CARELESSLY THERE, 13min., USA, Drama
Directed by Rachel Deutsch
As Elaine grapples with romantic feelings for her best friend May, she begins to confront her own identity, and the lies she’s told to protect it.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
This is a film that was written by my best friend Isabelle Fenn Miller. I wanted to make this film because I wanted to challenge myself and take on a project as a director. Thus far I have directed my own work. My first film, Until I Met You, I had written, starred in, and directed. Which is a lot. I was excited to take a step back and focus on directing!
This piece was originally an essay Isabelle Fenn Miller wrote in college. We both went to acting school together at NYU Tisch and took a class called "devised work" where we were encouraged to write about anything. I knew I wanted to direct her writing because I could still remember specific lines I saw as images in my head many years later. I never had forgotten the piece.
I believed in her work so much. We both took a chance by trusting each other to make it. I couldn't have been happier when working with Isabelle. I felt fully trusted by her to bring my own vision to the writing as a director. It helped that we were already close as friends. Our friendship fostered an environment where we were able to really listen to each other when it came to making hard decisions.
Beyond our working relationship, a theme in my work (and life) so far is creating art about romantic female friendship. I found the character of Elaine challenging. (Which is what I liked about her.) It was challenging to create a character who doesn't DO anything, but just allow life to happen to her. If I'm being honest with myself, I feel like this often. I also feel that most of the time we think we are in control of our life when we are not at all. I was excited about exploring all these ideas when it came to making this film!
Here is my directing statement on the film:
Carelessly There is an exploration of female friendship, queer identity, and how we romanticize those closest to us. The film allows its' protagonist to do the hardest thing of all: not make a choice. We can then see how our inaction has consequences. How not being honest with yourself – even with the smallest choices – can become a type of paralysis. I felt honored to be trusted to tell this story and make it with the women closest to me in my life. I cannot wait for an audience to witness and relate to the mess Elaine has created.
Here is the writer's statement on the film:
Carelessly There is a film about dissociation, fear, and the paralysis of choice. It's about being scared to admit who you really are and what you really want; about being frozen in place by the thought of hurting anyone and hurting everyone in the process. It's about female friendships that blur the lines between romantic and platonic, and the lies we tell to protect the idea of who we think we are.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The project originally was an essay Isabelle Fenn Miller wrote in college. We both went to acting school together at NYU Tisch and took a class called "devised work" where we were encouraged to write about anything. Many years later we are both in LA, I had already created my first film, Until I Met You, and we decided to create a piece together. We worked on adapting the essay to a script, cast our fellow actors from school, shot, and edited the piece, which all took a year from start to finish.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
This is a fantastic question because when I was in the experience of making it so many things felt like an obstacle – one of our actresses was pregnant and we wanted to make it safe for her, a scene turned out totally different than expected, my edit took a very long time, we took out voice over, we had to replace the sound design person – all things you could call obstacles. Now that it is made, I look back at all those things fondly. That was part of the process! Without those obstacles the film wouldn't be what it is. Which is my favorite part about filmmaking. You can go in with a plan, but no matter what it will be different and spontaneous in new ways.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I felt so happy! So cool that what we all worked so hard on to portray was felt and seen by the audience! Truly an amazing feeling. Making this film has been so private and personal to me and my crew for so many months, it's so special to see it translated to other people. That our ideas aren't "crazy." I am someone who loves to share, because I believe it is how we all connect and are understood. So, I felt very connected and understood by the audience.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I think I am still realizing.
I have been an actor for a very long time. I have also been a person with opinions and desire to be in charge even longer. I can't even believe directing is a real job most of the time. It feels as if everything in my life has led me here. I am so excited for the future and to keep learning, growing, and understanding what it means to keep making films.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
The Blue Brothers (1980) directed by John Landis
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
The biggest thing we all need in filmmaking is connections and each other. Having access to industry professionals and other collaborators is key to everyone's success. You can't make a film by yourself – well you can but it would be really hard. What has been most useful to me is in person meetings, zoom panels, or direct feedback.
9. You submitted to the festival via Film Freeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Two thumbs up!
10. What is your favorite meal?
For sure ice cream.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Every day is a new day I like to say! I am still working hard on getting this film, Carelessly There, out in the world. I am currently producing another short for a filmmaker friend which we just finished shooting. I am working on directing a visual essay I wrote about the concept of "cheersing drinks." I am still an auditioning actor. I have no idea what the journey will look like with all of this, but I am excited to keep learning about the craft. Eventually I hope to direct episodic television.