July 8, 2016 at 8:05PM
Making Your First Film at Fifty Years Old: 10 Lessons Learned the HARD WAY!
“Your mother recognized you today.”
It started with a phone call and those five words my father said to me about six years ago. I was shocked because my mom was in a nursing home, battling the last stages of Alzheimer’s. She never recognized me anymore.
But that day, something triggered a memory...
My father was referring to a broken plastic photo clock with my smirking mug – my “present” to my mom on Mother’s Day a quarter of a century ago. She saw it, smiled and said “Robert.” That simple gesture not only made my day, but gave me the creative inspiration to finish a script I’d been stuck on.
It was a film about a suicidal woman that meets a man who is immortal, and the dramatic arc between one person struggling to survive day to day and the other that has lived forever. I needed a visual metaphor – something timeless but which also captured the woman’s personal struggle. (In the movie, it’s a childhood photo of a lost sibling.)
I ended up using that busted photo clock to open and close my first film – only the photo inside changes at the end. And although my mom passed shortly after we completed principal photography, I ended up dedicating my first film Blessid to her memory. It won best picture and a handful of other awards at festivals. And this month it’s out on Amazon Prime. What a ride!
Take a look at the 10 lessons llearned making a first feature film: https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/first-film-at-fifty/