JUST ANOTHER ROMANTIC COMEDY ABOUT A GIRL AND HER DEAD BEST FRIEND.
My involvement with I Won’t Miss You started when Joy sent me the script to get some notes. She told me that she wrote this a couple years ago and was itching to make it now. She needed notes from some fresh eyes because a couple directors wanted to get involved.
When I finished my first read, I kind of did a double-take. Did I really like this script or was I looking at it with a bias because Joy was my friend? I read it again and I knew—I had to direct this film!
I met with Joy and told her my vision of the whole film, how we’d do the sets, and that I wanted to make it into a short film (there were plans for it to be a web series). In my head I knew I had to get this right because Joy knew a lot of good directors that could do this material, but I knew if I didn’t make it I’d be pretty upset. It was basically a rom-com, but one of the characters was dead. I loved it!
To my surprise, Joy agreed for me to direct. This set off about four months of meetings, and preproduction. Every step of the way we would keep honing in on what the film would be. As we found actors (Kelly Sry) and crew the vision kept evolving. I was handling most of the production details and Joy was handling the Kickstarter (successfully raised 13k!). We had a great producer (Terrence Grant) come on, who I knew from Loyola Marymount.
Finally the whirlwind of production came and went. It was like most productions -- a lot of long days, no sleep, only to repeat it again the next day. I actually went to the ER a couple times because of a weird allergy that crept up! We shot 28 pages in 5 days. That’s including having one day where we basically shot 2 pages (location day). In the end we had everything we needed in the can.
So began the arduous task of post-production. I was still the director, but I kinda’ took on the job of post-production supervisor too. By this point it’s January and I’ve been on this for almost 6 months. I’m blessed that my editor (Julian Doan) is a good friend of mine. He took a very small pay rate and some home cooked shabu-shabu dinners as his fee. We also had enough room in the budget (Kickstarter!) for a separate color and post sound crew, which truly made a difference.
After almost 8 months, we got to the finish line. This was a project of firsts for myself. It was the first time I directed someone else’s script. The first time I had a budget I didn’t provide. The first time I had an entire crew (usually I wear many more hats). It was a fruitful endeavor and I am so proud to share this film with you now. On the surface it is a rom-com, but to me it is so much more. It’s a personal story based in a real experience that speaks to how a young person deals with the death of a close friend. I love this film for so many reasons and now I’m happy to share it with you.