I was recently asked what the most challenging and satisfying aspects were of filming Girlfriend 19. Although a number of things came to mind , I decided to take a moment and really consider what most challenged and most satisfied me.
My greatest challenge, by far, was the burden of sole ownership of the project. In the end, I was ultimately in-charge and responsible for all aspects of production. Directing was the least of my worries. I wish I could say I simply showed up on-set and merely made creative decisions all day, but I can’t.
There are many people, properties and legalities involved in filmmaking, which must be monitored at all times. I was always on the lookout for trouble and did everything I could to keep things running smoothly. The happiness and welfare of my cast and crew was a constant concern. And if anything went wrong financially or legally, I knew I could be held liable. As sole owner of Girlfriend 19, I alone was ultimately in-charge, which definitely was the most challenging aspect of production.
Now for the fun part: the most satisfying! I’m not lying when I say I experienced much satisfaction during my experience. So, to be fair, I’d like to share a few examples before describing what most satisfied me.
First, there is the creative process itself. It is immensely satisfying to bring a script to life. I watched as the words and concepts I once conceived on paper were tangibly actualized. For instance, my main character, Bethany, literally stood before me doing things I once imagined. She was alive. She was real. It was exciting!
Second, working with my cast and crew gave me a ton of satisfaction. Although we had a broad range of professional experience, everyone was equally kind and friendly. We treated one another with great respect and consequently had a lot of fun. We not only worked hard together, we did so with great attitudes and lots of positivity.
Finally, what most satisfied me, was quite personal. It was the simple fact that I was making my very first feature film.
Not too long ago, I was a law student in search of security. However, I eventually realized that true security comes from within, so I dropped-out of school in pursuit of a longtime passion, filmmaking. Many criticized me while others applauded. It was both a thrilling and frightening decision. Filmmaking? Me? Really?
Yes, really, because successfully completing production of Girlfriend 19 has now given me the immense satisfaction of saying: I am a filmmaker!