Written by Parker Keye Eisen
It’s been one year since shooting The Lovers. An experience that changed my life and perspective on filmmaking. It’s cliche to say, but every film you work on has that effect since the magnitude of filmmaking is so large. The Lovers has taught me so many lessons in patience. It’s shown me the worst sides and best sides of myself. It led me to discover my obsessiveness over the smallest details, and how perfection is not in results but in process. It’s also shown me patience, gratitude, and an unwavering faith in my own process. It’s taught me how to better collaborate and delegate, how I want to work with actors, and the importance of following my own intuition. It taught me that I have good intuition, and I need to trust it more. It also taught me how to rigorously plan my shots, days etc. without becoming too constrained.
The film has forced me to be my most vulnerable in more ways than one. Simply by the fact that communicating a vision is inherently vulnerable, and that I, as the director, need to be the most vulnerable person in the room to successfully communicate that, something to endlessly work on and improve.
The Lovers is on its way towards completion. We are nearing picture lock--like one or two more editing sessions away. And then it’s onto sound, which will take god knows how long since I feel like we really have the opportunity to make a rich sound soundtrack that brings the images to life. Every step of the way has been difficult and torotus, new mental challenges everyday, but with all of 640 behind me, I couldn’t be more confident.
And so, here’s one anecdote that has really impacted me as a filmmaker and as a person. One year ago today, June 3rd, I woke up from about 4 hours of sleep to a monumental panic attack. Heart pounding out of my chest, eyes wide open, adrenaline pumping. I thought it was all over that morning after the first night of shooting, which went decently well besides the fact we fucked up the film’s opening shot (which we re-shot a couple days later). So, in total panic, I made the decision to just get up and head to the woods, a ritual I began during pre-production. I went to the woods, performed some breathing techniques, then sat, listened to wind in trees, the birds chirping away, and cried, all alone. My tears calmed me down and grounded me because I learned, contrary to what I thought my whole life, that I am an extremely emotional and at times volatile person who requires lots of self reflection in order to feel things fully and sometimes, you just gotta boil over in order to move forward. After crying, I took a few moments, then walked back to my parents’ house, which had become a full on production studio where I found my trusty steed, Brennan Huizinga, up and ready to go.
And with that, thanks to Brennan, Varun, Zoe, Dylan, Spencer, Alex, Mamie, and Christina for all of your dedication behind the camera and in post-production.
Thanks to Ryan for his continued work on the wonderful score.
To Chloe for her amazing artwork (stay tuned!).
To Alek for his continued dedication to the project and to the craft.
And to Emily, the love of my life, who I never would’ve met if I didn’t make this film. You’re a star.