Making a film happen sometimes seems like a Herculean task.
First of all, there’s the money. You have to find enough money to do justice to your film, and to do that, you have to convince people that their money will be safe in your hands.
With OF DUST AND BONES, even though the budget is very low, it’s still been challenging (as I think it always is). Investing in a film is a risky prospect. I recently printed an article on the Rebel Heart Film blog page by an indie producer I admire immensely, Anne Lundgren, who is obsessed with her films being profitable (you can read it here). I agree with everything she says. Our aim with OF DUST is not only to make a powerful, unique film, but also one that will connect with audiences and make money for its investors, thereby ensuring we get to do it again…and again. That’s what it’s all about.
So we’ve been working hard on figuring out ways to ensure that our film will reach the audience that will love it….even though we haven’t even made the film yet. This is the first time I’ve done this before actually making the film, and to be honest, it feels empowering and enriching. It makes me focus more on what this film is and what will make it special, so I find myself digging deeper creatively into its true nature. Contrary to what many artists believe, I’m coming to believe that getting specific about who the film is for might actually help them create their boldest, most powerful work.
We’ve also been gathering together our team and I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that we have a couple of new members to introduce.
Alexa Ammon has joined us as a producer. From the moment I met her about this project, I felt her honest passion for it – and I know that it’s that passion which will enable us to make the best film we are able to. If everyone involved in a film feels that way about it, it truly creates the best chance for magic to happen. Previously she produced a short film, The Warren, which shot on location in the West Bank and was about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and she’s already bringing a wealth of knowledge about war photographers whose work we hope to feature in our film.
We also have engaged a new cinematographer. Unfortunately Zak Mulligan, who shot my last two films, is unavailable as he had a prior commitment to another film, whose dates conflict with ours. At first, I was super upset about this – but then I met TJ Hellmuth. TJ is an awesomely talented DP (you can see his reel here), but I knew he was right for the job when he said the film that made him want to make films was Kiarostami’s A Taste of Cherry. I had literally rewatched it the night before, as a visual reference for OF DUST. I know TJ is going to do fantastic work, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds creatively between us all.
If all goes to plan, we will start shooting on July 27, a month from tomorrow at the time of writing this. Before then, there’s so much to do: housing needs to found for our cast and crew, insurance and permits need to be acquired, more crew members need to be hired, the actors need to rehearse, sets need to be built, costumes need to be designed.
Sometimes I wonder why we do it, why we submit to this Herculean task of making a movie. It’s not easy.
But then I think of what lies ahead and my heart yearns for it. That one morning just over a month from now, I know that there will be a moment when we are on set, and everyone is focused and open, and for just a moment, even just one, there it will be: a moment of truth. And we’ll catch it on camera. Everything is worth it for that.