As my sophomore year came to a close in 2013, I had 5 films under my belt. Instead of taking a break and enjoying the summer sun after the final bell rang, I began production on film #6 'Bloom & Wither' (2013) with Zac Parnell and Alicia Scherer as other students headed home. Production occurred over the span of June and July, with its eventual debut at the local cinema Fox Theatre (now Dallas Cinema). The production process was endearing and tumultuous from the early-year drafts to completing the film.
Right before 'Bloom & Wither' (2013) was set to premiere at the Fox Theatre, I did a photo-shoot for a forthcoming article about the event. Looking back, it was the photographer's (Pete Strong) last shoot for the local newspaper (Polk County Itemizer-Observer), and I was only a few days removed from having my braces off.
Revisiting 'Bloom & Wither' (2013) as it approaches 6 years in age, I am reminded of the early ambition with my film-making, and the lack of control with my artistic abilities.
From the get-go, I knew I wanted to push myself with this production. There was a post-modern-romance-sized-hole in my repertoire as I had previously produced 2 dramas, an action thriller, a documentary, and a silent film. I wanted a strong cast to help pull this off, and I was lucky enough to assemble an engaged cast featuring Megan Floyd, Zac Parnell, Nathan Beaton, Alicia Scherer, and Kyle Stockdall. The cast with split among two different timelines, 2005 and 2020*, as 'Bloom & Wither' (2013) told the story of two relationships heading in polar directions. I enjoyed almost every moment working on this film, even if the film's reach was too far.
As I focused in on exploring big ideas and post-modern nuances, I forgot to develop the most important components. An instructor of mine (Mr. Fawcett) kept telling me this, but I was too single-minded to listen. There's a lot that the film has: style, scenic shots, ideas, and a committed cast and crew. Unfortunately, there's also a lot that the film lacks: a well-developed story and characters, and shots of the train-tracks**.
Going back to the train-tracks today, I am reminded by the liberating ambition that this production brought. Everyone involved was able explore new territory, even with the script's faults. Life has its faults too; making mistakes is how we learn as we further ourselves in life. The tracks have definitely aged a lot as I observe a lot of wear-and-tear, but there's growth to be seen with each step taken.
*There are still going to be mail trucks in 2020. You're about to be proven wrong... Andy.
**I'm joking, there's A LOT of those shots.