As I said in a previous post, I have recently been focusing on the location scouting portion of the pre-production. I contacted the head of marketing at Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (Abbott Northwestern Hospital) to ask permission to film on their campus. Although he expressed that he was supportive of my efforts, he was not able to give me permission himself. He then forwarded my email to the proper person: the public relations manager for all of the Allina Hospitals and Clinics. She promptly responded to my email and was very happy to help me out with filming at SKRI!
We had a meeting last week where she gave me a tour of the hospital and we discussed all of my access and restrictions around the hospital. Surprisingly, I will be able to film in every location I was hoping to have access to. My only real limitation will be making sure that I do not film other patients unless they give me permission. I will be prepared with both location and personal releases when it comes time to film at the hospital.
I was able to take pictures of various rooms/hallways around the hospital that I plan to film in. Specific locations will obviously change based on which hospital rooms will be vacant during the end of October/November. Below are just a few of the pictures I took of the locations. I hope to return to take photo storyboards with stand in actors to get a sense of the compositions and lighting I will want.
Based on a true story 09/14/2011
Dating back to the early days of cinema, some of the best films were based on a true story.
The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Schindler's List (1993)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
A Beautiful Mind, Black Hawk Down, and Pearl Harbor (2001)
United 93, and World Trade Center (2006)
and most recently:
127 Hours, The Fighter and The King's Speech (2010)
It was such a relief for me to find a long list of influential films that have all been based on real people and actual events. One of my biggest struggles when I started writing was if people were going to care to watch a real-life fiction film on Joe's story. I was hesitant because I'd heard people say that true stories are often cheesy/corny/overly dramatic... but clearly from the list of films above, that isn't always the case. If done well, a true story can be presented just as well as a completely fictional one.
I've worked really hard on the script to take significant moments in Joe's recovery and tell them in my own creative way. I've taken a true story and altered it in a way that is entertaining. I took the straight linear story from Joe's daily struggles and achievements with his recovery and decorated it with reflections of his previous lifestyle to help motivate him through the new challenges he faces.
I was able to take my passion for documentary filmmaking and use it to help write this real-life fiction film. With documentaries, the filmmaker spends a lot of time with their subject... getting to know them, interviewing them and understanding their motives. I was able to spend many hours talking with Joe, studying his every move and learning about his life in order to know what my character motivations would be within the script. Joe even said one day that I know him about just as well as his girlfriend, Amy does! :) That was a huge compliment because I feel like I have worked really hard to thoroughly study Joe and his incredible story.
Within the next few weeks I will be casting to find someone who can portray Joe, his girlfriend and his family. I'm excited to take the study I have done on Joe's facial expressions, hand movements, motives and watch it come to life on screen. :)
My Kickstarter campaign ended last week with $2,207 in total pledges!! :) A HUUUGE thank you to all that supported my film and shared Joe's story with their friends and family! This production has already come a long way with all of your help! I will be collecting contact information from all supporters here shortly so I can start creating the REWARDS! :)
Thats all for now. I will have an update and some pictures up here later this evening from my location scouting!
Here is my journal where I can reflect on the creative process in the development and production of my senior film.