Blog #8: Revisiting 'the One and Only'

The other day, I did some re-organizing with the old production files on my hard drive. When I came across the project folder 'Untitled Artistic Project', I was somewhat confused; but when I dug into the folder, continuous memories flooded back as I navigated through.

I recall the true beginning of the project, watching Hannah Scadden's (now Hannah Remund) on-point reactions to my offbeat acting cues.

I recall the early mornings, ran by a groggy-but-inspired cast and crew.

I recall the rainy shoots, overcast by defiant-but-moody artists.

I recall the long days, capped off by pasta, pizza or ice cream.

I recall the familial times over the 3-month-long production: the movies, the tears, the hugs, the laughs, the back-and-forths, the joyous freneticism.

For this entry, I wanted to revisit 'the One and Only' (2014) from an experiential level instead of a level of tangibility. Over the past 5 years, I've had the opportunity to do location visits with different team members in different years.

The narrative of 'the One and Only' is an anthology about a high-school-age teenager facing various literal and figurative situations over the course of a year. With each challenge, the main character finds a new way to develop and further herself.

From the previous description, there's a lot of my personal life that I attributed to the various storylines in the film. At the time of making the movie, this was clear. Then everything about the film became foggy when I fell ill weeks after finishing production and lost my entire personality. After being out of school for two months, I finally was able to muster up trying to work on the film again. A rough cut was done, but there was still a lot that needed to be worked on.

I felt completely disconnected from everything that I was watching and trying to edit. I didn't recognize the artistic vision I was striving for months earlier. Once I began to look through old photos like the one below, I was able to reconnect enough to finish the film.

The film wasn't well received when others outside of the cast and crew began to see it. Meandering and esoteric were two words often said by viewers. It was devastating at the time, for a lot of reasons. I thought that this was going to be my breakout film as the cast and crew felt like we were making something special. Over time I understood why it didn't land. One filmmaker developed and shot it while another saw it through completion.

I don't regret anything though. Even though the premiere wasn't well attended, it was a delightful occasion that provided a great level of closure.

No matter the perception of the film, there was a lot of value that I took away from this film. I learned so much in terms of my craft that set me up for success with 'Offbeat' (2014). Most importantly though, the greatest takeaway was that I had a film family for 3 months; and to this day, I'm good friends with them all.

I remember re-watching 'the One and Only' (2014) with my friend Robyn a couple years ago. She said something like, "I forgot how good this was." That let me take a breath and enjoy the movie, for the first time.

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