Nan tries to have a little control over her uncontrollable circumstance. A picture is worth a thousand words, but to Nan, it’s worth so many more. An uplifting tale about hope, struggle, and a lasting image.
“Can You Take My Picture” was an idea I was quietly mulling over through the course of a few months while working on a few other projects. The visuals, the locations, the dialogue kept haunting me and I finally felt comfortable writing everything down, forming a treatment of sorts.
The central theme I wanted to explore is how one deals with grief, heartbreak, and moving on from both. The personal themes in this piece are universal. Loss is something that has touched or will touch every human life and experience. Writing about our own truth says so much about the story we are meant to be telling. It’s a fascinating concept to potentially share so much with so many. We might be strangers, but our stories are more similar than we might realize. I love the idea of looking for the light while exploring some of our areas of darkness.
As for the mood of the piece, I very much wanted to create an air of beauty and melancholy. Nan, our main character, takes us on a journey to all of her favorite spots and asks strangers to take her picture. While spending some time with Nan, we learn the real reason why she wants to capture these magic moments. Anyone who has ever dealt with loss or grief will ultimately connect to this uplifting tale about hope, struggle, and a lasting image.
I approached actor/ producer Rebekah Tripp, with a one-page treatment in hand, and let her read it in front of me while sipping coffee at one of our favorite spots. After reading the last line of the treatment, she looks up at me, eyes brimming with tears and asks, “when can we make this film?” That’s all I needed. She was my “green light”. She came on board both as a producer and as our lead character, Nan. This film marks our 10th year anniversary and I couldn’t think of a better project to celebrate this beautiful collaboration. More about Rebekah Tripp here
There are so many reasons I would want you, as an audience member to watch this film, and here they are in no particular order! It’s beautifully shot by our brilliant director of photographer, Jesse Aragon, who won Best Cinematography for this piece at the Culver City Film Festival. Then, there’s the acting. Rebekah Tripp and Lily Knight are powerhouse actors, and they create a dynamic relationship on screen. The music, composed by Claudio Olachea, is enchanting and haunting. It sets the tone for this emotional roller coaster of a film. Claudio has a gift for creating the beating heart of the film. The music is somewhat a character within itself.
Ultimately, watch this film for the story. From the opening scene to the ending frame, you are transported to a safe space to explore a cornucopia of human emotion. The next time someone approaches you and asks, “Can you take my picture?”, hopefully, you’ll reflect on the message of this film, and you’ll connect with that person in a genuinely open and human way.
The entire “Can You Take My Picture” team was magic, and each of them fell into place like a beautiful landscape puzzle. Our cast; Lily Knight, Rebekah Tripp, Connor Kelly- Eiding, Joanna Strapp, Carson Donnell, Brooke Lynn Darwin, and our brilliant crew; Chase Darwin, Jesse Aragon, Claudio Olachea, Chris Dowske, Waymon Boone, Monica Escalante / Jose Williams at EFILM, Gustavo Ramos, Maryann Yee, Anne Montavon, Joy Wolfe, Stevi Ward, Matt Zarley, Wiley Ho, Gilly Rudolf, Doug Minerva, and Bob Gardner. Oh, and Brando, my dog. He’s in the film, and he’s perfection!
It’s a great feeling to release a project when stamped with your truth, and you can only hope people will connect with it. With this project, people have shared their own stories with me individually, and it’s a true testament to why I’m a filmmaker: to connect us all through storytelling. When you leave a movie theater with a friend and you can’t stop discussing the film, good or bad, that’s when a film has done its job; creating a conversation that brings us together.