BOUNDARIES movie in select theaters (LA and NYC) 6/22/18 from Sony Pictures Classics – more information here.
Film Courage: I think you’ve said previously Shana that you love to write messy characters? Why?
Shana Feste, writer/director of BOUNDARIES: Yeah. Well, I think I’m a messy person and I grew up with one of the messiest characters ever, as a father, who was just so complicated. And you know on paper you would look at my father and think Oh, my gosh. Stay away. Like you got the short stick in the father department. But when you met him and you saw how warm and charismatic and caring he was, you might start to change your perspective of him. So I think those are the most fascinating characters.
We’re all over the place as human beings and those are the characters I like writing.
Film Courage: What about playing them? Did you feel that your characters in the film were messy? I know Henry [played by Lewis MacDougall in Shana Feste’s film BOUNDARIES] was a good artist, he sure did draw within the lines.
Lewis MacDougall, actor: Henry may be messy, but I don’t think he really cared and that’s the great thing. And like you said, he does these amazing drawings, these very explicit drawings. You know, he’s a very unique guy. I enjoyed playing him a lot.
Vera Farmiga, actor: I love messy characterizations and my character would be the first to admit that her life was a mess. And that honesty, that is root to me, is enchanting.
And I love to fix messes and I’m OCD about cleaning up messes.
Film Courage: Well, I thought Laura [Laura Jaconi, the protagonist played by Vera Farmiga in BOUNDARIES] was very good at keeping things together despite the circumstances.
“We’re all over the place as human beings and those are the characters I like writing.”
Film Courage: She seemed to be getting things back together and then it would fall apart again?
Vera: She was striving to at least.
Film Courage: Well, it was enjoyable to watch. Shana, I know you received your MFA from UT Austin [master’s degree in creative writing and screenwriting]?
Film Courage: How has your writing changed since those college days?
Shana: Well, I was a horrible writer. I mean really, truly horrible. Like unreadable things I wrote back then and I think that’s one great thing about writing is the more you do it, the better you get. So I teach occasionally and that’s the advice I give to all my screenwriting students, just keep writing because you will get better.
And I’m looking forward to in 30 years when I write the most beautiful, epic screenplay ever because I’m going to be that much better then.
Film Courage: What about acting? How do you feel that you’ve evolved from last year or when you first started?
Vera: I don’t think about that at all, I don’t. I try to evolve as a human being and I try to attain as many skills as I can. I try to work on myself and understanding my own foibles and transgressions and ineptitude. You try to self-diagnose often so that you are good at diagnosing your characters.
BOUNDARIES synopsis (from Sony Pictures Classics):
The more LAURA (Vera Farmiga) tries to set boundaries in her life, the faster those lines are crossed. Her 12-year-old son HENRY (Lewis MacDougall) is in trouble again at school. Her own penchant for adopting stray dogs and cats threatens to overwhelm their Seattle home. And her phone keeps ringing with calls she refuses to pick up—from her estranged father JACK (Christopher Plummer). Maybe Jack will stick around. For Laura, the chance to accept, forgive, and heal will never go away.
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