What inspired you come up with the idea for the film? Why did you want to tell this story?
The film is inspired by true events that happened to one of my film’s producers. Child sexual abuse is an epidemic that people don’t want to confront and so it continues in the silence. I thought film was the best medium to be able to get people to start taking about it.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
Many of the characters in the film are inspired by and are a conglomeration of people I have known. The characters in my film are all protagonists and antagonists simultaneously. To me, that is getting closer to the truth of the human condition.
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
It ended up being a much more colorful and a much more emotional film than I had originally envisioned.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during production?
Shooting the entire film in 12 days.
Where there any risks that you faced during production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
One of the main actors in the film is a 3 year old child. Trying to get him to stick to what was on the page took an enormous amount of time that we didn’t have. Once I realized that it didn’t always need to be exactly what was in the script, I could allow him to be free, and I ended up with a better performance in the end because of it.
What influenced the visual style of the film?
Art direction was extremely important to me. Despite takings Place today, I wanted everything to feel like it was left over from an era 15 years earlier. We used a 1960s fall color palette which my art directors worked with. My cinematographer and I decided to work with uncoated vintage lenses from the 70s to give it more texture to parallel the grain you got with film.
What risks did you take to tell your story?
I wrote characters who are not always clearly good or bad. My protagonist is sometimes someone you root for and sometimes someone you have to forgive for her choices, but the audience always understands where she is coming from. I wanted to create a world that shows how difficult poverty it, and its intersection with abuse and women’s issues, and that getting out of circumstances like that is excruciating hard and a realistic fairytale ending under those circumstances can look more like just you and your family finally being safe.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screen writing or film producing?
I would say you need to ask yourself “how is this personal to me? What do I have to risk is exploring this topic? Where am I in this story?” The more you truly connect to the story you are telling from your own experiences, the more you will have an original, compelling story. One that only you can tell.
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