The Wild Road to Filmmaking

Michelle:  Behind most indie films you’ll find a unique story of how each one came to be made. Inspiration and a strong will can pave a highly effective road, usually full of bizarre twists and harrowing turns. To the public (and sometimes friends and family!) the filmmaking journey can seem like a series of completely insane and random decisions but, in truth, those crazy choices make perfect sense to the filmmaker.

For example, Robert Rodriguez sold his body to science to fund the making of his debut film El Mariachi, which he later turned into the Antonio Banderas hit Desperado. Creators of the 2008 cult classic The Foot Fist Way, Jody Hill and Danny McBride, tried to make it in LA but moved back home to North Carolina where they applied for as many credit cards as they could, promptly maxed them out, then borrowed money from Jody’s brother to complete their film. Risky? Sure. But the payoff was quite worth it.

So, what of the The Young Invincibles? Sarah and Aaron were living and working as actors in New York City when a March meeting lead to a December proposal (fyi – she said yes). Some casual conversations and personal experience turned into a solid idea for a feature film, a story they wanted to tell. The next year was spent working and planning for the wedding while doing research for the film. In an effort to slow things down and focus on the script, Sarah and Aaron left the city that never sleeps for the sleepy little town of Avon, North Carolina. Living off their savings, they spent several months in a house by the beach to write (and rewrite) the script that would become The Young Invincibles.

They decided to stay on the beach for the summer to put together the business and production plan for the film (which you can read about here). To pay the bills, Aaron worked as a wild horse tour guide, a waiter, and a wedding caterer while Sarah also worked catering jobs and founded a wedding cake stand company (check it out here).

In the diverse world of independent films, there isn’t one way to make a movie. There’s no corporate ladder or trade apprenticeship hierarchy to climb until mastery is achieved. Some movie makers attempt to work their way up the entertainment food chain in Hollywood or New York City, while others spend years saving up enough money in the cubical army to finally have the freedom to work on a personal project. But, in the end, every filmmaker must set out on their own movie-making trail, blindly and doggedly following their inspiration no matter where it takes them.

Advertisements

The Birth of a Script

After a year of research, a month of reconfiguring index cards, three solid weeks of writing and endless debates back and forth…here it is. The script for our film titled:

The Young Invincibles

by Sarah Falk & Aaron Oetting

The Young Invincibles Script

Isn’t she beautiful?

We spent almost a year doing research and talking extensively about the possibilities of the story. We decided there would be three characters and that the story would take place over the course of one day. We wrote up bios for each of the three main characters including all of the research we had done and our choices for their fictional lives. Then, we wrote up index cards for each scene in each character’s story. We included any important information or dialogue we knew would be necessary that we didn’t want to forget! This left us with three stacks of index cards that represented each character’s story. Below, check out our progress as we posted each character’s storyline up on our “story wall.”

Story WallAfter we were satisfied with this step, we organized the index cards into one storyline. This was complicated as we needed to visualize the movie as a whole and figure out how and when to jump from one character’s story to the next. We had to do a few re-writes during this phase but eventually we finalized everything and prepared for the next big step, writing the script!

We holed up in our house and stuck to a rigorous writing schedule every day from 8AM-6PM. It took us three weeks but we did it. We had a first draft! We took a week off to let our brains cool down and then we read through the script again. After a couple of more re-writes, we felt confident that we had a solid script.

And now, the script is off in the world being read by the prying eyes of the public. We have already received some feedback and there are a few minor tweaks we have planned. On the whole, we feel really good about the script and are proud of how it turned out. Was it a difficult process? Yes. And a little scary, too. But we found that breaking it down into steps and keeping ourselves disciplined and organized made us move forward. And, having an awesome partner to help you along the way doesn’t hurt either.