Today we have a guest blog post by my partner in crime, Phil “Sexy Bald Head” Stevens.
It’s me again, the up-and-coming filmmaker with the fancy mentor who seems to know everything about film, all the time. Bleh.
I’ve spent the brunt of my filmmaking career making children’s stories like Bullied and the iCarly style, Libby & Sean Show, trying to get positive messages out there to the next generation and compete with all that trash kids consume. It’s been a ton of fun and a crash-course in filmmaking at the same time.
Answering the Call
Recently, I’ve felt a strong [YOU MUST DO THIS PHIL] creative push to make original content that sends a message to adults specifically in one area that is near and dear to my heart. Marriage.
My wife and I have been happily married for 8 years. I promise you I’m the luckiest man alive. She… maybe not so lucky. We’ve been leading a ‘Marriage’ small group for our local church for almost 3 years now. I’ve seen a lot of pain, suffering, healing and praise working with couples searching for a healthier marriage. What I’ve discovered or ‘uncovered‘ is that each one of us is ‘broken’. We are a hot mess. We are all raised with different circumstances, influences, educations and backgrounds and we all have our own brokenness that we bring into relationships. Guess what… like “Sixth Sense”… we don’t know we’re broken [insert whispery voice here]. We have NO clue. We can’t see it. We’ve spent most of our lives defending, masking or blaming others for our chaos. Who feels the effect or impact of this the most? Our spouses. Our children. Their children.
So, with the help of other talented creatives, writers and filmmakers, I am creating a series of short films where people can see and connect with their brokenness and witness the effect or potential effect it can have on their spouses and family. I am praying that through this series at least one person can relate with this content and seek help, get accountability and take steps toward putting their best foot forward.
The pilot stars my dear friend Ana. I play the husband. We were both pretty intimated and nervous at the content, but my buddy and film mentor Ron Dawson jumped in and directed like a pro. So blessed to have them help me kick off this project.
So, here is the first piece of the series. ‘Angry’. A husband confronts his wife about her anger issues and fights for his family.
Starring Ana Bright & Phil Stevens
Written, Produced & Edited by Phil Stevens
Directed by Ron Dawson
Key Grip/Boom and set photography: Monique Shaw
We’d love to hear your raw thoughts on this.
- What can you relate to?
- What did you take away from it?
- What made you angry or sad about the situation?
- Would you like to see more of this series? Why?
A Note About Directing
Hey, this is Ron. I wanted to add one other note to this article. It’s about directing. I don’t get to write too much about narritve storytelling and direction because so much of what I do is straight docu-style corporate work. But I love when I get a chance to get back in a more traditional director’s chair.
As you’ll see from the film, there’s a very REAL and emotional moment Ana goes to as an actor. When shooting the master shot for this scene, she was worried about not being able to reach the emotional state she needed to reach. She knew where she had to go to get there, but was concerned. We talked about it and I also knew where she had to go to get there. As the director, I took here there, and it was admittedly hard. Once the scene was over, I congratulated her, apologized, and acknowledged the amazing job she did.
It’s not easy directing scenes like this. It kind of feels manipulative. (Well, in truth, it doesn’t just feel manipulative, it really is.) But both Ana and I were committed as “professionals” to do what we needed to do to get the performance that would serve the story. As a director, if you’re ever faced with a situation like this, do what needs to be done to get the performance you need from your actors. But make sure you temper it with compassion, patience, and understanding.
I hope you get a lot from the film. I was honored to be asked to direct it and hope it can serve as a starting point for good dialog and discussion.
Phil is much better at all this film stuff than he lets on. He’s also very charming and charismatic. So much so that I made him my Director of Business Development. I’m looking forward to embarking further on this journey.