How do you work well with others?
This post is written by Sandra Torres Granovsky.
I was inspired to work on Scrambled from the moment I read the script. There were so many things that attracted me to the project. The dialogue was whip-smart and hilarious, and the story was full of heart and social commentary. Scrambled follows the ups and downs of Nellie Robinson (Leah McKendrick), a millennial woman in her 30s living in Los Angeles, CA, facing some pivotal life decisions when she discovers that her reproductive options are waning.
I couldn't resist the astute, humorous observations of the culture and life in Los Angeles (my hometown) throughout the script. I was excited to immerse myself into the world of a millennial and the resulting opportunity to share a glimpse of that generation’s experience and perspective with others by being a part of the film.
Most of all, I connected with the themes of the social expectations and pressures that women at all stages of life experience around motherhood and life in general. I found the story so brilliant because although it was told through a female lens and experience, it was a thoughtful layered story that covered universal, existential themes of life and the fleeting nature of time that would resonate with everyone.
Collaborating with the Director, Leah McKendrick
Once I met with Leah McKendrick, the film's star and director, I was sold. I was already excited by the chance to work with a female director (an experience I have only had once before). I also learned that both of our mothers were originally from Nicaragua (another seldom occurrence). I looked forward to what our shared backgrounds would contribute to our dynamic, working relationship, and to the project.
Leah also had a very clear vision with an openness and enthusiasm to collaborate. I was excited about her vision and what I could bring to the table to execute it. I knew we would have lots of fun, and we did.
When my first day of dailies came in, I was excited to see that the footage looked wonderful, and the performances were amazingly strong. Leah was so much fun to edit. She reminded me of Lucille Ball and could deliver candid and vulnerable performances when the moment called for it.
The timing was incredibly important and delicate in this film because many emotional, dramatic moments were punctuated with comedy. We had many other nuanced moments throughout the film where the correct balance and timing of comedy and drama were crucial. It was also important to calibrate Nellie's journey carefully throughout the film as a whole.
Although my experience both with comedy and drama was extremely useful, I had to approach these scenes purely with instinct and feel into them in order to get them right. I knew that these scenes were only complete once I felt something. They were magical when they worked.
Production wrapped, and Leah and I started editing together. We made great progress every day and had a blast. Along with comedic and dramatic elements, this film has many musical elements. Leah had a very strong vision for them, and they really came alive when she was in the cutting room.
These scenes were our most challenging and our most fun. We held ourselves to a very high standard, approached each frame with laser focus, and worked towards creating musical and visual precision with the goal of creating undeniably enjoyable experiences that enhanced and supported the story and Nellie's emotional journey.
It's probably surprising to know that humor helped us accomplish this. It enabled us to laugh our way through any creative challenges that came with holding ourselves to a remarkably high standard and making these scenes to sing. It also kept us honest and able to choose only the best footage to bring these moments and the film to life.
Before we knew it, we were through post-production and had a completed film that we were happy with. I was very pleased to hear Leah say that she felt that she was able to make the film she wanted. I knew it was important to her as it is to all directors and with the support of her producers and the studio, the ability to facilitate that vision was incredibly fulfilling for me. I completed this film very excited to send it off into the world because I knew that we had made something special.