I am not a writer, director or producer.
Yet… I am the writer, director and producer to WONDERSTRUCK, a SAG short film in pre-production.
I am a Casting Director in Los Angeles (www.andrearuedacasting.com) with a story to tell, and have met fantastic actors along the way that I became eager to work with outside of the audition room.
With all of this, WONDERSTRUCK was born.
Alongside me is Nathan Alan Bunker (writer/director/producer) who will also be Directing WONDERSTRUCK, as well as co-writing the screenplay.
I have had plenty of script ideas that I would approach Nathan with, to write and direct. Nathan would quickly respond with “you do it”, then I would mope and say, “I’m not a writer!”
Most of my friends and acquaintances in Los Angeles are extremely talented artists. They have helped me realize that if you want to do anything or be anything in the creative industry you have to start by doing it yourself. Put your best work out there, be passionate, work very hard, and from there your opportunities will be endless… hopefully.
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With that said, I realized I am not only a Casting Director but a “creative person” and should constantly put that creativity out there to grow and share. I learned how important it is to be open and willing to go in whatever direction doing that takes you.
Opening up my horizons brought me to WONDERSTRUCK. This was the first idea that I immediately jumped right into without seeking any advice or assistance. As the writing process started, I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, 20 pages were written and the actors were on board to bring WONDERSTRUCK to life.
What was missing from all the other script ideas was a connection and passion to those stories. The feeling of obsession with writing this film was much easier than the feeling of forcing it, which is what I experienced with anything else.
WONDERSTRUCK follows a couple, AMY and MATT, who realize they have different expectations and desires in life after being confronted with a life changing decision.
I have witnessed the mid 20’s to 30’s age range to be scary and stressful. This story was created during a time when some very close friends were going through a self-discovery phase, some on a deeper level than others. During this time I also began watching movies such as Revolutionary Road and Blue Valentine, which address this strive for individualism, while being in a committed relationship – which makes this time for anyone much more challenging.
This “quarter-life crisis” of sorts, where people go through this sense of un-fulfillment and wave of questions revolving around personal needs and wants, intrigued me.
AMY begins to discover what she wants in life, and even though MATT does not share the same interests, he begins to convince himself that he does. This is until MATT is given a chance to choose again and re-evaluate his decision.
I want both of my characters to be given an equal amount of empathy. I would ideally love for WONDERSTRUCK viewers to not be capable of choosing who is right or wrong. The goal is for both voices to be understood.
The process of creating this film has been 1 year, but it has felt like the blink of an eye and my stomach is beginning to hatch its butterflies. Everything with pre-production has been falling into place, for the most part, and is slated to film in about a month. The struggles will begin to arise in a few weeks I’m sure!
The current obstacle right now is of course… money.
Truthfully, the film was originally written for experimental purposes. I wanted to write an emotionally driven script that was challenging for the actors and myself as a first time director. After attracting such talented actors, Haley Webb and Jonas Fisch, I decided to take the leap and turn this experiment into a full-fledged production. With this, I knew I needed a strong crew with the same or higher level of experience, as my actors.
Not wanting to settle for anything less became a financial problem.
To pay for cast, crew, food, locations, equipment and all post-production work… I realized it would be nearly impossible to afford alone.
Kickstarter.com is a crowd funding service that was discovered through fellow filmmaker friends. It became the only realistic route to take if we wanted to begin filming sooner than later.
Crowd funding is a helpful tool that allows friends and family to help raise funds into your project. Anyone can view your project information, and if they like what they see they are able to contribute as well!
It is an exciting process to see who reaches out, and how many people believe in you enough to help make your goal possible. It can be just as equally hard to see how many do not reach out and having the possibility of not reaching your goal.
I am very excited about the possibilities and outcome WONDERSTRUCK will provide for everyone involved. Working on a low budget film comes with a guarantee of ups and downs, but in the end I am looking forward to sharing some interesting stories and an amazing film with everyone!