Post Oscars Reflection

Sarah: Every year, for a day or two after the Academy Awards, I always feel a little melancholy. I don’t like competition in general and I hate the notion of pitting artists against each other to determine a winner. How can you judge which film is better when doing so is purely subjective? So, I make every effort to avoid watching the show. There is too much hoopla and superficial glitz and glam. And, don’t get me started about the nominees. Most of the time, only those films with tremendous financial backing tend to get nominated. This leaves out all those struggling artists, like myself, who don’t have deep pockets. So, money equals winning. I start to feel disillusioned about the film industry and what it is I love to do.

Yet, every year, as much as I try, I find myself tuning in to find out who won. It is a thrill to see how the winners will react when their names are called. And, I want to see what they will say in their acceptances speeches. Will they cry? Will they forget what to say and stand there shaking nervously? Oh, the pressure. It must be insane. And then, there are those rare instances when a winner is able to infuse their speech with emotion and humor and heart. Well, that’s brilliant, don’t you think? This year, I cheered for Sandra Bullock during her charming and heartfelt speech. And, I think she looked truly amazing in her dress and flawless makeup. And, then there was Kathryn Bigelow who won for Best Director and Best Feature. Being the first woman to win both awards is pretty amazing. It made me proud to be a woman. I wonder how she feels having beat her ex-husband, James Cameron, in both categories. I hope a little part of her relished it.

But, my favorite winner of the night had to be Michael Giacchino who won for Best Music (Original Score) for the film UP. In his acceptance speech, he encouraged those that want to do something creative to get out there and do it. He insisted that being creative is not a waste of time. At this once in a lifetime moment, Michael didn’t thank God or a long list of film executives. Rather, he took the opportunity to inspire others. Well, I’m a fan!

I guess the Oscars make me reflect on my own journey as an artist. The abyss standing between me and that red carpet is only exemplified as I watch all the designer dresses slink past the cameras while I sit like a couch potato in a pair of old sweats and a t-shirt. I’ll admit it, I imagine myself at the Academy Awards and I wonder what it will feel like to win one of those golden trophies. And, when that happens, Aaron and I will be angling to win for Best Director. We plan to be the first husband and wife team to win the award. And, what will we say in our acceptance speech? Well, you’ll just have to tune in to find out.

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The Chicken or the Egg?

Sarah: Pre-production on The Young Invincibles has officially begun! We still have some minor tweaks to make on the script but we have also started trying to figure out our game plan for getting the movie made. So, what exactly does that entail? Money. Do we use our own funds? Or, do we find people to invest? The actual making of a film is a lot more business than artistic creativity so I’ll admit this is not the most exciting phase. But, it’s a must and I’m throwing myself full force into the process.

Our main quandary right now is figuring out how much money we will need.  We have to create a shooting schedule and take into consideration all the details of what we will need to pay for to get the film in the can and edited. Except, how do we do that if we don’t know how much money we will have to work with? There are the ‘what-ifs’ that make this nearly impossible. What if we buy our own camera to shoot with? What if we hire name actors to be in the film? These costs will vary depending on the answers to these questions. But, if we only have a small amount of money to work with than that will place limitations on our choices. Oh, it’s confusing!

I wonder how other filmmakers deal with this dilemma. Do they decide on a budget first and then work within those parameters? Or, do they hire the talent and plan the shooting schedule and then see what that final, holy number is going to be?

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.

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