There's only two weeks before we go into production on feature length improv film, 42 Seconds of Happiness. I can't believe how time flies! It's actually incredible that I've been prepping for this shoot for months and months from across the country. Not having met any of the actors or even Christina in person. Yes, there have been hours of Skype meetings and phone calls which makes us forget that we haven't met in person. Christina and the cast have been working so closely for over a year. For them, perhaps this will feel like a finale. For me, I'll just be getting to know them.
I'll make sure to update you all as the film gets closer even though time is getting shorter. I fly out to NJ a week from today (and Rob is coming with). Then I'll have a week to get the location ready and to pull all of the last-minute items together... props, set dressing, equipment, food. I've definitely got my hands full!
Oh and by the way, now is the time to catch up on the story so far if you haven't already... visit our YouTube channel to take the journey with Alis, Tomas, Vineke, Peter, Felice, Ike, Marc, Sila, Maria, Cybil, and Ben.
I was recently introduced to writer, Christina Kallas, via Susan Miller (Exec. Producer/Writer of Anyone But Me). Christina founded and runs the Writers Improv Studio in NYC among the million other things she does (and I thought I was insanely busy!) One of the projects she's developing is called 42 Seconds of Happiness, improvisations on love if you will. In short, Christina took her fully developed screenplay, gathered a group of talented actors and loosely guided them on a journey through the story via improv and threw a camera into the mix - recording it from within the story. This project is just now being released online as a webseries. When you see the episodes you'll see raw footage of real emotion. And it's going multi-platform. As the next chapters unfold you'll see social media and technology play a part. Additionally, you'll see a feature film develop. Christina explains 42 Seconds of Happiness here:
This is about love and creation. How can you love when you fear losing? How can you create when you fear being rejected? It all boils down to the same question. And if fear is part of the equation, then you love and create focused on the result, and for the wrong reasons: to get approval and security. Approval and security is what fortune and fame are for, and it is also what relationships and marriage are for. It's all about fear - you are separate from me, you are separate from the other. What happens when you do that? You lose. It's a never-ending cycle.
Improv is the only way to get out of this cycle. Improv is about letting go, about accepting, about being in the moment. There is no past and no future, and we stop controlling. There is no right or wrong, and we stop fearing. There is no you or me, and we are one. 42 Seconds of Happiness is that moment when we are in the moment.
We record every step since the beginning of this project. We are broadcasting this development process, as a web series made from these improvisations, even the camera is part of the improvisation. We launched on September 1st, 2012 and will continue broadcasting the improvs until the movie is released. One of our fans has described it as watching “real people going through real stories in their real lives.” Honestly, that is the biggest compliment for me.
I'm intrigued, inspired and jumping in feet first. I'm excited to work with Christina on this project and look forward to experiencing the story as it unfolds into the feature film we're shooting in the new year.
For the film version of 42 Seconds of Happiness, we're bringing on a Director of Photography and a sound team which the webseries do not have (due to the necessities of something Christina calls "emotional doubling"). We will still however, respect and work within the improvisational process and philosophy which is important to this project - the closest we can think of in terms of films already made is the aesthetic/look and feel of films The Celebration or In Your Hands.
Here's a trailer for the webseries (below). We hope you check this and the episodes as they release online! Subscribe to the YouTube channel here.
We welcome and encourage your support by following, liking, and sharing information about this project with your friends and family.