We've had a terrific start for our Kickstarter page with an impressive 8% of our goal pledged in the first 24 hours! This is an extremely exciting time for all of us working on Passing Harold Blumenthal and it's incredibly encouraging to have our audience lining up to see this film made. We are beyond grateful for your support, and continue to encourage everyone to share our Kickstarter link with friends. Enemies will work fine, too. Fundraising aside, my production team and I are pounding away at the creative and logistical aspects of the film. This week has already landed us two key actors for the film, and I couldn't be more anxious to share their names with you. More on that once everything is official. Beyond that, there is location scouting, number crunching, design ruminating, and crew hiring.
I'm learning that for one to be successful in filmmaking (or in anything really), one must surround themselves with good people. That might seem fairly obvious to most, but I would caution that defining "good" can be dangerously arbitrary. The "good" that I believe in and have been seeking out is the kind that challenges you. While I stand by my philosophy on avoiding/managing Naysayers, it is also no help being surrounded by Yes Men who mindlessly do your bidding.
In a recent conversation with my Production Designer, Marie, I found myself being challenged in just that kind of positive way. We were discussing the particulars of locations appearing in the film, and I told her what I had in mind for one apartment in particular. She was into my idea, but followed it with a question. Not a naysaying kind of, "Well, Seth, we can do that but it's going to be a headache and it'll be expensive" kind of question. Rather, it was a question about the characters who live in this apartment and their history together and their relationship (e.g., How long have they been married? Who owned the apartment first?, etc.). The rest of our conversation had me revisiting things I was wrestling with back in November when I wrote the script! While some of these "character history" details may not be explicit in the script, the environment they will live in on-screen will most certainly be explicit with what it tells the audience. That is precisely why we have a Production Designer! Thanks, Marie.
While low-budget filmmaking often means we are slaves to whatever is available or whatever is cheapest, it is important to at least address the specifics of what you are going for. It's fine to start with an ideal, even if that ideal is not an option. From there, the creative team can hopefully translate that to our scale of production and achieve the desired effect in the film. My feeling is that my creative team and I will be at our best only if we push one another and let ourselves expand our imagination and ingenuity. That, my internet peoples, is collaboration.