Photos by Sara Corken
I've done it. I've directed my first grad school film.
My first directing experience was about 2.5 years ago and it was a 30 second PSA about a "bubble apocalypse". I shot it with a 10 year old Panasonic in a stairwell with a friend.
Here we are now with a crew of twelve, acting students, two production trucks, and a day dedicated to making a short film.
Granted, I realize this is all still very small scale in the scheme of things. However each step in the staircase is important to me; I'm thankful.
This project was significantly higher class compared to my previous experiences. My crew knew their jobs and poured into them. My ATL adopted my story as their own. My actors gave me their trust which was necessary to get honest performances.
We are learning. A mere two months ago, we were all regular Joes off the street. Now we have protocol, a smidgen of perspective, equipment we treat as extensions of our own bodies, and each other.
I know when we get into the editing suite in 3 weeks I will see things I missed, regret not taking more time or taking too much time. That is this process and I understand it gets better with experience.
What I'm going to look on fondly about this experience for the rest of my life is that everyone on my set seemed to feel proud of their work and like they had been apart of something special. They were affected in a resounding way. That is why we interact. That is why we tell stories.
That impacted the footage we will have to cut together into a movie.
There was a moment when we were shooting the final scene and my actors (Isabella Groff and Aimee Victoria) went for it. Tap was breathless. At that point, even their acting professor had come to visit set and a few second years. And they smiled at us and said, "You're making something here."
It won't be perfect. Nothing ever will be, but we are making tracks. The crew I worked with gave me everything. And I will never be able to repay that. My actors opened up their emotions to my characters. That's something more personal than most relationships.
I am utterly humbled to have been a part of this project. It feels like it's worth so much more now. Because it's no longer mine.
That is what makes this process so incredible.