HISCOX FILMMAKER Q&A: ALMOST ADULTS
What inspired you to come up with the idea for the film? Why did you want to tell this story?
We really wanted to tell an honest story about relationships that wasn’t your typical lesbian film or romantic comedy. While Mackenzie’s realization of her sexuality is important it is only one element of the bigger picture. Almost Adults is a platonic love story, it is about the closest of friendships. Most people can relate to having that best friend that you are attached at the hip with! And breaking up with that friend is sometimes harder than any romantic relationship break-up.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
Each of us have our own story of breaking up with a close friend or just growing apart from that friend you’ve shared so much of your life with. We all brought a piece of those stories to the film.
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
The vision for the film has always been quite strong. I think some of the changes came while we were casting for the film. We met a lot of very talented actors that we wanted to work with who played the characters different than we had envisioned. When they surprised us with that new take on the character and it worked, we knew we had to write that in and foster it on set.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during production?
We went into this knowing we wanted a female driven film. So we set out to hire an all female crew, and we managed to fill our team with 85% women. It created a really amazing safe space on set where young women in the industry were being mentored by strong female leaders in their field. People signed onto the project because they wanted to be a part of that support system. It also made for a more collaborative set, where the team was especially invested in the story and the work they were doing. It sounds corny but there was definitely an energy to the room that I haven’t felt anywhere else.
Were there any risks that you faced during production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
We only had ten days to shoot. 90 pages and ten days. With Adrianna and Sarah’s experience producing online content we were able to bring that quick thinking approach to set. We also spent a lot of time in pre-production thinking about what we wanted and setting the expectations. Knowing what our sandbox was going in really helped us ensure we were doing everything we could to support the story. In the end, we took 12 days to shoot (including pick-ups) and we’re very happy with the result.
We were also fully funded on Kickstarter. We are very lucky to have such a supportive audience that helped us raise 305% of our original goal. But, we went into this taking the chance that we would make nothing and yet were still determined to make a film.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screenwriting or film producing?
You’ve got to do it for you. No matter who your audience is, or whether or not you even have an audience you need to tell a story that you yourself would want to hear/watch/see and you need to put your all into it for no one but yourself. Then after you go through all the self doubt, stress, fear and pride of writing or producing your own film, you can look back and be happy with all the mistakes and perfect choices you made. I think it is most important for that first one, but even more important for the ones that come after.
Grab your badge to catch this great film and many more at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival!