MIFS: Where did the idea for the film come from?
I witnessed this event in 1977. It stayed with me, so when I needed a subject for a screenwriting class, it jumped into my head. The resulting script was the first creative writing I'd done since high school, 45 years ago.
MIFS:How much did the project change from concept to final edit?
The final edit is very very close to the initial concept, except that the child is older than I originally envisioned.
MIFS:Where there any challenges during production?
Mid-August, 90 degrees in the shade. I had to find a new child on the evening of the first shoot day, as the child I'd "rehearsed" and prepped for 2 months prior refused to perform. We had to reshoot day 1 at the end, with all the attendant costs. At the same time my producer/art director had to spend the first night of the shoot – and into the wee hours of the 2nd morning – dismantling and reconstructing the pool set, as the carpenter had not followed instructions. Oh, and I hurt my back day 1, so had to direct for the first time while on pain killers and muscle relaxants.
MIFS:With the film completed, what has been the most rewarding thing about the whole experience?
How much I learned, the help and support I received from my cast and crew, and listening to the passionate discussion of a group of strangers after they watched a rough cut, which let me know that they "got" it and it made a difference in their lives.