Not an easy one to write...
I've directed many different types of films. I don't mean genres. I mean - they each have their own personality. Some are reserved and allow you to delicately take the lead as they flourish into something beautiful and grand. Others are like a wild beast you must tame and you only have the power to hope it doesn't destroy you along the way. And then there are the accidental gems that extend a hand and gently nudge you to remind you you never had control anyway, "Get out of your own way," they whisper. Ok.
The only thing they all have in common is that each one is unique. They all have their own breath, their own rhythm. I find the best way to approach each one is with a strong team. So I surround myself with the best person for each job - sometimes this means the person with WAY more experience than anyone else on set and sometimes it means the person with absolutely no experience who is hungry to create. But it's always a competent, collaborative and creative team.
It's important to me to create a safe space on set where everyone is allowed to grow. I encourage newbies to ask questions. I'd prefer to answer a million questions and have you learn than have you scrambling for the answer on Google search (...been there...) and end up causing a delay in production. And I sure as hell listen to my seniors. You are the guiding light and your wisdom is highly valued. A film crew quickly becomes a family. I sort of imagine we all landed in this industry after escaping some dysfunction. I mean, right? Let's create a healthy version of a family you enjoy visiting (don't worry, Mom, I love visiting). Of course, conflicts will arise. Open communication and transparency are the only ways of getting through them.
So. All this to say. Sidestep is a new film personality to me and we're still feeling each other out. We were originally scheduled to begin filming tomorrow. In fact, I should be reviewing my shot list right now instead of writing this note.
But we realized we needed more time. And more funding.
Simple as that.
Under the original deadline and budget, I found myself making endless compromises until I no longer recognized the story. It was no longer within my grasp. Yes, the story will organically change and breathe and take a life of its own. And I'm excited to see it grow into something I can't even imagine - something only a team of creative individuals can develop together. We made the decision to postpone production in order to give us the time to have those conversations. And raise more funds. We are moving forward with our New York Unit next week, but principal photography is rescheduled for later in the summer.
The best part of the reschedule has been the team's response. I was concerned about losing momentum, knowing everyone has been working very hard very quickly under this intense deadline. I didn't want to unravel their efforts. I am pleased that every single person has come back with enthusiasm, support and a sense of relief. We were all feeling the pressure and now we have the room to do this right. So. Much. Gratitude. To these people.
There is a scene in Sidestep where one of the characters accidentally steps on the other's foot as they begin to dance. They then take a moment to recompose themselves before they find their flow with the music and with one another. This reschedule in production feels an awful lot like that moment - I eagerly jumped forward before my partner was ready and I may have scuffed a boot. But we've shaken it off, I've apologized. My partner is back in hand and the eye contact is strong. We're connected again and now able to step into this dance together as one.
Let's cue the music.