Here (Again) For Scarlett
It's me! Adam! This website's only current featured writer! We really need more featured writers on this website...
In March we're going to be re-releasing Here For Scarlett, giving it away to the masses for the very low price of zero dollars! We've re-jiggered the opening credits a bit, adjusted some of the colour (yes, even though it's a black and white movie), and removed the post-credits scene which, to be fair, was an afterthought anyway... and which'll now be a collector's item! The first alternate ending in the Panic Mooniverse!
So obviously in order to do all of this work I've had to revisit the movie a bunch over the last few weeks (including a commentary track that may or may not be released/re-recorded again), which was something I was hesitant to do for the last few years.
Part of the reason that I didn't want to watch the movie again was I was burnt out from making it. I remember on the very last day of principal photography, of about a twenty three days-ish shoot schedule, I was super pumped and full of energy and wanted to jump right into filming something else. Because filming is the fun part. But after months of working on the fine cut, finishing sound post, finalizing the music, etc... I was sick of the bastard. It takes so stupid long to finish a project, especially when you're either doing the work yourself or you have to wait for other people who are helping you. (Which is fine. They have other stuff to do rather than focus full time on a job they're volunteering for.)
It also didn't help that we were recording the music for the band in the movie on our days off... (We'd shoot Wednesday through Sunday, then I'd be in the studio on Monday and Tuesday, for all of April). I'm saying I really needed a nap, dude.
Another part of the reason that I didn't want to revisit HFS was because I was disappointed at the response to it. One family member told me that there were "too many story lines," a friend's family member said that I "should cut myself out of the movie" (As if, dude. How else'm I gon' be in the pictures? Although I guess if I cut myself out of the movie it would help with that "too many story lines" comment...), and other than that I kinda got nothing back.
Like, almost zero response. Not much from the cast or crew (I don't begrudge them; they're busy, they have other projects that they've moved on to, and their responsibility is not to mollycoddle my fragile ego), and definitely none from film festivals. So that all sucked. I mean, it could be worse. We finished a feature length movie, which not everyone has done. We hadn't even done it before then. But it still sucked.
The third reason that I didn't want to revisit the movie was because I felt like I let people down. Sure, we finished the flick. We shot it and we edited it and we goddamn got it done. However, and this is probably tied into not receiving much feedback, I alway felt like everyone who worked on the movie hated it. YES, that's most likely just me. BUT... We'd just spent a month making this thing, working hard every day, and then when it was finished there was just radio silence. So it felt like a real "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" situation.
I also made the mistake of underestimating post-production. This was the first project that we'd finished on a feature-length scale, and I somehow thought we'd be done in a month. So that was dumb. It also, in my opinion, wrecked the music that I'd spent a year working on. I rushed everyone through the studio, thinking that just 'cause I knew what I wanted it to sound like it would magically work out, when if we'd taken a little extra time, another few weeks, we could've had something really great. Now, 'cause of my own impatience/impractical thinking, I can't stand to listen to any of the songs that I was really proud of writing. Oh well. Sigh.
BUT HERE'S THE THING:
Holy shit, we made a fucking movie.
Watching it back for the first time in almost a four years I was reminded of all of the AMAZING performances (both on and off screen, from principal photography through to post). I could tell y'all how Tyler as Kurt is crazy hilarious and soft-spoken, how Chrissy as Erika is supportive and vulnerable and hurt, how Dani as Scarlett knocks it out of the park every time she's on screen (especially considering that she'd sit around for hours, waiting, in order to work for two minutes), how Corey as Vera is ditzy and charming and maybe a little off-kilter, how Tara and Faith as Dana and Isabella are ridiculously honest when they speak to each other... I could tell you all of this, but I won't.
Also, that's not to discount all of the other amazing actors in the piece. Legit, everyone's great. Even two of the three children (I'm the third).
Other than a handful of at-the-time-relevant-but-now-dated references I still dig the writing. I was pleasantly surprised at a bunch of the shot choices. There's a practical effect that we use a bunch that still thrills me, especially the last one (you'll know it when you see it- yes, that is a practical effect. Not even a crossfade in that piece, yo!).
The point is, I was very conflicted about this movie for a very long time. Maybe I should've been, maybe I shouldn't've. But I'm glad that I've checked it out again with (more or less) fresh eyes, and I at last dig it.
And I hope y'all dig it too.