Why I need to make this film

31 Dec Why I need to make this film

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I don’t claim to be a writer. Yet. I can tell you that I’ve been a successful producer, a director, and even an editor. For the few years I’ve dedicated to being a filmmaker, I think I’ve got a decent resume to show for it.

I grew up in a small town in Northern Michigan. I was a skater kid. I still am. At thirty-six years old I can still hang, sort of. My teenage years in the early nineties are the most significant for me. I think teenage years are the most significant for all people. Those are the years that define a person, in my opinion. They sure defined me. It was the process of becoming a man or who we were going to be in this world. All I want to do is relive them.

It took me up until about two years ago to realize how important those years were. I started acting back in 2006. I always wanted to tell a story. Or just wanted to be famous, that’s probably more truthful. Always fighting for that attention I never got as a kid. That’s exactly what my teenage years were. Fighting to be liked or stand out. I thought by acting in some stories I would have a chance at doing so. Turns out it’s hard getting a job and you are always at someone else’s mercy and their story.

Christmas alone in 2011, BAM, I had an idea. Childhood memories ran through my head combined with a lot of anger and a lot of Larry Clark and Harmony Korine influences, I ran home and wrote down an idea. Then, for a whole year I delayed the inevitable. I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be any good or wouldn’t be the guy everyone always expected me to be, so I thought. I read a few well-known books and with some direction from Syd Field, I wrote a screenplay. The writing part went very quickly once it actually started. It’s the rewriting stuff that has been the process. Lots of feedback and seventy-page entire rewrites have gotten me to the current day. And I still want to keep making it better! It’s always evolving and “they” say it’s never really finished until it’s being shot. Then I’ll be a writer.

I recently directed a short film, Belong – a small moment in the daunting life of a teenager, that will coexist with my script in the intent to help raise some financing. It stars some up-and-comers and is being scored by Odd Future’s Left Brain. It’s going to explode on the scene at SXSW. Proof that I can handle a bunch of teenagers and tell a true, organic, gritty, and real life story about the early 90’s in Northern Michigan, skateboarding, and getting the hell out of the life and the shitty cards these kids were dealt.

Here’s a link to the Kickstarter I did for Belong. This can give you a little bit of an idea of who I am. A lot actually. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1169379006/belong-a-small-moment-in-the-daunting-life-of-a-te

Belong is only similar to my screenplay in the fact that revolves around kids who ride skateboards and what skateboarding used to do and still does. It’s life form in its own. A form of brotherhood that keeps kids together. It’s the only thing that saved the kids’ lives I wrote about in Tommy.

I am obsessed for my life to work with teenagers as a filmmaker. To direct them. To tell their stories. To tell my stories. It is through the eyes of our evolving youth that we find the raw truth.

Thanks for reading,

Lije

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