About a year ago, actually Halloween night 2011 to be exact, I went to a meet-up organized by a then-new website called The Hairpin, which was run by and written by some really interesting and funny women. I have never been one for groups, and for the most part I keep to myself, but when I saw that this meet-up was to be just down the block from me, I decided to go. I had a feeling that I was meant to go, that for some reason it was important that I show up and meet the people whose articles and comments I had been reading, and to whom I so strongly responded. I heard myself think (as one can) I am going to meet someone who I will work with.
So I went to the event and talked to a number of really charming and funny people, and was actually about to leave when I found myself talking to this girl about writing and how I wanted to write a screenplay and make a movie, but that I had no idea how to go about doing so. And she said to me, “I wrote a screenplay that I want to make into a movie.” Without a beat, I said, “You should send it to me. I’ll give you notes. I’m really good at that.” (If I did say so myself…) That girl was Bodine Boling and that was, for me, the beginning of Movement + Location.
Over the next year, Bodine would send me drafts of a constantly evolving script and I would send her notes. And every time I did, I’d think, well, that’s the last I’m going to hear from her, because if someone gave me notes that called for the changes that I suggested, I would run away. But every single time, she was back, and I’m talking within weeks, which, to me, was extraordinary. She just had something in her that needed this story to be realized. I’ve frankly never seen anyone work so hard on anything in my life.
Now I’ve never produced a movie before, but every time I would correspond with Bodine and we would discuss the reasons and the rhythms of the characters (and I was not the only one to do this, for sure) I would feel like I knew that what I was telling her was right. Between us, I felt a sense of conviction that I have honestly never felt about anything before, and it was incredible.
We went through a couple of readings, after which she made some final tweaks – the results of which, by the way, had me on the edge of my seat as I was raeading the final draft, that’s how much she had honed this script into a tight, lean story which actually made me want to be an actor and say the lines, they were so good – and suddenly (if a year’s work can be sudden) we had a final draft. (I want to add exclamation marks at the end of that sentence because I still find it exciting.)
At this point, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had always thought of this as a side project, something that I loved doing, but the reality of which was elusive. But then I got an email from Bodine asking me to produce it.
We set up a meeting, so that we could discuss the possibility of all this with her husband Alexis, who she said would shoot and direct it. I had met Alexis at a reading of the script which he was recording, and I was struck by how focused he was on making sure the audio equipment and all else was right. I just saw this guy without an ego who whole-heartedly was supporting his girl in an endeavor that was really important to her, and I was really touched by that. Then after the reading, I listened to what he said and how he responded to her and I just liked him more. Not to mention he agreed with me on a couple of points, so I figured he must be extremely smart.
On the morning of our meeting, however – and neither Alexis nor Bodine knew this – I was sort of preparing my speech about not being able to produce it because I’m so busy and I don’t know my schedule and blah blah blah. All those things – fear, laziness, complacence – that can keep one, and certainly had kept me, from pursuing one’s dreams, were at play in my head.
So I walked into their apartment and without much fanfare said, “Ok guys, what do you want to do. What is the movie you want to make?” And Alexis just started laying out his vision, his desire to shoot with a really high-end camera, and how he would shoot, and what aesthetically was important to him, and immediately I knew I was in. Any resistance I had, any fear about not knowing what to do, or being overwhelmed, just completely disappeared. I knew in that moment that I was going to make this movie with two incredible talented and dedicated people for whom I not only have a ton of respect and admiration, but whose company I really enjoy.
And that’s where we are today, just over a year later, on the eve of the launch of our fundraising campaign. All of us in, excited and inspired, and all hoping to make Movement + Location the movie it is meant to be.
-serena← BackNext →