Dipping into the world of improv, one of FRESH!'s directors, Amie Batalibasi, has been inspired by Duplass brothers' mumblecore films (Hannah Takes the Stairs, Drinking Buddies) and is setting out to explore her own way of storytelling within the confines of limited resources (ie money). It was lovely working with Amie on FRESH! and we're both interested in ways to avoid the over-emphasis on technical production values in film to focus on telling a great story with available equipment, crew and resources, so when she asked if I'd come along for the ride as producer, I jumped.
The first of her three film ideas, LUNCH, is a short one-day shoot - an 'exercise' to get a feel for how this improvised nature of filmmaking would work, in writing, performance, directing and technical coverage of the scene. We had a small crew of five and invited both actors and improv artists to be part of it.
Although the intention was to improvise, we found character development, overall story structure and blocking does require a fair amount of prep and planning in order for the film to succeed. We'll be applying this learning to a more involved three-day shoot coming up.