Making Stuff is Hard

OCTOBER 26, 2015

A movie I wrote, GIRL MISSING, aired on Lifetime Network last night, and I was fortunate enough to get to watch the premier with great friends, engage with boisterous twitterers from around the country, get a live feed of reactions from my family who were watching on the East Coast, and watch a film I’m incredibly proud of air across the nation on a major cable network.

It made me think of just how much work and how much LUCK went into bringing this film to fruition.  Like anything created from nothing, all the elements had to fall into the right place at the right time in order for this story to come to life.  In this case, the trail begins with a sushi lunch I had with an old friend and the battering around of an idea.  That friend had a chance meeting with a studio looking for material, and that idea we were battering around at lunch turned into a treatment, which turned into a script that, luckily, the studio loved.

Then a director was brought in — again, luckily, an old friend who was willing and able to work closely with me on the story to make it work for the budget and locations we had at our disposal, all while keeping the core of the story itself intact.  A story that changed titles three times, went through nearly twenty drafts and an uncountable amount of tweaks to cater to locations, cast and budget.

About a YEAR later, I found myself in the cold of Minnesota watching the filming of that story, doing nightly re-writes in a hotel room or in a corner of one of our locations.  The making of the film was led by the amazing director, Joel Soisson, who worked tirelessly to make a low-budget movie look like a much bigger-budget movie; the absolute best producing team in the business in Mike and Lori Leahy, who were able to secure locations for our film that should have cost ten or twenty times what we paid for them and work around the clock to keep things moving seamlessly; a knockout cast including Francesca Eastwood, Kiersten Warren, Federico Dordei, Lidia Porto, Lyliana Wray and KariAnn Christensen, who took the words I wrote in a cold garage with a space heater at my feet and brought them to screaming, creepy, wonderful life; a Director of Photography in Alex Lehmann who envisioned a haunting, gorgeous look for the film; and a crew that was working in frigid conditions for not a lot of money, turning the gears of this incredible machine of creation.

After months more of post-production, re-shoots and final edits, Marvista Entertainment then shopped our little movie, and Lifetime Network liked it enough to pick it up.  One month after it sold, it aired.

All in, we’re talking, oh, about 2 years from sushi lunch to broadcast date, and a hundred things had to go right every step of the way.

So for all the folks who made sure this little story cracked the shell, was born, and found its legs, who made sure all those things went right, I humbly say Thank You.

And for everyone who got a chance to see the film, whoever popped the popcorn, jumped at the scares and spent some time watching all that hard work and luck shine brightly on your television screen — Thank You.  I hope you enjoyed it.