Family / Jonah / Liken History / The Girl Who Wanted to do Something Big

The Boy Who Wanted to do Something

My horrendous storyboarding skills at work. And yes, that is a giant meatball wearing Disney mouse ears.

My horrendous storyboarding skills at work. And yes, that is a giant meatball wearing Disney mouse ears.

Jonah was a lifetime ago. (Well, technically it came out in 2011, so really just three years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago.) Hopefully, there’ll be a new Liken movie in 2015. How? Which story? These are small details to be worked out later. (In other words, I don’t yet know.) The odds, as they seem like they usually are, are stacked against it. It will take not just one miracle, but a whole series of them, as it seems it usually does. But people keep asking when we’re coming out with a new one, new people keep discovering the series, and something feels like it’s tugging us again in that direction. (Cue the obstacles.) More on all that later.

In the meantime, I’ve been feeling the need to dust the cobwebs off this movie-making thing and see if it still works. Even just a little something. A tune-up, if you will. A hankering. For what? No idea.

But then a few weeks ago, I saw it. A call for submissions from the LDS Film Festival for 5-minute, homemade family movies. By homemade, they mean all the members of the team must be family, with the exception of up to one outside person. And the 5-minute rule, which creates certain narrative limitations, also keeps things from getting out of control and becoming all-consuming. Or at least, if it becomes all-consuming, as these things seem wont to do, it will be for only a limited amount of time.

I mentioned it to daughter number 3, Sash. She thought it sounded like it would be fun, if we did it right. What “right” was, we weren’t too sure about. But we started looking for examples of short movies that we liked. We were attracted to those with limited dialogue, favoring voice-over narration, with a fable quality. That style would help on the production end, too, as we would not have to worry quite so much about on-set sound. And the fable aspect would allow us to steer clear of realistic locations, which can be a challenge in Utah in the winter (the deadline is in the heart of winter).

The Girl Who Wanted to do Something Big

I started crafting together a script. It’s called, “The Girl Who Wanted to do Something Big,” which, if we can pull it off, will hopefully be a whimsical tale about a girl with big plans for her day, which end up getting sidetracked by this thing called life, and how that changes her for the good. Like all things, it’s autobiographical (except for, you know, the “girl” part), but I hope others will be able to relate, too.

Production-wise, it’s a little more ambitious than I had originally envisioned. Actually, a lot more ambitious. Cast is now at four, including kids (tapping a niece and nephew), with a bunch of locations, costumes, green screen, that sort of thing. Probably shoot it between the holidays. We’ll have to get creative to make it work. And we’ll have to pull in the big guns: Ken and a couple of his kids, Suzanne, Danielle, Katie and her husband, Daren (from the East Coast via Skype), Sash and her boyfriend, Curtis (our one outsider, although he doesn’t seem like it).

So tomorrow, the day after Thanksgiving, we’ll have our first pre-production meeting around the dining room table, to see how we might be able to pull this thing off. I suspect this effort will generate more than a few “notes to self.” I’ll keep you posted.

Meantime, back to storyboarding. I am, I’ve decided, the world’s worst illustrator. But I’m cheap. And I’m family. And I’ve got a meeting tomorrow.


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