ruminations on a series of unrelated events
Indianapolis, Indiana | May 2020
Recently, I have been collaborating on a short film with my daughter.The making of possible: from Autumn Grace Eastom on Vimeo.
A year and a half ago, my daughter, Amalia, returned to Indianapolis from where she lived in Philadelphia to undergo major surgery on her right shoulder. She has always be extremely flexible, and as a consequence her right shoulder would often spontaneously dislocate. Over the years, it probably dislocated nearly 20 times. (not something you want to be witness to, believe me) The dislocations were starting to cause damage to the bone, so it was time to do something about it. She underwent a procedure at the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center that was essentially four different operations in one. It was very extreme. It has been 18 months since the operation. After a brief stint back in Philadelphia, Amalia moved back to Indianapolis in May of 2019 and has been doing physical therapy here ever since. Fortunately, by being very diligent, she has made a lot of progress and has returned to dancing, which she studied in college. While this is not a dance film, it is somewhat auto-biographical, in a metaphoric way, and features some dancing.
Over the course of all our time together, we have discussed collaborating on a film. Finally, an opportunity was at hand. I was finishing up work on my state museum installation and my opioid film project, and I wanted to work on something that was purely from our own combined imaginations. After brainstorming a lot of ideas, we put a date on the calendar to make it real and we put the ball in motion.
We know of an old, unused loft space in the center of downtown Indianapolis. It is an amazing location. The owner is a supporter of the arts and he let us shoot a dance piece of Amalia’s there the day before her surgery. Now, he was agreeable to letting us use the space again for this much more elaborate project.
With the space secured, it was just a matter of a lot of set dressing. We wanted curtains on the huge windows and a living room set. But first, the place had to be cleaned. It looked like it had not been cleaned in literally 75 years. So a lot of vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing later, it was still far from clean, but it was good enough to go.
The building owner has a lot of furniture stored in various parts of the building we could use, and a co-worker of mine loaned us a sofa, chair and lamps. Suddenly, the space was transformed into a living room that was quite welcoming. In addition to the living room set, there is a clothes line that stretches back and forth with several bed sheets, and periodically in the film a seamless background will appear in the space with various scenes depicted on it.
In early March, we finally had our shooting day. With the help of Artur Silva, Autumn Eastom, Elise Walker and Quentin Bass, we worked a long day and got most of the film shot. We returned shortly after that to wrap up shooting right as things in Indiana were starting to heat up in terms of the coronavirus. So we were able to slip in just under the wire.
Big thanks to everyone who helped with the production. We are currently working on the voice over for the film. I will link to the film here once it is completed.
June 19, 2020 Update
Amalia has moved from Indianapolis to Providence, Rhode Island. But before she left she wrote a truly amazing voice over for the film which we were able to record two days before her departure. So now the film is edited (not surprisingly, it turns out quarantine is a good opportunity to edit), and the VO is in place and the film has just gone to the composer, Tim Brickley, who has done the music for all my recent films. Our plan is to subtitle it in French, Spanish and German and submit it to festivals far and wide. But once it is done, I will post a private link to the final film for the (precious few) readers of this blog. So check back here in a few weeks!
I’m intrigued am so looking forward to the finished project. The photography and lighting look good to me!