Well, that may be a lie. I’m sure there will be a few final tweaks during this week, but all the parts are in place. The deadline for our target film festival is this weekend, so it will have to be done by then.
I’m eager for you to see this. It’s been in my head for several years and it’s a little bittersweet to see it come to a close. At the same time, it’s been exciting to see it take on a life of its own and to even teach me some things.
We’re still hard at work on Yellow, we’ve got a rough edit and are going through the process of refining, adding music, etc. In the mean time, here’s a quick blooper reel to tide you over.
While writing Camisado, Starr and I talked a lot about depression and the effects it has on your life. I will willingly admit that my view of depression and suicide was very narrow minded before then. Simply brushing it off as selfish. Calling suicide the ultimate act of cowardliness. But I learned. And Starr explained to me what it was like to be in that frame of mind. And how one comes to develop these thoughts they have.
One of the things Eric has said and I agree with, is that after working on Camisado we have become more sensitive to seeing the signs in people. A one off comment here, a bandanna on the wrist there…talking about it made it more visible.
This week is Suicide Prevention Week. To learn more about that, please visit http://twloha.com/blog/welcome-national-suicide-prevention-week-2014
And in honor of this, we decided to put Camisado on YouTube for you all to watch for free.
Our hope is that it opens a dialogue with someone important to you. Someone you know who is struggling and you (or them) just can’t make the first move to open up.
The letter that Kyra writes in the movie is a real letter. I have it in my box of mementos. I looked it at today. In fact I took a picture of it. Because I wanted to remember one of the lines. The line I named this blog.
The best thing you can do for a friend who is struggling is to love them. Love them until you can’t anymore. Love them so much that they understand…things will be ok. They will be ok.
And if they want to talk, listen.
And if they need to talk to someone else. Please guide them here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
You may have noticed that the references to “We Can Work it Out” on the site have been changed to “Yellow.” But since there are no references to the color yellow, or stoplights, or cowardice, or yellow journalism, or really anything yellow-related in the film, I wanted to explain where the name came from and what it means.
But first, what happened to “We Can Work it Out?” That was the title we’d chosen for the original version, and it just didn’t seem to fit as well in the newer version. So, how did we come up with “Yellow”? Honestly, it started out as a joke. We joked that we should name it something that’s the opposite of Courageous. Nothing against the movie, or any men it may have encouraged by it to be more involved husbands and fathers. But for men who already have that as a goal, it isn’t very helpful—in fact, it can be discouraging. So I jokingly thought of yellow—as in cowardly— as being the opposite.
And then, it just stuck. At first, I didn’t exactly know why; then the image of a yellow light in a stoplight came to my mind. That’s what made the idea crystalize. You know that moment when a light turns yellow and you have to decide whether to
gun it keep going or stop? All of Max’s conflicts in the film are about living in some sort of tension. The tension between work and home, between being a disciplinarian and a friend, a leader and a listener. It’s easy to portray two sides of an issue as black and white, or green and red. It’s much harder to learn to embrace and live in “the yellow.” If I decide as a driver that every time the light turns yellow I’m going to keep moving through the intersection, it’s not going to end well. So then, is the answer to always stop? I suspect that will be equally cause problems. No, each instance requires its own decision.
That’s what Max has to learn in Yellow. And that’s what we have to learn—and re-learn—day after day. It’s tempting to oversimplify our decisions, to turn life into a formula, but that almost always ends in legalism. Rather, let’s choose the harder, yet simpler, way of seeking the Holy Spirit’s direction to help us decide whether we need to go or stop in each instance.
I’ve recently interviewed for a different job—one that would involve more of a drive. It’s been an stressful time for me, weighing pros and cons to try to decide what’s best for my family. And it has brought up a lot of the issues we address in Yellow (aka We Can Work it Out).
If I were to follow the advice of most Christian books and movies on the subject, the decision would be easy. The extra hour of travel every day would mean it’s more time I couldn’t spend at home, so I should turn it down—in fact, I’m probably in the wrong for even considering it.
If I listen to industry experts or analyze my career trajectory, it’s likewise a no-brainer. The position would be more money, and it would mean more influence in my field.
But life isn’t that simple, is it? There are many more factors involved. If I view my time as belonging to my family but bought by my employer, don’t I owe it to them to get the highest price for their time? And how about how my work environment affects my demeanor at home at night? At what price it it worth giving up more time? These, and a myriad of other questions, are what’s keeping me up at night these days.
If God had meant for these things to be easy, He could have given us a detailed list of instructions on how to handle every situation that comes up. And it is certainly true that there is a lot of general wisdom in the Bible that can be applied to the situations in our lives. But He didn’t choose to make it specific like that. He wanted things to be hard. Hard enough that we need to rely on the Holy Spirit. He never promised the best life would be easy, but easy things aren’t worth doing. Let’s stop pretending they can be, even if it does sell books and movies.
Today was Father’s day. It’s always such a weird time for me. The church as a whole seems to focus Mother’s day on moms and daughters. And Father’s day on Father’s and sons. Being a father of two daughters and no sons I always felt kind of left out.
As we watched a video today before the service it showed a son thanking his dad for showing him how to shave. How to cook a steak, how to fix a sink, etc. And I sit there lost and wondering, “what about dads and daughters?” Shouldn’t their relationship be just as crucial?
Hopefully I won’t have to teach my daughters to shave, but I came to the realization a few years ago that I can still show them how to throw a ball. And how to change a tire. Show them how to spit properly.
I was so thankful when Eric wanted to shift the focus of WCWIO to focus on the father and daughter and there relationship. It was something I had always wanted to talk about. I think when you see it you see a man who grew up in a world where he was taught how to be a father to boys. But was slightly confused on how to be a dad to a girl. And as he tries to do all these things to fix it, he forgets the one thing he should just do.
I think it’s a struggle all fathers of girls face. Certainly there is more to being their dad besides teaching them how to they should be treated. As I think that sells them short. And is a slight insult to what a dad can do.
So I want to say Happy Father’s day to all the dads out there. Dad’s of boys and girls. Just remember you have as much to show your daughter as you do your son. And both need you the same.
Tonight’s scene was easily the hardest scene I’ve had to film to date. It was a late addition, one that Bill wrote based in part on conversations we’ve had about how we’re preparing for our kids’ teenage years.
It was hard to act, I think, because it was more emotionally vulnerable than I’d have written for myself. Based on things I’ve thought and said, shot in my daughter’s room, in a story about my deepest struggle, I couldn’t help but be shot forward 10 or 15 years.
This is why I can’t wait for you to see the film and why I’m utterly terrified for you to see it. If I ever stop feeling that way, I’ll know I’m not doing it right. Because to create something worthwhile is to live in that uncomfortable tension. And that’s what this film is all about.
Eric is ready to film a crucial scene and he wants to make sure his fellow actress is on the Continue reading Yellow – Behind The Scenes – Episode 3
Yesterday I went walking with a few people from work during our afternoon break. One of the people I walked with was a girl who is about 6 months pregnant. As we were walking she was talking about getting ready for the baby, bills, all the things one who is nesting discusses. Then she sighs ” Yeah I wish I had enough money so I didn’t have to work.” I let that soak in for a second and i was getting ready to respond, but I was too late. She was already on to something else.
But the words stayed with me all day.
It’s funny how art imitates life in places you never expect. The theme of having to work to support a lifestyle is one that is a huge influence in the works of 100fold films. Probably because both Eric and I work other jobs besides 100fold to support our lifestyles. Then we work on our films when we find the time between dinner, church, t ball practice, and sleep.
Most of those themes stem from Eric’s idea. I know he likes to be humble about it and say most of Noble D was my idea. And it was, but my idea had no heart. No backbone. Nothing to give it meaning. It was just a story about kids on a ship that were being attached by…something. Personally I don’t feel this story took shape until Eric came to me after what I assume was a bad day and expressed his frustration at our roles in life. It was only then that the story filled out and everything made sense. It was what we needed for the story to feel…real.
We explore this frustration even more in our latest film, We Can Work It Out. This story was, again, Eric’s idea. We had actually written this a few years ago, before Camisado, and Noble D, but we never did anything with it. Now, after a rewrite we finally decided to get it made. In this story we go a little more in depth with it. As we explore the implications this has on family.
I know this won’t be a main theme in all our works. We certainly have more to say than that. And our next film after WCWIO has a different story all together (more on that later). But, even in Camisado you can see it. You can see it in the father who wants to help but doesn’t know how. The father who wants his daughter to be better, but can’t stay with her all day. A father who has to deal with the fact that, somewhere along the way, it became the norm for the dad to leave the house to provide for his family.
Again, this pull between work and wanting to be home causes for a great story and I am really proud of what we have written and shot so far. I know WCWIO will be our best film to date. And I hope you are looking forward to it as much as Eric and I are.