus of Ducktales (and for those of you that have forgotten the song, click that) I suspect those same kids might have been listening intently to us for a while before that moment, as we spent nearly 30 minutes arguing who the best Disney animated villain was and why. It might have been decided it was Ratigan (from the Great Mouse Detective). We weren’t quiet in our revelry, so maybe those kids couldn’t really ignore us. It was a moment of sharing two stories together, the one we all grew up on and the one we were creating on that day. But this is what I love, amongst many other things, but it is these moments on a set or with a crew that keep me coming back to work each day.