After months of diligent screenwriting, fundraising, casting, planning, location scouting, and stressing out, I am pleased to report that my new short film Words to Live by is now in the can. We filmed it last Sunday and Monday right here in Los Angeles. I had an immensely positive and talented cast and crew. And despite the cold, late nights – it's no mean feat to shoot 14 pages of script over the course of two days – and one mildly irate restaurateur, everything went remarkably smoothly. Most incredibly, in the middle of LA's wettest February in years, it just happened to be dry on the nights when we had to go outside. The film may have looked beautiful if we'd shot it in the rain, but everyone would have been miserable and possibly dead.
The film stars Angie Kim, Armando Torres, Leandro Cano, Tricia Fukuhara, Ruby Park, Merrick McCartha, Cathy Diane Tomlin, William Christian, and Stacy Arnell. Great actors and great human beings. Cast them in your own project, you'll be glad you did.
Editing comes next. My producer Jane Petrov and I will start poring through editors' resumes as soon as I finish decompressing from a busy week (so much paperwork!), and then we'll move into this gratifying, frustrating, and endlessly creative stage. The interesting thing about Words to Live by is that – unusually for me – my script allowed for a lot of interpretation, from how an actor can perform a line, to how the editor can structure the montage in the middle of a film, to what kind of music the film needs – score only? Diegetic music? Both? Neither? I'd like to think that this flexible approach is a sign of maturity rather than indecisiveness.
Speaking of maturing as a filmmaker, today marks the twentieth anniversary of the world premiere of Foreign Correspondents, my first feature. This doesn't quite make me feel old, but I definitely feel the passing of two decades. So much water under the bridge. And the DVD is still available on Netflix. (Trivia note: I sold the film directly to Netflix's Ted Sarandos, long before he became one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood.)