Updates on Hearts Want short film & quick review on The Lost City of Z

Hello folks! Been a while since I wrote anything for the blog. Well actually the last post I wrote was on the eve of filming Hearts Want, my short film… I published it past midnight and my hubby just got done printing my cast/crew contracts that night, if you can believe that!

Well, suffice to say I hadn’t really got time to watch/blog about anything these days. I took only 2 days off work after filming, but I still had a ton of stuff to take care of that week… returning costumes, writing checks, SAG paperwork, etc. I knew that post-filming I’d have a bit of a postpartum depression as we’d been running on adrenaline so much during pre-prod and principal photography that my life felt so utterly boring afterwards, ahah. Going back to work was particularly tough… I have to say I have been disillusioned w/ my job and the place I’ve been working for over a decade, and I enjoyed being a writer/producer so much that I know I want to do more of it.

If you happen to be on Facebook, would you kindly give Hearts Want Film Page a LIKE please?

Some people say it’s hard to ‘recover’ from something bad, but it’s equally hard to recover from something truly amazing. It could be because it’s my ever first film that I’ve been working on from the start, but I really couldn’t ask for a better experience! Everything went without a hitch and we even finished early both days, which was incredible given that we barely had time for pre-prod at all. I enjoyed every minute of the whirlwind two-day shoot.

The place where we did Day 1 shoot and the first half of Day 2 is a local theater called Southern Theater, which was built in 1910 so it looked like a vintage theater in Europe. It’s absolutely perfect for the play-within-the-film that’s set in the 40s (hence the bomber jacket and retro headscarf). Thanks to my amazing art director Cheri Anderson who found eight of these fantastic columns from a theater company that matched the look of the space perfectly. The two vintage lamp posts completed the look.

First day was a relatively short 10-hour day, but the second day was a pretty grueling 14+ hours shoot with a company move (that is moving to another location mid-day), which means we had to pack up the stage set pieces before we moved. Kudos to my director Jason P. Schumacher for being such a capable captain of the ship. It certainly helped when he’s assembled a phenomenal crew to get things done.

We only had to shoot three major scenes the second day but they’re dialogue-heavy and quite emotional for the actors. I was practically grinning ear to ear the entire time I watched my two leads Peter Hansen and Sam Simmons in character, their chemistry is incredible. Let’s just say the scene in the dressing room is muy caliente [fan self]

So in case you’re wondering… right now my film is in post-production. I’ve got one of the 1TB hard drives with all the raw footage so it’s been fun watching all the takes and I’m diligently taking notes for editing purposes.

My goal is to get this film ready for Twin Cities Film Fest later in October… but I’m working on launching a crowd-funding campaign now, so stay tuned!

This weekend I actually did have time to see a movie on the big screen! My hubby and I helped our friend (and lead actress) Sam move to her new apartment, then we went to see The Lost City of Z.

This was actually the opening film of Minneapolis St Paul Film Fest (MSPIFF) two weeks ago but I wasn’t able to attend because of the shooting schedule. I’m glad I got to see it in theaters. I quite enjoyed it despite it being a rather long film and has some long dramatic moments. I think people expecting a full-blown adventure film a la Indiana Jones might be disappointed. It’s a rather reflective adventure drama focusing on the struggle of the protagonist, British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett with his obsession to find the lost city.

I thought Charlie Hunnam was terrific in the lead role. Glad Brad Pitt passed on the role though he still signed on as producer. Hunnam has the rugged look, presence and vulnerability that made me identify with his role and easily empathize with his character. Robert Pattinson didn’t really make a dent in this film though I appreciate him taking on more understated supporting roles (and barely recognizable under a full beard) despite being an A-lister after Twilight. Another two actors I’m impressed with are Sienna Miller and Tom Holland (the new Spidey) as Fawcett’s wife and son, respectively. Glad writer/director James Gray didn’t make Miller just another devoted wife, but she actually has quite an integral role here in an era where women barely had a place in the conversation.

Holland is quite a versatile young actor. He didn’t appear until past the halfway mark but he was memorable. I like the scenes between him and Hunnam who convincingly played his dad despite only being 15 years apart in age.

If you’re curious to check it out, I urge you to see this on the big screen. The visuals are pretty striking but it also has an engaging story. It pains me that this film bombed while the more-bombastic-but-unapologetically-silly Kong Skull Island is a hit! I didn’t bother to review that one but I would have given it a 2.5/5.

This film however, is equally riveting and heartfelt. It also has an inspiring message against bigotry and racial supremacy that is more timely than ever.

So that’s the scoop on my passion project folks. How was your weekend? Seen anything good?

27 thoughts on “Updates on Hearts Want short film & quick review on The Lost City of Z

  1. Aside from the original version of The Beguiled by Don Siegel starring Clint Eastwood and a re-watch of The Bling Ring. That’s it. I’m glad your film project is going well. I really want to see The Lost City of Z as I really liked James Gray’s last film The Immigrant.

    1. I actually like Lost City of Z more than The Immigrant. Was surprised how engaging the story was and Charlie Hunnam is a compelling lead.

  2. Glad your movie shoot went well and hope the final product turns out to your satisfaction!

    I’m not surprised that The Lost City of Z didn’t make a dent at the box office, like you said it’s not a action/adventure picture so the ADD crowd aren’t going to show up and see it. Just like Free Fire, I was hoping to see the film sometime this weekend but ended up hanging out with my girlfriend and friends. I hope to see both before they leave theaters, which might happen sooner than later since both films failed so bad at the box office.

    1. Hi Ted, yes fingers crossed it turns out good! But I have faith in my crew all the way to post production!

      Ahah funny you said ADD crowd, so true! I feel like films like Lost City of Z that’s more intelligent and reflective just isn’t going to cater to crowds who prefer explosions and silly monsters. Free Fire sounds like fun though, hope you get to see it later this week.

  3. Amazing to hear your enthusiasm and already have giving the Facebook page a like. Looking forward to checking out the film already 🙂 Nice to see you’ll also be doing a crowfunding campaign, will definitely help you out!

    Movie wise I haven’t watched anything this past weekend, but have been the first season of The Expanse and the last season of Narcos.

    1. THANK YOU Nostra!! Really appreciate your support, that means a lot to me. And yes I will be sure to post the Kickstarter link on the blog 🙂

      I wish I had time to watch shows but I probably could only watch one movie a week with my crazy schedule now.

    1. Hi Shivani!! Wish you live here, I’d invite you to the set and the premiere (hopefully in the Fall). Thanks for your support girl, I so enjoy our chat on Twitter 😀

      The Lost City of Z is well worth your time. I’d recommend it for rental at least.

  4. So glad to read about the progress of Hearts Want. Best of luck with post-production and, of course, the release! It’s cool that you still had time to go to the movies. I’m interested in watching Lost City of Z.

    1. Hello Fernando! Thank you for the support. Yeah I barely have time to watch shows or movies these days but I really needed a break this past weekend and Lost City of Z is well worth your time!

    1. Hello Paula! So sorry we never got around to doing the interview w/ you but we should still try to do that later this Summer!

  5. PrairieGirl

    It was so great being an extra in HW! Being on the set the second day was amazing too, but I’m so thankful you’ve forgiven me for my big blooper during the last scene. I should have let me phone run out of juice instead of recharging it! Can’t wait to see how everything comes together, it’s going to be a wonderful short.

    1. THANK YOU for being an extra and helping out both days Becky! It was fun having you. No worries about the snafu, hey it happens 😛

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    1. Thank you Margaret, really appreciate your support. Well it’s taken me 40+ years to finally got my dream realized, so hey you’re only half my age so there’s still plenty of time for you 😀

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