Why I'm Making This
We’re have 4 days to hit our goal. You’ve all been amazing, so thanks again for jumping into this with us. We really appreciate it.
Kickstarting a movie is such an intense process, it’s easy to get caught up in “how much we need to raise,” and “how can we keep getting the word out without all of our friends and family thinking we’re the most annoying people on the planet.” That sort of thing. So, I wanted to take a little pause from that, and instead of just rushing to get to the end, talking a little more about why I’m doing this in the first place.
On Friday, I worked a shift at a place in Gainesville called Video Rodeo. If you saw my first film, it’s where my character works, and it’s a place that I, myself, worked while I lived in this town 5 years ago. I took the shift partly because the owner, Roger, a producer on this film, needed it covered and couldn’t find anyone, since Gainesville is dead for another week until Fall semester starts.
But I also took the shift for the novelty of the experience. Coming back to this town after 5 years has been surreal, a kind of practical time travel where I can physically look at the memories of my time here instead of just imagining them. And working my old job has been the most unusual moment of that experiment so far.
It made me think about why I’m here in the first place. I mean, who returns to their college town years later, when almost everyone they knew has not only moved, but moved on, to rich, full adult lives, with promising careers and new families? Why am I working a shift at a place I haven’t been an employee of in years, instead of getting married, or buying a house? Why aren’t I pushing my life forward, and instead, finding a way to go backward?
I realized, kind of unintentionally, that this is actually what the film is about. This whole experience of returning to your past, the last place you did anything special with your life, to try to find a future, is deeply ingrained in the story and the characters.
And yet at the same time, it’s also about the idea that maybe the past isn’t the past, and maybe, in a way, you’ve never even really left. I made my first movie here exactly 5 years ago (we shot it during August of 2008) and I haven’t been able to make one since, until now. And beyond that, I haven’t really been able to climb out of that hole that most people call their “twenties,” either- a time where you finally get to this "future" you've been hearing about your whole life and realize that it might just mean that now you don't have one.
So, in a way, the characters’ journeys in Paperback are my own. I’m going through it with them, at the same time. It's just that one is real and one isn't. But I love these characters. I love their flaws (of which there are many), and I love their struggle to find answers to their questions despite those flaws. Because they’re mine. And I think that’s why I’m here, instead of up there, in the present, with everyone else.
There are a lot of reasons people make movies, and there are even more reasons that other people connect with them. I can’t tell you why you, specifically, will relate to this story, other than finding something in common with the characters and their issues, but I just thought I should share a little bit about why I do.
Who else is crying?