Ok here’s the last Kickstarter post you’ll see here… Y’know what, whatever happens I’ll be so relieved when it’s done. If you think it’s tough making a film, well, try launching a Kickstarter campaign 😉
We’re still only 75% funded with mere hours left as I’m done posting this. I’m a glass half-full kind of person so I’m extremely grateful for our backers! Of course I’m not gonna lie I’m nervous we won’t meet our goal… and if you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s an all-or-nothing campaign which means if we don’t meet our goal we’ll get nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
But hey I’m optimistic 😬 … [well what choice do I have]… and I’m super grateful for my friends who have been so supportive, both financially and also in spreading the word about my Kickstarter campaign!
Well I managed to see War For The Planet of the Apes and I LOVED it! The three ‘Apes’ films now stands one of my favorite cinematic trilogies ever. It’s such a compelling journey of this genius ape, living in two worlds whilst trying to save its kind from extinction… it’s such a heart-wrenching, poignant story that’s strangely relatable. Definitely one of my faves of the year.
I haven’t got around to seeing DUNKIRK just yet, for sure we will next weekend. The press screening happened to hit on the day I’m meeting with my composer for the film, so obviously that takes priority.
Ok folks, I’ll be sure to post a review sometime this week (from our awesome contributor Richard of Cinemuse Films). I also have a couple of interviews with a MN-based director and a female filmmaker whose film just screened at Edinburgh Film Festival. So stay tuned!
It’s been forty plus years in the making. No, no, it didn’t take me 40 years to write the script, though if I had written something as an infant I might’ve been a literary genius by now.
Some of you know my life’s been consumed by my short film project lately. Well, I had just launched the Kickstarter campaign to help fund the film, so I thought I’d share the journey of how I got here…
It feels as though I’ve been wanting to make a film for as long as I remember. Even in grade school, whenever the recurrent question ‘what do you want to be when we grow up?’ came up, I always proudly answered that I wanted to be a screenwriter. Yep, even long before I knew what a screenwriter was! For some reason, I had always had this longing to follow my late dad’s footsteps, who worked in the Indonesian film industry long before I was born.
Life has an interesting way of working out. So no, I didn’t end up going to film school or anything remotely close to it. I had been a longtime film fan, but I didn’t even start blogging about film until well after I graduated college. Little did I know that this wee film blog finally led me to realize my lifelong dream!
How it all began…
Thanks largely to Twin Cities Film Fest and being a press member with a couple of PR companies, as a film blogger I had the privilege to interview various indie filmmakers. There’s nothing more gratifying and inspiring to learn from filmmakers who love making films and passionate about the craft. Whilst blogging about film, I’ve also been writing all kinds of film concepts, but nothing has been fully fleshed out until the one I started writing about a year and a half ago…
So yeah, the reading became the catalyst for this short. I still can’t believe how far we’ve come since the script reading back in January… and how well the two-day shoot went despite barely having any pre-prod time. When people say your first film is made w/ your blood, sweat and tears… well they aren’t kidding. This is a passion project w/ a capital ‘p’ and it’s a personal one for both Ivan and I. My hubby is not only the exec producer, he’s also a prop master, stage hand, behind-the-scenes photographer, video editor (for our Kickstarter video)… all that on top of juggling his full-time day job and lending emotional support during the most stressful times of making a film.
The people who’ve inspired me…
As I mentioned in my Kickstarter page, I’ve been a long champion of #WomenInFilm and am constantly inspired by female filmmakers who’ve thrived in a male-dominated industry… powerful filmmakers such as these…
I’ve also been blessed with meeting fellow directors in person whose work have inspired me… Emily Ting who directed Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong, Ashlee Jensen who co-wrote/directed Project Eden Vol I, Pamela Romanowsky who directed The Adderral Diaries, Rebecca Weaver who wrote/directed June Falling Down, and Kate Nowlin who wrote and starred in Blood Stripe, just to name a few. (Also shout out to Remy Auberjonois, Kate’s husband and Blood Stripe‘s director who narrated my script reading! I’m forever grateful to them for having inspired me to finally take the leap and make my first film!
My own film also wouldn’t have been made without the help of my two producer friends, Kirsten Gregerson and JoJo Liebeler…
… as well as my two amazingly-talented leads Sam Simmons and Peter Christian Hansen who’ve stuck by me despite all the various setbacks during pre-production…
I also have to thank Noah Gillett, another actor from the script reading who also reprised his role in the film.
… and of course, my phenomenal MN-based crew!! Thanks Jason & co! Check out the bio of our cast/crew on Hearts Want‘s IMDb page.
I also want to shout out to people who’ve lent support during filming, from helping with the company move, catering, being extras and help with networking, etc. I appreciate you Noah Gillett, Shawn Dunbar, Becky Kurk, Dani Palmer, Emily Fradenburgh, Whitney Khan, Holly Peterson, and Briana Rose Lee.
Special thanks to my dear friends Julie Tan and Vony Bedford for coming to set and be extras on day 1. Vony’s cutie-pie daughter Chloe is ‘Brigitte’ in the film (you’ll see who she is when you watch it) 😉
But the journey isn’t over yet…
If you’re familiar at all with the filmmaking process, principal photography is only half the battle. As I learned in my crash course, filmmaking is always more difficult and more expensive than you ever thought it would.
So yeah, consider helping us cross the finish line, even if it’s just helping spread the word that would mean a lot to us. The ultimate goal is still to make a feature film of Hearts Want, so if you help support us now, you’d also help bring us closer to making that huge-but-not-impossible dream a reality! 😀
It says ONE MORE DAY above but as I’m writing this post, it’s actually less than NINE hours until cameras are rolling!! 😬
As you can imagine, my hubby Ivan Maramis and I likely won’t get much sleep much tonight. We’ve been making a ton of lists… and checking ’em twice (or more) to make sure we don’t miss anything. From props, snacks, call sheets to contracts for all cast/crew… there are SO many little details to go over my head’s spinning! Being this is my first time in making a film, naturally I’m super nervous but extremely excited at the same time. But I’m confident in my cast/crew, that they will BRING IT and do a stellar job! In fact, I KNOW they will!
The fact that today is EASTER sure keeps things in perspective. I feel ever so blessed to be given this opportunity of a lifetime to make our first film… I firmly believe we wouldn’t have gotten here without the Lord’s blessings.
For updates on the film, check out Hearts Want FB page… I’ve been updating the page with photos from our blocking rehearsal…
… as well as a video snippet of my two phenomenal leads practicing a scene.
I’ve also been meaning to post this a while back, but check out the trailer from the amazing short film Sad Clown, directed by Jason P. Schumacher, a seasoned Minnesota filmmaker who’s directing Hearts Want!
Besides my two talented (and gorgeous) leads Sam Simmons & Peter Christian Hansen, I’m also blessed with a seasoned, hard-working 18-people crew! Most of them have been making quite a few of films, in fact some have won some awards from film festivals. But aside from that, they’re also the nicest, fun-loving and gracious bunch of people that I know it’ll be a joy working with them! So yeah, I fully believe my project is in good & capable hands.
THANKS to all of you blog readers who have been following my passion project. Please pray and send well wishes our way as we’ll be filming 10-14+ hour days both Monday & Tuesday!
Lately, I’ve been preaching to RTM the benefits of Netflix streaming. Recently acquiring a Blu Ray/Netflix player (for cheap), I’ve spent many a night since checking out Netflix’s Watch Instantly library. While the typical duds are to be found, there were some surprisingly good to great movies on the catalog as well as some must-see and under the radar TV shows. I was mostly impressed by the abundance of classic/foreign films from the Criterion Collection. Just last night I re-watched one of the most unique science fiction films ever made: La Jetée.
Directed by French writer, photographer and multimedia artist Chris Marker, La Jetée (The Jetty or The Pier) is an experimental science fiction film told solely thru black and white still-images (with one exception) with no dialogue, just narration (dubbed in English) and music. The story is set in Paris – World War III has just decimated the world. People are forced to live underground from the fallout while food and the energy supply are close to non-existent. Scientists have begun work on time travel as a way to connect with the future and the past to obtain technology and supplies to save the present.
The main character, a prisoner, is chosen as a test subject to travel through time mainly because of his strength of memory and mind. Other subjects have failed the tests and have come back brain damaged or deranged, unable to cope with the physical and mental stresses of time travel. While traveling through the past, he meets and falls in love with a woman from his childhood. While his trips last days and weeks to months in the past, they are mere minutes in the present.
Eventually, the scientists deem him fit to send to the future where he meets an advanced culture who provide a device for him to save the present. At this point, with the test successful, his jailers plan to terminate him for they now have no use for him. The people from the future offer him a place with them to escape his killers but he opts instead to return to his childhood timeframe where a bleak but vivid memory haunts him as he tries to connect with the woman from his past…
The film resonates from a child’s point of view, perhaps because of its use of still montage as if you were turning the pages of a picture book. In fact, a book form of the film exists but is reportedly out of print. The photography is meticulous and expressionistic – noir-ish in its depiction of shadows and darkness. The only source of light, is an interrogation light bulb. The eerie stock music comes from British composer Trevor Duncan’s library work.
Within its 28 min. running period, what seems like an epic idea takes powerful form and shape in still photography. Uncompromising in its brevity and as a non-motion film, La Jetée is surprisingly accessible – so strong was its design and concepts that it inspired the Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys (with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt), widely considered a full-length and excellent treatment of the short film. Highly recommended.
Prior to bellowing ‘Tonight, we dine in hell!” in 300 with his gravelly voice, Gerard Butler was just a struggling actor trying to make ends meet. Fast forward ten years and this short film still takes my breath away!
Peter is a novelist who is going out of his mind because his wife and daughter have left him. He’s bought a Smith & Wesson and put one bullet in it. Please note: though short, this film packs a punch and is not for the faint of hearts.
Published by: Atom Films, 1999
Director: Paul Black
Best Live Action at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival
Best Short film at the British Academy Awards
Official Selection at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 1999