The irony here is, now that the really exciting bit - the actual film making - is happening, I have no time or energy to talk about it! But I'll try...
We have put in five hard, exciting, scary, thrilling, fun, moving and ultimately REWARDING days already on this shoot. I have been surrounded, supported and impressed by my cast and crew on every level. There have been only a couple shots we weren't able to get and we went one hour over on Friday due to the capricious bands of rain that decided to hold off until the second we were very ready to shoot our only exterior here in Montreal.
All in all, a really good first week on a first, and by all accounts, ambitious feature.
We've got a great set photographer, Sebastien and soon a very engaged filmmaker in his own right, Rémy will be shooting the "making of", so hopefully I'll be able to share some of their images with you.
Until then, though, I'll just say this:
I've never had a child of my own, but from what I've heard, this experience is very akin to that of being a new mother. You're perpetually sleep-deprived, you can't even remember what it's like to drink a coffee when it's still hot, let alone tepid. And shower? what shower? Your roots are showing, your toenails are growing and you ultimately don't care (or don't have the energy to). Because the thing you gestated and brought into the world needs your every cell and every second of your attention to survive right now.
I'm well aware, however that most new moms don't have the good fortune of being surrounded by a crew of thirty or so skilled professionals all assembled to ensure that that baby not only survives, but grows and thrives.
Now I know how Angelina feels!
So a huge thank you and good night to each and every one of my nannies! I couldn't do this without you!
In the wee hours between tonight and tomorrow morning, a whole huge, gangly, good-willed machine made of people and costumes and make-up and muscle and lights and film and gray matter and caffeine will shudder to life and will proceed to run full-time at breakneck speed from now until June 1 - all to make this crazy dream of mine a celluloid reality.
And as I try to take a "day off" today before running away to join my circus, I find myself in some weird place between Kansas and Oz, sitting here in my bathrobe (the same one in which the idea for the film was conceived lo, these five years ago), drinking my coffee (different one than the original) and just trying to grasp what is actually happening...
I AM MAKING A FEATURE FILM.
Or at least I am poised on the very pin-thin precipice of beginning to shoot what I trust will eventually turn into a feature film! It's all so surreal and all so very, gut-wrenchingly real at the same time that I'm a study in simultaneous states of stoned and stimulated.
The writer's dead. Long live the writer.
But seriously, it's now time for the director of this show to take over. And tomorrow, I know the director will be looking to find her footing. Even though this is not everyone's first time making a film, it is most definitely everyone's first time making THIS film, so I figure we'll all be finding our way, figuring it out together.
And even though we haven't had near the time we all would have liked to get us here, here we are all the same.
I know I've been a little scarce these days... It's not because I have nothing to say - it's because there never seems to be enough time to say it!
I started this month of pre-production by saying that I would be dismounting from my regular weekly posts in favour of a more "lightning round" style of blogging... i.e. little blurts here and there.
Last time I "blurted", it was to let you know that Julia was in town for fittings and hanging outs and some script work. In the blink of an eye, she's back. For good this time! Because in five short days, we will be make-upped, costumed, decorated, crewed, lit and shooting our first scene on location.
Like my sound guy, Pierre Bertrand said, we're in the sling shot now - and the film is just about to let go!
I don't know how to begin to express the crazy range of emotions I'm experiencing as the first day of principal photography on my first feature film looms larger and larger on the horizon. As I picture us all being catapulted into the cosmos.
From wanting to shout from the rooftops to wanting to curl into a little ball might start to sum it up though I think.
It's a crazy, scary, thrilling, paralyzing, moving time. As Fellini famously said, "You start out thinking you're going to direct your movie, then you realize, your movie is directing you."
Having the strength to pull it all together is one thing, but knowing when it's okay to let it go is another...
It's 1976 and Elizabeth is just your average suburban 11-year-old praying for adolescence to arrive, when she discovers her whole life has been a lie. With only her imagination to guide her, Elizabeth runs away in search of her true identity. Her adoptive mother, Marion is then forced to break out of the carefully constructed "truth" she's been clinging to, and go after her daughter. This leads to a cathartic cross-country trek by a mother searching for a daughter who's searching for a mother - both of them really searching for themselves.
The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom is a poignant, sometimes funny, very female coming of age story that explores the tension between creating identity and finding it within...