“I think the idea for this film was inspired by a lot of things,” says Natalie Schwan, author of the How I Lost My Best Friends, a screenplay currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign. “The backbone for the theme is pretty close to what I am currently experiencing in my life, being in my early twenties and questioning everything. I noticed how relationships seemed to change and alter as we get older and life continues to go forward. I take a lot of inspiration from people around me as well, and I think bits and pieces of my friends and family are interwoven into the characters and story line. Whether someone is 22 or 82, I think there is a commonality of nostalgia and remembering the most impressionistic friendships we have had through the years, many of which seem to occur in childhood and adolescence.
“This is the first screenplay I have written, and I think when I shared it with film friends and family and they had a positive response—a connection to the story—I thought, ‘I have to make this; this is bigger than just me. This is something that other people could really enjoy and start to place themselves into the character, filling in the blanks with their own stories.’ I liked the idea that some creative project in my head could actually become a living, breathing, collaborative piece where people who work on it and people who watch it will have their own fingerprints all over it. I’ve always written short stories throughout high school and college but never attempted to publish them or translate them onto the screen until recently.
“I have no formal film education, although I have always been an avid photographer and filmmaker just as a hobby. I was involved in various independent and student film projects all throughout college as well. I’ve interned with a few production companies and decided to make this my career after graduating from undergrad. This is the first film that I have written and will be directing, although I’ve done a little bit of acting and production assisting in the past.
“How I Lost My Best Friends is a short film project that will be submitted to various film festivals. I am still finalizing the editor—am between a few options. But we plan to have post-production completed by July/August and then will be submitting to local independent and national festivals for consideration. We will eventually publish on Vimeo after its festival run.”
Interested in helping out a local Pasadena resident? A young woman who’s just beginning her career, ready to take a leap of faith and embrace risk. A young wannabe filmmaker needing to find out so many things…
Do her words on the page, the story she’s written translate onto the big screen? Is the vision she has now going to be anything she can actually accomplish? What happy accidents—which she can’t even imagine at this point—are going to occur? What adjustments and compromises is she going to have to make, all the way from pre-production through post?
Dozens, maybe hundreds, of elements must gel to make a good film, let alone a great film. This is difficult even in the hands of experienced directors. But they all had a first time. They were all newbies, most likely scared witless. But they believed in their work, wanted to realize a dream, so after countless sleepless nights and anxiety seemingly grinding away their stomachs, they shook off the cobwebs, narrowed their focus, and leapt.
Take a look and judge for yourself: Kickstarter.com/projects/natalieschwan/how-i-lost-my-best-friends. ($1 minimum donation.) Fundraising campaign for post production costs ends July 12th.
All images courtesy of Natalie Schwan.