Eric's Personal Reflections:
I had only been back from film school for a few months before the burn started to take hold. I had to get a project into the pipeline. It seems that's been my lot in life: to always have a project in the pipeline. Back then, I didn't have access to a camera. In fact, I wouldn't come around to owning a decent camera until 2009, when I purchased a Canon XH-A1 for the production company I headed at the time (which was actually purchased through a loan).
In 2001, the only person I knew with a camera was Branden, as he owned a Sony TRV-900 miniDV, the hip new digital format a lot of indie filmmakers were using. Branden was the power that made the project possible. During the holiday season of 2001, I wrote the script, met him down at the ferry as he was returning home from classes (he was in high school) and presented him with the idea.
We pretty much filmed in sequential order, mostly. The production timeline is really hazy because it was a tumultuous year. I wasn't settling back into Maine well, and really just wanted out. I had seen how amazing living in a big city can be, and so being being back on the island was really depressing. This resulted in some family conflict which not only disrupted the production, but prompted me to create a mental block of that specific era. With that said, there were some scenes shot that ended up being completely re-shot due to certain weather conditions not allowing us to match scenes together.
One of my favorite days of filming was the chase scene between the red sports car and the bicycle. We had some of the local islanders donate a couple hours of their time and their vehicles to pull this off. It was a Sunday afternoon and everyone but me just wanted to get back to the football game. The deputy from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office was also kind enough to participate, loaning us his car and driving skills. It really added a lot of production value. This scene is indicative of the benefits that a filmmaker has when shooting in a small town. This scene would not have been possible had I filmed it in a city, at least at the indie level.
We premiered the film at the defunct Spar Restaurant, which was my place of employment for most of high school years. I had taken a summer job there in 2002, because I needed financing to pay off the Avid that I had just purchased. The Avid was a planned acquisition which I rationalized as an investment (without actually having a solid business plan in place). In August of 2002, we premiered to a full house of local year round residents and summer people. We raised $300 in donations to make copies for everyone, and so that I could create digital masters of the film. It actually wasn't enough and I ended up paying out of pocket for archival copies that I donated to the local library.
One of the most profound things to happen as a result of this project, was that I got an invite to go to New York City for a visit. The manager of the restaurant, the woman who kept bar and their kids and I all went for a couple days that November. The idea was to see if I thought that New York would be a city where I could make films. I was hooked as soon as I saw the skyline. In typical New York fashion, I was sucked in and on Labor Day weekend of 2003, after having saved up about $5,000, I moved. No friends , no family, no real hardcore support system. I risked everything to become a New Yorker, and it was largely because of this film.