I recently opened up the Scripts folder in my production documents and noticed the “last modified” timestamp on the first draft of a then Untitled short screenplay. That script would eventually be titled “Residue” and that first draft was dated 03/10/2017. It’s kind of crazy to look back on that as we approach the end of Post-Production. Over a year has passed since I quickly typed out that first draft and the feeling I get when looking back is hard to describe.
The then unnamed characters, only listed in the first draft as “Man” and “Woman”, were eventually brought to life as “Elliott” and “Melissa” by Luke Morgan and Milu Green. A small and talented crew of emerging filmmakers willingly chose to sacrifice their time, with no promise of financial reimbursement, to follow the directions and opinions of myself and my producer, Dan Thom, as we tried to make an emotional and intimate story with no large financial backing. And now, with films essentially being time capsules, the finished product will represent a filmmaker I no longer am but one I’m proud of and excited for as I continue journeying forward, with an idea of where the destination is but with an openness to beautiful detours.
Yes, it’s true to say that I’m now a different filmmaker even from a 12 minute short film that was wrapped eight months ago (And yes, it still hits me that we’re eight months deep into the Post-Production stage on a film of this size) because the entire process is littered with lessons; some you cringe over because you thought you could avoid them, some you’re incredibly thankful for, but all of which are incredibly important. Because it’s important to remember that you really only get good at this shit by actually doing it. Filmmaking is a craft and that skillset is only improved in meaningful ways by rolling up your sleeves, hitting obstacles that feel almost laughably cruel and getting it done regardless. It will humble you, shape you, and educate you. I’ve learned an immense amount about directing and storytelling by reading, watching, and listening to as much content on the process that I can, but you only build those muscles by getting up and putting them under real pressure.
We made this film independently of any taxpayer-funded government initiatives and from the generosity of many people, some of whom are still total strangers to me, because they saw two tired and awkward filmmakers say some words in a video to a cool lo-fi hip hop beat and connected to the idea of the story we wanted to tell. That generosity will never be lost on us. This film, which we’re so close to finishing, literally would not exist without those kind hearts. Making the film in this way was surely a more difficult task, but ultimately a more rewarding and inspiring experience. The independent filmmaker spirit is alive and well in me after this whole journey, and I’ll always encourage those with a story to tell to make it happen however they can rather than waiting for permission to do so.
Residue should be seeing completion within the next week or so. It was an emotional journey crafting this story and I hope it takes you, the viewer, on an emotional journey with the characters.
Thanks for sticking with us.