One of my greatest pleasures in making films is collaborating with actors and techies. I often hear bad stereotypes about them that I personally do not encounter. I guess this is because I’m highly selective of the people I want in my life: I try to surrounding myself with artists and people who are passionate about their craft, their vision and their love for other people’s vision.
It’s sort of similar to learning how to pick your friends. They say that misery loves company and the same can be said about love. If you are in love all the time, you will find people who are in love with you.
Someone told me once that I “think big.” Yes I do. I like the unattainable. The more unattainable it is—the more attractive. I like having goals, ideals, things I seemingly cannot reach. And as I move forward in my life and career—I am always stepping closer to the unreachable.
Mainly, I am always looking for love. I have to be in love with everything I am doing, touching and feeling. Because of this, I don’t sleep, I hardly eat, I don’t socialize. I am always in a state of love. People ask me how I do it. I don’t know. I don’t know where this energy comes from.
My ideals change constantly. It is hard for me to have an ideal that lasts long enough to feed my appetite. Because of this hunger, I am always trying to create the un-creatable.
When I work with actors, I become highly fascinated with them—because I’m looking to pull something from them that they don’t even know they have. And when the camera catches it: it’s like capturing a big yellow butterfly. So when you see it on screen: you’re touched by this life that flickers and you don’t know what it is…and you don’t know why. That’s the magical side of filmmaking. You become hypnotized.
One of my favorite actors is James Dean. To date, there is no actor that has lived up to the magic that Dean created on screen. I study his movements, his motives, his choices and how he uses his body completely as a vehicle for his character. He’s a natural. When I began looking for an actress to play “Nune,” I was looking to create a new version of James Dean in the female form. I didn’t see it as an impossible ideal. I lived with the idea so completely that it was bound to happen. It was as if I had no control of it. I had completely forgotten about the James Dean concept until I met Bri (“Nune”). Even then, when I told her about my fascination with James Dean and his acting, I don’t think it clicked with her. I think we both sort of shoved it under the rug.
Then I started to see this magic of Dean inside of her—it wasn’t Dean, but entirely her own invention. She created and recreated Nune, the character. She’s made her impenetrable so that no one else can steal her. That’s what Dean did with all his characters…and that’s why no one can do what Dean does.
I recently watched some video clips of Nune (Brianna Joy Chomer, “Bri”) from our photo shoot and seeing her in action is fascinating. I become like a cat that gazes with devotion at its beloved—the way my cat used to stare at me so contently and I never understood why. I learned to fearlessly look at actors the same way.
When I first met Bri and Jessica (who stars as “Briana Enright”), I told them about a process called Transference and warned them that I’m going to consciously and massively allow myself to get into that—and to not get intimidated, and to realize that it’s how I work as a director. I had to explain to them that it’s necessary for me to fall in love with everything that I do in order to charge it with power and magic.
If Midas can touch anything and turn it into gold, so can the filmmaker’s eyes.
I love watching these videos of Bri. I hope you do too.