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Monthly Archives: October 2012

If this “blog” has a use beyond providing information about screenings of my films and being a platform for drawing attention to other people’s art from time to time, its appeal lies in that it can chart the evolution of a work in progress. A film might undergo any number of changes before it becomes a finished piece and maintaining a tasteful level of transparency with regard to this can make for entertaining reading. This is especially the case in hindsight, after one has seen the finished “product” and all of trial and error that factored into it is half-forgotten and easily taken for granted. I wouldn’t fault someone for not caring about the creative process behind one of my films (or for not caring about my films in general for that matter–after all, it’s a big, big world out there). But the pre-production and production phases tend to be drawn out and chronicling them in some way seems healthy. Rather than slaving away in “silence” and then presenting the world with a seamless “masterpiece,” I’d prefer to communicate what a proverbial pain in the ass it is to make a film that I consider worth watching. Hopefully the thrill of discovery and joy of realization come through too.

The latest development concerning The Plants Are Listening is that I’ve decided, after rehearsing with the other lead actor over the phone earlier this week, to part ways with him creatively. While going over the dialogue in depth it became evident that we have different, possibly irreconcilable notions of what constitutes “good acting.” This might be rooted in the fact that he is by trade theater-oriented, while I’m a filmmaker. It also might have to do with the fact that my “film aesthetic” is rather idiosyncratic–since I’m not originally a dramatist it’s hard for me to explain in concrete terms exactly what I’m looking for in a performance. But I know it when I find it, and the reading during the last rehearsal didn’t strike me as sufficiently convincing given the contentious, headstrong nature of the material. Since the actor — whose name I’ve removed from this “blog” at his request — didn’t seem up to the challenge of working to get the dialogue where I felt it needed to be, it made sense, the following morning, to cut our losses.

Despite this setback, however, I am still quite married to this project. Indeed, I have reached the point of no return with The Plants Are Listening and have every intention of following through with it. And after giving it some thought, I have decided that I’m going to play both of the main characters, in a dual role not altogether unlike that of Jeremy Irons in the film Dead Ringers, only there won’t be any weird experimental gynecology type stuff–just some dry humor and a lot of thought-provoking dialogue.

Jeremy Irons in the film Dead Ringers.

Simon and Dave, once unrelated friends, will now be twin brothers.

Has this movie jumped the shark? No, on the contrary, it’s just started to get interesting.

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