Several months ago I was fortunate enough to win the 2011 Steeltown Film Factory, a competition for short screenplays designed to promote the film industry in Pittsburgh. The prize for the competition was the budget to shoot the film.
So, in late July, I returned to my beloved hometown in order to bring my script, Flour Baby, to life.
The film is based on a rather bizarre high school project wherein high school seniors are required to take care of a baby doll strapped to a bag of flour for a week as a means of approximating the responsibilities of being a parent. It’s supposed to discourage them from having premarital sex. Or something.
Incidentally, I had to complete just such an assignment as part of my senior Religion class. I named my doll Dustin Dimond. As in Screech from Saved by the Bell. He had sideburns. I was a very clever 18-year-old.
But I digress…
Shooting a film is a pretty awesome experience, one in which the writer plays a vastly different role from the one he/she plays in the theater. It was quite the learning experience.
Fortunately, I had the pleasure of learning from an incredible director, cast, and crew on this shoot. Melissa Martin (my former professor and the writer/director of a terrific film called The Bread My Sweet) directed, and the cast featured Carnegie Mellon alum Alex Branton, current CMU juniors Grace Rao and Ginna Le Vine, and Peter Matthew Smith (who some of you may know from his roles in Crybaby, Fiddler on the Roof, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and Rent). The crew was comprised of some of the best and brightest film professionals in Pittsburgh.
The score is being composed by the notorious Michael Kooman, and will feature a brand new Kooman & Dimond song called “Breathe” (which was recently debuted at our Birdland concert, sung by the incomparable Laura Osnes).
Major lesson learned: If you surround yourself with people who are smarter and more talented than you are, they will make you look like a genius.
Stay tuned for more details about Flour Baby, which will premiere at the Three Rivers Film Festival. In the meantime, check out some photos from the shoot (all photos by Erika Knox)…