Production Anecdotes

Magical. That's a word often associated with fairytales and pixie dust. But it's also a good word to describe the production of Living the Dream. It started with wondering if Hub City project folks would allow two filmmakers to work as a team. Why yes they would! All we had to do was ask and presto-a team was born. Next came the reading of a heap of short stories to find The One-- and knowing you found it because it had one of those phrases you can't get out of your mind. "I didn't think so much about it when I pedaled home in the inky darkness ... and found my bicycle had gotten there ahead of me."  As cyclists, Ron and I had a particular affinity with a good cycling story. Yet the author, Terresa Haskew, said it really wasn't a cycling story. Hmmmm. This was the beginning of several things that happened during our production process that gave us pause and also assurance that we were on a magical, mystery tour of filmmaking.

A major challenge was finding the right crew and cast. Having worked with SCETV in past years, I knew some awesome talents. But they were all retired and busy with freelance work and other activities. Would they, could they be willing to work on a little art film for no pay? Why yes they would! They welcomed the opportunity to use their creative talents. And we bookended their decades of experience with a group of young people with the energy, willingness, and talent for art direction, make up, costumes, and acting. They all appeared for a casting call and lo and behold, they were the exact right people and magical combination for the job. We were on our way.

One of the major tasks on our list was to locate three look alike bikes to cover three time periods in the film. The art director found the first cruiser and now we needed two more almost exactly like the first. Word was sent out across the land to all of our cycling friends. No luck. We even contemplated buying them as a last, desperate resort. Then, during a still photo shoot with two of the actors, we casually mentioned the bike dilemma. Abracadabra! Turned out one of our actors had not one, but two bikes that looked just like our cruiser! And he gave the art director permission to do whatever was needed. Talk about coincidence. But was it?

 A major location for our film was a house--but not just any house. It needed a screen door, steps to a porch, shrubbery next to porch. There were several hits and misses as we searched Columbia and the surrounding area. We thought we had one but then the owner backed out at last minute. As the shoot dates got closer and we got a bit more panicked, we took a second look at a house two houses up from me. Why yes! They would love to be part of our film! The owners gave the go ahead and the tenants, who had only moved in the week before, were on board and excited about participating. 

So we didn't think so much about it when other strange things started happening - the rains stopped just in time to make our shooting schedule work just right. The the landscaper found a baseball (one of our necessary props) buried under a bush at our fall-back location. AND, then on the day before our grave-side shoot someone threw-out two huge funeral live flower baskets on the street in front of my house. Each one of these usually costs about $150. Luck or was it Magical?  

From the author who wrote such an incredible story and said yes let's make a film to the generosity of all those that said yes, come use our location to make your film, to the actors that said, yes, we will work all kind of crazy hours and do whatever is needed to make your film, to the crew that said yes, we will find the equipment and whatever is needed to shoot your film, to the support provided by Hub City, the making of Living the Dream has been a wonderful, magical experience.--This was originally posted on the Expecting Goodness blog.