I’m not one to brag on myself, but here it is, I am just going to do it and probably end up deleting this at some point very soon because then I’ll feel ridiculous and like a complete narcissist. Here goes:
We just released our web series pilot, Dates (The Series) and I’m really proud of my team (cast and crew) for coming on board with me and helping me make this a reality. I have always been so nervous to share my writing with others, well not my blogs because that’s just me as if we were sitting together having a discussion in a coffee shop. Of course it’s pretty much a one sided conversation, so perhaps there is some narcissistic tendency there…hmmmm. I’ll sit for hours after I post this and ponder.
What I have discovered is that a lot of people seem to be confused on what my participation in Dates actually is and as I look back on the amount of time, work, money and effort put forth on this project, I am amazed at what I was able to pull off and the amount of talented and gifted people who came along for this ride and it is still sort of surreal to me.
I am the Creator of Dates. I had the idea come to me about three years ago after thinking of all of the funny stories and some of my own experiences from dating in the past. What I wanted instead of just little shorts were characters that the audience would become emotionally invested in, but I didn’t want stereotypical characters either.
I am the Writer. I wrote the scripts, the treatment, and a ton of rewriting.
I produced, which means I budgeted, funded, and hired the crew.
I co-produced: casting, contracts, negotiations, squabbling, a lot of push and pull, etc.
Location Scout: Finding locations, negotiating, and scheduling.
Music Supervisor: Music is EXPENSIVE. I learned a lot in this process just how expensive it can be, but I contacted really talented musicians in hopes they would want to share their music with us and lucked out when they agreed and being able to keep it within our low budget. We really lucked out!
I had to fire people- this was by far the absolute worst. Ugh, I still tear up over this.
I grew a back bone and a set of balls.
I asked people for a lot of favors (not an easy thing for me to do).
Director: I directed the pilot episode even though I knew I was in over my head, I just went for it and thankfully I had a lot of guidance on set and everyone was so gracious and respectful to me. I don’t really like directing as I soon found out because I try to be too accommodating instead of me trying to get what I really want. This is not a good quality for a director.
Sound Mixing: Yep, I did a little of that.
Set design: Yep that too.
Noel and I created the logo together.
I followed my gut! Someone on my team was trying to convince me to take this and pitch it to CMT and I was very flattered, however, I knew that was NOT my audience. Ah, the butting of heads began. I wanted a show with diversity; something with a very broad demographic from diversity of different cultures, different ages, and reasons for dating. The person who wanted to come on as a Producer and walk me into CMT was impressed with my treatment, which was incredible feedback because I didn’t even know how to write a treatment for a series. It was something I had to research and it was a very lengthy process, but I pulled it off. I’m proud of myself for sticking to what I wanted to do and following my own vision because as an artist that’s what you do.
I have been running ALL of our social media since last August. I haven’t done the best job, but I sure as heck have given it my all including making memes.
What amazes me, really and truly is that I did all of this while working, of course it’s freelance, but I had deadlines, playing a single mom to my two daughters while my husband works out of state during the week, was able to keep my marriage, home life, and keep a somewhat decent social life with my closest friends intact, AND all while a brain tumor was aggressively forming in my head. That blows my mind…well, not really. We don’t want that to happen.
If I am being completely honest, sometimes I wonder how on top of my game I would have been if I didn’t have brain cancer, but I can’t change any of that. And if I’m being completely honest, I gained a ton of weight over the year and my house looked like scenes from Cops when they are removing children from their homes and taking them into Child Protective Services.
I am so very proud of all of the people I had the opportunity to work with, forge meaningful friendships with, and the experience of a lifetime. I have wanted to be a filmmaker since I was three years old when I first saw “King Kong” on the big screen skip ahead 41 years later and I’m living the dream. Of course none of this would have been possible without a supportive husband who has had my back from the very beginning, offering me advise and the support of my kids, my family and my friends. Jacob, my Director of Photography and Editor said to me, “we are lucky that Noel and Ashley (his fiance) understand what it takes to be with filmmakers”. That is one hundred percent true and only the spouse or significant other of a filmmaker can fully understand the amount of time and focus it takes and they often take a back seat, but when you are lucky enough to have someone in your life who really understands and values those qualities in you, it makes your passion, drive, and work that much sweeter.
Do something that makes you want to toot your own horn or if you already have, then share it. No matter how big or small it is, you have earned the right! Let me hear from you! Let us celebrate one another.