A really cool thought flashed through my mind the other day: as writer/director I create the soul of a film and the cast and crew fleshes it out!
While writing Girlfriend 19, I envisioned the film quite specifically. I could see the set, the camera moves, even how the characters would look and talk. However, as soon as I began casting the film, things changed.
The actors in Girlfriend 19 are dramatically different from what I envisioned. For instance, I never once thought of the Alex character as a Frenchman; however, within minutes of his audition, I knew Guillaume was perfect for the part. He, like the other actors, reflected the soul of the character and that’s what matters most.
So from the casting process onward, I decided to let go and not flesh out the film on my own. I went with the flow, demanding only that we stay true to the soul of the film. Gavin Fisher, our director of photography, made lighting decisions that I did not envision, but I trusted him and I’m incredibly happy with the results. My editors, John Nelson and Jarrod Burt made rhythmic and timing decisions that I never would have done myself, but the results are incredibly effective. And now, my sound designer, Randy Barnes, is adding ambient layers that are intensely moody, deep, and dark – definitely not what I envisioned, but I love it!
In the end, Girlfriend 19 has been fleshed out by a group of talented individuals and not by a lone director. Of course, my direction has been involved from the beginning and it’s been my job to keep the film true to its soul; however, my cast and crew has fleshed it out and I’m eager to share the results with you!