Not Your Typical Production: The Other One

 “Not your typical film, definitely not your traditional production.”

A typical film you see in theaters is made for money and produced in the most cost effective way to see that return on investment.  This is one of the big reasons studios pour money into action films and raunchy teen/ young adult comedies, full of celebrities, whether they can act or not.  There is proven ROI in those films and while entertaining, they are often forgettable, unremarkable, and contribute little to the world.

The farmhouse from The Other One

Some film companies out there are bucking the norm. Participant Media continues to stay true to their atypical value system, and a small handful of others will take chances on worthy content with new talent, but it is a real rarity.  As an independent filmmaker, I am encouraged by this and know an audience for our film is out there and hungry to see new and interesting material.

The Other One is not typical.

Among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the U.S. box office in 2012, a % Year USC study reported, 28.4% of speaking characters were female. That’s a drop from 32.8% three years ago, and a number that has stayed relatively stagnant despite increased research attention to the topic and several high-profile box-office successes starring women.  Basically for ever 1 women shown on screen, 3.5 men are shown.

“There is notable consistency in the number of females on-screen from year to year,” said USC researcher Marc Choueiti, shows these trends persist because those working in Hollywood believe attracting a male audience is the key ingredient to box office success.

“The slate of films developed and produced each year is almost formulaic — in the aggregate, female representation hardly changed at all.”

Actress-Producer Grace McPhillips on the set of The Other One

In an “off the cuff” survey by NPR D.C. Metro Reporter Linda Holmes, 617 films were screening in theaters within the 10 mile radius of her home, the day she wondered, how many focused on women?  Only 25 of those screenings had a storyline focused on women: The East (8), Fill The Void (4),Frances Ha (9), and What Maisie Knew (4). 

Our story is a family drama about a mother and daughter’s fractured relationship, to the result of personal tragedies they have both been dealt in life.  On storyline alone we are atypical and on this matter, proudly so.

The Script for The Other One

A script for a screenplay is traditionally written, bought, potentially shelved, then rewritten by studio development and the director until it fits a money-making formula, and all of this happens over an extensive period of time.

Our script was creatively conceived in a very short time period. Inspired by a short film script written by our Director, Joe Steiff, in 2008, it was then developed and fleshed out in collaboration with Joe and our three main actors Grace McPhillips, the daughter, Nancy Sellers, the mother, and Jesse Bob Harper, the son, in the first 3 months of 2011.  Joe crafted the first draft and then he and the actors took a long weekend at the film’s location, Galena, IL, and “workshopped” the scenes and dialogue.

The Other One is not typical.

When you look at the list of credits on a studio feature they are extensive and every union is listed, which people often like to say is why these films costs so much.  But did you know the Unions have contracts for independent filmmakers starting as low as $100 a day?

Sadly, most independent filmmakers feel they don’t need to pay their workers anything, nor feed them more than pizza, and perhaps not even insure the film.  We pride ourselves on professionalism and know that with the appropriate respect, enthusiasm, and a worthwhile project you can get great talent and equipment for extremely low – and legal – prices.

Production Meeting for The Other One

Sure, our production was fast and furious and we lived together in three vacation rental homes, but it ended up feeling more like summer camp, with the occasional bonfire at night, turkeys gobbling through the countryside, and roommates snoring, more than it ever felt uncomfortable and unprofessional.

There’s much more about this production that made it unusual and we’ll keep explaining that through the process.  Subscribe to our newsletter or youtube channel, like us on Facebook, follow up on Twitter, or view us on Instagram and we’ll keep you up to date on all the behind-the-scenes insights of#TheOtherOneMovie.