My Soul, Their Flesh

22 Jun

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. 

Guillaume Dabin-Pons as Alex; Lighting by Gavin Fisher

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!

A scene from Girlfriend 19; Lighting by Gavin Fisher

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!

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