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Love Etc.: Director's Cut
Posted: Fri 02/10/2012 03:00 PM
I made the film Love Etc. because Jonathan Tisch, my executive producer, inspired me with his vision of New York City and love. My producing partner Jeffrey Stewart and I put his idea on paper and gave it form, and that is how Love Etc. came into being.
I was also inspired to make this movie because I am in love with New York City. Unlike any other place I have ever lived in, New York is where I feel most at home. It was the perfect city to "cast" the film, with the visual backdrop of five boroughs, 300 square miles and 8 million people. If a filmmaker was ever going to examine love "in a petri dish," so to speak, I cannot imagine a better city to do this in.
I love getting lost in the everything of the city; there is always so much to do, so many new places, ideas and people to absorb. It is the most interesting city in the world to me. I love melting into the anonymity of strangers packed like sardines on a train as I listen to my favorite playlist of the day (my own personal soundtrack to the city). The images I see every day on the subway always influence me as a filmmaker. In this city, I could shoot a thousand images a day and never get bored.
It was fascinating to document the personal and intimate journeys of the five real-life stories that I followed for over a year. The close proximity that my subjects allowed me and my crew to have with them opened a window into worlds I may never have known, and in turn my subjects changed me; perhaps without even knowing it, they shifted something in me at my core. I realized through the process of making the film how much more important life and love are than work. Not to say work is not important, but human connection and connectivity is the ultimate "gold ring," and without that, nothing else has the same content, weight or meaning in life. This thought reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
"We do not remember days; we remember moments."
— Cesare Pavese
I was recently asked what inspires me to do my work. I am inspired to make films because I love story. I also happen to love images and the process it takes to capture them, creating context and meaning through casting, editorial, shot selection, music choices and the overall design process of creating a film.
In work, I am the happiest when I am on set. Time disappears, and at the end of a good shoot day, even though I am exhausted, I feel elated, so full of life from the comradery of the crew and from the creative process of making something. There is something magical about starting with a blank piece of paper and ending up with a film, whether it is five minutes or 90 minutes. For me, there is nothing better than that when it comes to having a "job" and doing work.
Making the film Love Etc. was one of the most transformative things I have ever done. I am happy I had the opportunity to document the lives of these five real stories over the course of a year. I hope the film inspires the audience to remember something they may have forgotten about love and relationships. Making the film certainly did that for me.