The first day of the Lilith shoot, I was terrified. And it showed. Yes, I was working with some of my best friends, but I was also working with some folks that I was just getting to know. To top it all off, that weekend, we were shooting the heaviest scenes in the script, on a strictly emotional level. I was a ball of nerves the entire time.
I communicated everything to my actors that I needed to, and so that was fine, but I could feel my insecurities approaching the surface. I could not hide any of it. Thomas was really there for me that weekend, not just as my DP, but as an encouraging presence.
It was my first feature, and now more than ever, I was learning that, at times, I had to sacrifice the vision that I had in my head for something as close to it as I could possibly get, and still feel like I hadn’t compromised. James and I set up all of the sound equipment, and his laid back personality helped to keep me sane. Sue’s property was absolutely gorgeous, and I’ll never be able to repay her generosity.
We were shooting in natural light, so if a shot was going to look fuzzy or if we were losing light, Thomas would find alternatives that pleased me, and this helped to quell some of the anxiety. Brittany and Justin gave everything that they had in these difficult scenes. Brittany was pushing herself to the max, and I knew the toll that it was taking on her each night after we wrapped. When she was on that set, she was Lilith. I took great care to remember that. Throughout the shoot, she was nothing short of phenomenal. I’ve never been prouder of her.
Justin, as Noah, gave one of the strongest performances that I’ve ever witnessed. Seeing the words that I had written come to life through him was an uncanny and beautiful thing. He took this character and made it his own in a way that I’ll always be grateful for. That first weekend, I was not at my best. It was all so overwhelming. So much at once. I was on the verge of panic more than once.
But I was only going to get better with each passing weekend, as my confidence in myself began to evolve. It was the beginning of one of the best experiences of my life.
To be continued…