FSM: Why I’m Making this Film

FSMvinyl1I’m thrilled beyond measure that I’m getting to make this movie. Both men AND women that I’ve talked to about it, or who have read the script, all seem to resonate with the ideas I’m grappling with. I want to tell a story that is contemporary and real, expressing the doubts, foibles and triumphs that I, and so many of us, have experienced in our search for love and connection. And the search for our SELVES in the cacophony of daily life and all its technological marvels.

The world we live in can be a very complicated place in which to understand who you are and what you want. Its easy to become influenced by social pressure and by the “highlights reel” of everyone else’s lives that so much social media is guilty of presenting us. Love and romance have become so branded that its equally easy to become jaded about it and what it really means in the context of modern life. Who has time for real connection when we’re busy taking our phones to the bathroom with us to check our emails and facebook? Do we ever really SEE the people right in front of us and give them our undivided attention – not for 15 minutes or an hour, but for a whole day? Or even just a whole date? How many opportunities have we missed because we were looking down at a screen instead of looking up at the world?

Creative work can be very therapeutic and this film is no exception. In writing about these ideas, these experiences I’ve had, I’ve been able to reflect on and learn from them. Writing is also an opportunity for wish-fulfillment – you can write about characters you wish you were like, or things you want to learn more about. You can “rewrite” the ending of an experience you had and get to say the things you wish you had said. Its very empowering. And in many ways, what I’ve learned most from writing this film is that no matter how bad things have gotten or felt at times, I still believe in the transformational power of love and connection. Whether that’s romantic or platonic love doesn’t matter – in general we humans are social creatures and we crave contact and interaction with others. No matter how “connected” we are by social media, it will never replace those real interactions that we, frankly, NEED in our lives.

On an even more personal note, making this film is basically my dream coming true. There were numerous times over the past few years since I finished film school that I thought this would never happen for me, that it was already too late and that I wasn’t good enough to “make it” as a filmmaker. I never thought in a million years that I would write a feature film much less write THREE and get one of them made! (Stay tuned for the next two films IIDENT and Wilderness.. they’re awesome – just not doable on a 10K budget.) I’ve surprised myself with how creative I can be as a writer – I honestly never thought I had any stories in me worth telling – I thought I was a visual artist and better at interpreting other people’s stories in a visual format. Shows just how much we can limit ourselves just by telling ourselves stories of what we are and are not capable of doing.

I’m not saying every second of the process is just bliss, bliss, bliss. There are still challenging moments when I’ve questioned whether my story even means anything to anyone but me, when I’ve been deflated by comparing myself to other’s, especially peers who have found incredible success in the industry. I worry a lot about whether we’ll reach our 10K goal and what it will mean if we don’t. I feel uncomfortable asking and asking and asking for help, for people to donate their time, their money, and their resources to us – its hard to ask for favours when you already know how much people have given/supported you in the past.

But this is, potentially, one of the most important things I will ever do in my life. I will never make my FIRST feature again. (hopefully, though, I’ll get to make my second feature, and my third…)

Those of you who are friends or family reading this, I just want you to know – every scrap of anything you’ve ever given: time, money, hugs, all of it – I haven’t forgotten a single thing. And I know I’m asking for more. But I can’t do this without you! I’m not famous, I don’t have groupies or fans yet who can help me out – YOU are my fans right now and I need you get all fan girl about this film for me. Promoting the film and the campaign is a full-time job for me. If even just 20 of you posted our campaign once a day, every other day, it would make a huge difference!

In the vein of expressing gratitude, I really want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given their support already, whether through donating $, reading the script, offering their help as crew, hugging me when I felt down about it all. I love you all tremendously and I will never forget your support at this crucial time in my life and career:

xo Melanie

*If you’re stumbling across this post, here’s the campaign details: http://igg.me/at/fsmfilm/x/29727

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