The Story is Still Being Written
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Michael McCartney is a lucky man and he knows it. An actor, director and instructor (at the New York Film Academy), Michael wrote and directed his first feature film in January, featuring a cast and crew from his school network. They wrapped production at the beginning of March, mere days before California issued its shelter-in-place order. Fast and nimble filmmaking, to be sure.
Post production has proven a good place to be during quarantine, and the lack of other distractions ensures Roommate Wanted will be completed by the end of the summer. I joined the team midway through production, to design the title sequence, posters and trailer. Just because things were moving quickly, however, doesn't mean that work was rushed, or set in stone.
It's instructive to see how a film's continues to be re-written through editing, and even into the early promotional phase. Our first try at a poster emphasized the classic horror trope of a scary guy with a big knife, with his victims reflected in the blade. But as the film took final shape, we realized that our story was much more about the female protagonist's struggle against a patriarchal goon, and in the second poster she took center stage.
Likewise, our trailer needs to walk a line between goofy humor, a gentle coming-out story, and the thrills of a serial killer in the house. How we present the film informs how the audience will see it—and we want to meet their expectations. We'll see what they think!