Team TeamWork Productions is very grateful for the experience of premiering And Breathe at the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase last weekend.
Before the screening, I could feel the heat in my cheeks and my heart pounding. This wasn't my first screening at a film festival. I have been involved as an actor a few times and as a co-writer/co-director for The Naked Feminist. This was different, because I was the one most responsible for this film. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and friends. I felt supported, but it is nerve wracking to share your art, especially something so personal, something that we've worked on a long time. One hopes that other people see what you see in.
The reaction was very positive. I really enjoyed getting to be a part of the Q and A after the screening. We were asked a lot of interesting questions about the process of making the film, the themes in the story, and what we are working on next (more about that another time). The writing and acting were praised. One audience member told me that the film really touched her and that meant a lot to me. Each step has been a learning experience and we've discovered many opportunities for growth.
We are so grateful for the support from you, our community. I'm very proud of the story, the actors, the crew, and every step we've taken along the way to get here. I'm excited about the future.
We are still waiting to hear back from a couple of festivals, but once we've completed our festival run, we will send a link to the film to everyone who has backed and supported Team TeamWork Productions.
Until then, sending you lots of love.
Hello Beautiful People,
After months of hard work, we are thrilled to announce that we have a final cut for And Breathe! We know from following other films on Seed & Spark that our updates have not been as frequent as they could have been and we thank you for your patience. We hope you enjoy some of the screenshots of the film that we are including in this post.
Wesley and Molly started editing nine months ago in January, with Molly picking the takes she wanted to use in the film. Next, Wesley completed our first rough cut in February. In March we worked on Sound Editing. Then in April, we got the first draft of the score from our talented composer, Caleb Straus (check out some of his other credits here: www.imdb.com/name/nm5478482/?ref_=nv_sr_1) and in May we worked on Sound Mixing.
Then in June and July we had to take a hiatus from editing. Molly received a promotion at her day job (as a Buyer at Whole Earth Provision Company) and had to focus her attention on learning her new position. But in August we came back to the film and made our final rounds of notes. And finally, in September we made the last adjustments (cutting a minute and thirty seconds off the film) and we have our Final Cut! The film comes in at sixteen minutes and nineteen seconds. We are so proud of this film and giddy with gratitude for our crowdfunding team, our crew, our cast, and most of all you-for supporting this film and making it a reality.
We've heard independent filmmaking described as running four marathons back to back. First there is acquiring funding, then production, post-production, and finally film festivals. We are thrilled to be entering the next stage and will begin submitting And Breathe to festivals later this week. If you know of a film festival that you think would be a good fit for this film, please let us know.
So when do you get to see the film? Well, we won't be able to release it to the public until we have had our world premiere. But we will send you an update when we get good news from film festivals and let you know ASAP when you can see the film that you helped make. Wishing you all the best.
Molly, Wesley, and Brittany
Team TeamWork Productions
Principal photography took place in mid October and it was a truly wonderful experience. We got the last shots that we needed and recorded voice-overs in early November. We have now begun the next leg of this process- editing! But first, I would like to take a minute to show appreciation.
TL-DR: Everyone was amazing on set.
My crew went above and beyond my wildest dreams. This film looks and sounds amazing. Wesley Riddle is an awesome Director of Photography and it was a joy getting to see what he can do when he is supported and not doing three people’s jobs at one time. To Jimmie Kadaver (Camera Op/Gaffer) Schuyler Hupp (Sound), Ally Huston (Art Director), Melanie McDaniel (Assistant Director), and Camille Westmoland (Hair and Make-Up) I appreciate everything you did on set, especially your attitudes and expertise. This was a real life dream team and I am so grateful to everyone for their awesome work.
My cast is talented and was super easy to work with. My protagonist is phenomenal. Brittany Flurry is a star and I think that it is very possible that she will win awards for this role. The rest of the cast did a great job, too. Brian Bogart played a villain, which isn’t always easy, but he took a two dimensional character and gave him depth and humor. Pamela L Paek does a lovely turn as a boss who has a heart and compassion. Chelsea Rhea Andersen brings a basic yoga teacher to life with grounded honesty and grace. And Jessica Salinas plays Maya’s mom with heartfelt poise. The featured extras are great people and were all so much fun to have on set- Jessica Brooks Allen, Regina Soto, Jessica Arjet, Andreas Fabis, and Toby Booth. Thank you all.
Thank you again to Elena Weinberg and Taylor Juarez, your guidance and work on the Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign was the foundation that made this level of production possible.
And to our 90 Seed&Spark contributors and 367 followers, I will be eternally grateful for your support. I hope you are as proud of this film as I am, since you are the ones who paid the crew and cast, bought us breakfast, lunch, and lots of coffee, and allowed us to rent the equipment that we needed. I keep you in my heart every day. This film is for you.
I love you all. Thank you.
Director - And Breathe
Please note- if you selected the Wrap Party as one of your incentives on Seed & Spark, invitations will be sent out in due time. We won’t forget you. If the timing works out we would love to show a rough cut of the movie at the party.
We start filming And Breathe tomorrow!
To say that I am excited is a massive understatement. We have been working diligently since we finished crowd funding to fill out our crew, cast our actors, make the schedule, and do all of the pre-production preparation that making a film requires. It’s a labor of love and I feel confident that we have done everything we can to prepare for a wonderful shoot.
I feel like these are dark days and I am so inspired to tell an uplifting story of catharsis and healing. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped and is helping to tell this story.
Meet our talent cast: http://www.andbreathefilm.com/cast.htm
The cast and crew are all thrilled to be on set for the next few days. I look forward to sending you another update after we have wrapped principal photography.
Writer/Director - And Breathe
By: The And Breathe Team
Wow, y'all. We certainly ran through the gamut of emotions yesterday. We greenlit and fully funded simultaniously thanks to a very generous (and kind of unexpected) donation and we defintiely took a moment to cry. Yes, we made sure you could be a part of that moment and turned our cell phone cameras on for it. (We're Millennials, shut up.) This is literally moments after Molly, Wes and Brittany saw the campaign get funded:
Then, we popped bottles. AND thought about our stretch goals. So, you know, work AND play.
As much as Brittany wishes we were finished (LOL, love you, Brittany) we are not. We are still looking to reach 500 followers, so, please share our campaign with a friend or two that wouldn't mind hitting that follow button FOR FREE.
We're also looking to raise an additional $2k for some extra bells and whistles since we've got 10 more days here with you all. Those funds will go straight to:
-Post-Production (a COMPOSER, perhaps?!)
-Festival Entry Fees
-Travel Related Costs to said festivals
Again: thank you, thank you, thank you. You've done so much for us already and we hope our joy brings you joy and that you're excited to share the project with your friends. Stay tuned!
Love & Light,
The And Breathe Team
By Molly McKee
One of the best things about writing and directing a film is that you get to bring your story to the screen and express complex concepts. I am very excited to explore how Maya's perception changes her reality over the course of "And Breathe," not just through the action and dialog, but also through the colors, framing, and sound design. The main reason we are crowdfunding is because we know that this is an ambitious project and we want to make the best movie possible. I know that hiring talented artists to help me bring my vision to life will lead to a spectacular film. I am having so much fun storyboarding and collecting images for my mood boards that will help me communicate with my team the vision that I have.
So, how do you show someone’s reality changing?
I was once taught in a meditation class to question my thoughts and it has been a life changing practice. How we behave is learned from observing the people in our childhoods. Low or high self esteem is learned. Hate is taught, knowingly or not. I believe we should all question our thoughts and ask ourselves, "Is that really true? Is that really what I believe?" Once you are aware of your thoughts, you can choose to change them. I won’t sugar coat it, it takes time and patience to change your beliefs. You may have thought you were ugly your whole life (probably because someone told you that you were), but you can choose to start thinking that you are beautiful. You can look in the mirror and choose to see your own beauty. And I hope you do.
By Wesley Riddle
As I look back at whats happened in the last week I’m surprised I’m alive! Not to be too over-dramatic, but it has been a whirlwind of emotions. They tell you as an artist to be prepared to fail and that you are going to hear “no” a lot. For me this whole campaign started for me with an emphatic “No.”, and even having prepared myself all my life for that word this one took me a moment to shake.
It was about mid set-up for the launch party that it struck me, “why are you lingering on that one no?” I took a deep breath and looked around, there were people helping us set up that I didn’t even know. We received contributions to the party from Tito’s Vodka and Buddha’s Brew Kombucha, a couple of our volunteers even brought cupcakes!
In that moment I knew I was being silly, that I had let one “no” be equal to countless “YES!”, and with another breath I released the “no” and celebrated the rest of the party!
Which, was a huge success (if I do say so myself)! I still can’t believe the generosity of Buddha’s Brew Kombucha and Tito’s Vodka, or how good they taste together. Juliet Buck’s set was killer!
She had a great acoustic version of Grey Eyes.
By the end of the night we had 22% of our goal!
As I type this we are nearing 50%, and this is still the first week. I feel like I should just write THANK YOU until my hands fall off, but I won’t. I will however say to all that have contributed and followed, and all who might. Thank you. I see you. I love you.
If you'd like to join us, you still have time: www.seedandspark.com/fund/and-breathe.
By Brittany Flurry
I sit here frantic and unfocused as I write this- I forgot about it. (Editor's note: Elena forgot to remind Brittany to write it. Brittany is too hard on herself. Brittany is wonderful.) Much like many of the bulleted notes that lurk on my far from finished to do list- I overloaded myself again and I’m falling behind. The irony of how frazzled I am while writing to promote a film called “And Breathe” is not lost on me. I think about all my carefully planned and finally attained self-care regimens that have gone out the window. The old habits and coping mechanisms that have crept back in since stress took over yet again. The overwhelmed feeling sitting on my chest like the elephant in the room I’ve been avoiding for months… and I want to cry. I want to fall to pieces. I want to shake a finger at myself for ending up back here after working so hard to be healthy and happy. But instead I choose to take a step back. I choose kindness. Excuse me while I breathe for a moment.
But while I’m up there… why do I feel like something is missing even when I’m surrounded by people I love working on some of the most amazing projects I’ve done in my life/career to date? Because I’m missing it. I’m swept up in it without taking care of myself first. My well is running dry because I have not been refilling it. I’m a shell moving through these amazing things wondering why it doesn’t mean more. And it’s because the real me isn’t here right now. And getting back to me starts in the simplest of ways- stopping to take a breath.
This movie is a reminder. A loving tap on the shoulder to slow down. To be where you really are. To sit in whatever it is for a moment. And breathe.
Then choose your next thought and move forward.
Tomorrow at 2pm we launch a crowdfunding campaign for this film. Another old thought pattern is my dread of asking for help. Which is funny, considering how much I give (and the joy in which I give). Asking others to help scares me shitless. But I let it go now. Because I need this film. You need this film. Your best friend, your neighbor, your senator, your bus driver... everyone needs this film. Join us in making this beautiful film which I hope will have a lasting impact on those who view it, and that by getting closer to the real versions of ourselves- we can make this world a bit brighter each day.
I consider myself a writer and a director, but in my twenties, acting was my primary discipline. Auditioning was my life. I auditioned for a lot of projects, student films, independent films, and music videos. And I couldn’t help but notice a theme: most of the characters I auditioned for were named “Girlfriend,” “Wife,” or “Mother.” They were nameless women whose relationship to the male lead defined them. The scripts that I was exposed to were mostly written by men. Now, before anyone gets in a huff, I said “most” and “mostly.” I absolutely auditioned for (and was cast in) roles that were complex and meaningful and were written by men. Being a man doesn’t mean that someone can’t write exciting roles for ladies, just like being a woman doesn’t mean that they can’t write great roles for dudes. But I am going to let you in on a little writing secret: most protagonists are versions of the writer’s psyche. Women comprised only 11% of the writers for the top 100 grossing Hollywood films of 2016. The gap isn’t quite as wide in independent films, but my personal experience was that most scripts were penned by men. I always enjoyed the auditions with female writers when I got to go on them. I found myself wishing there were more female writers.
When I began writing, having dynamic and three dimensional female characters was one of my guiding principles. I love writing awesome roles for women. I love when actresses tell me that a role I wrote was fun to play. When Brittany Flurry, Jessica Brooks, and I were writing The Naked Feminist, we had such a great time coming up with the wide variety of ladies who would populate our show. Two-thirds of our speaking roles were women. On my newest project, And Breathe, eighty percent of the speaking roles are female. There are not a lot of characters in my short film, but I love all of them so much.
I have already cast the wonderful Brittany Flurry as Maya. Brittany has an exquisite range and plays vulnerability and strength with grace and power. When she cries, I cry. When she smiles, I smile. Brittany is also a joy to work with; she gives every role her all, is hilarious on set, and takes direction easily.
I am very excited to cast the other roles in the next few weeks.
Where a story begins is a beautiful moment. Sometimes it's a lightning strike and other times more like baking. The ingredients are there (built everyday in experience and conversations) and one day you look around and decide that you have everything you need to tell a delicious story. And Breathe has been fermenting and simmering for a long time. The idea first came to me in 2012, at that point it was all about being aware and listening to the signs (literal and figurative) that the universe sends you. There were fun parts, but it wasn't quite right. The character of Maya was vague. There wasn't a lot of plot or action. No one wants to watch a film about a character driving to work. The souffle didn't rise. And then Brittany cast me in Behind the Nose, which was the most fun film I had ever worked on.
The next draft came in 2014. The core of the story, Maya's journey to let go of the past and find healing in the present stayed, but I added another character and made it more of a dialog. I was addressing more subject matter, but muddying the true point of the film. I wasn't satisfied with the script; it lacked the punch and impact it had before. It was all tell and no show (not a good place for a film script). At that point Brittany and I began working on another project with our friend, Jessica. The next two years became dedicated to The Naked Feminist.
The Naked Feminist was a super collaborative project and I wore a ton of hats: co-writer, co-director, co-star, producer, etc. Damn, I learned a lot! And after it was over, I jumped into another big project-planning my wedding!
In 2016, I was working on another screenplay, when a scene from And Breathe came to me. At this point it had been a long time since I had looked at either of the previous drafts. I revisited the two different scripts and took the scenes I liked best from each and added a few new scenes. And it worked. The souffle rose. I shared it with some trusted friends and got great feedback. I made some edits and here we are!
I am so excited to share And Breathe with you!