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And sometimes…

You try to make a movie for 4 years and suddenly it’s made!

Well, not so suddenly and not without help.

(with our DP, Natalia Bougadellis, right before the very first take)

We wrapped principal photography for Ruth’s (actually, it’s The Book of Ruth now! I haven’t updated you in a minute!) exactly a week ago, and I’ve been doing a million little things since then (including launching an entirely new website for the film. coming real soon!) but I also just needed a little break. 

This thing has been floating in my head for 4 years, requiring all sorts of levels of practical and emotional energy, and the last few months were really on a high gear. The minute our campaign on Seed&Spark ended we finalized casting and went right into a 2.5 months long pre-production process. 

Insane amount of work is usually my comfort zone but it also means I was on a bit of an auto-pilot, no time to really absorb what was happening, and here we are, a week after we wrapped, and it’s no longer “will this movie ever happen?” or “when this movie will finally happen?” It’s happened. It’s happening (we’re not done just yet! There’s this thing called post-production…) And I find myself in the position of not wondering about it being made anymore, and it’s weird, and exhilarating, and very confusing!

(Becca giving Monica, Aleksander and myself some notes between takes)

So that’s why it took me a few days to write, but this started to feel like negligence, so here I am, to tell you that with all the hardships along the way, sometimes it’s about timing, sometimes it’s about finding the right people, and sometimes it’s about both.

Indeed, finding the right people isn’t always easy and often means finding some wrong people first, but maybe it’s the right set of people who also create the right timing, and boy did I have a bunch of right people, at long last. 

Mostly women, many queer, many immigrants, or in other words, 100% my brand. 

(First Assistant Camera Melanie St. Clair, Producer Caitlin Gold, and Natalia and Becca whom you met in previous pictures!)

I have so much gratitude in my heart for my crew. Becca, who joined this journey a little over a year ago and has been an incredible creative partner ever since, Caitlin, our fearless producer who swooped in right after a mini-crisis and made it all happen for us, Chris, my dialect coach who spent the months leading up to this shoot in sessions with me and then graced us with his presence on set, and a whole group of people (now on IMDB!) who gave this movie its life. 

And then there’s our leading lady, the legend that is Tovah Feldshuh, who has been involved in this project for over two years and was a big part of its evolution. She made the schedule work, and she was gracious enough to accommodate our needs which even included a rehearsal at her lovely home. If the above glimpse of her wasn’t enough, here’s another one.

I also want to thank Vicki, our very kind host, who let us in into her magical home which was exactly what we were looking for and I’m still thanking our lucky stars that we found her and that she was lovely. 

Lastly, I really do have to thank my incredible family who’s always so supportive from so far away. It’s quite bittersweet, but there’s just no way I could’ve been here, literally and figuratively, without them and there won’t be a movie without them, and I love them very much. 

I’m very curious to experience the last leg of this journey. Naturally, I’ve been in front of the camera the whole time, so there’s this excitement in the sense of re-discovering the work we did from a whole new perspective. I’ve learned so much from this process, and I intend on keeping doing so. And I want to thank my team again, and all of you who followed and contributed, who made it possible for this thing to happen, and by extension allowed me to learn and evolve and improve my craft so that hopefully I can keep telling stories in the future.

More updates sooner rather than later I hope!

Cheers,

Chen

Pics in this post by Photojuice Photography 

category: Ruth's

5 weeks away from principal photography!

Hello all!

Principal photography for Ruth’s is only 5 weeks away (with a little first official half day even sooner!) which means I got a lot to tell you!

Firstly, I’m delighted to introduce our cast!

Tovah Feldshuh will be joined by Monica Wyche as Margo, Housso Semon as the anchor, Scott Klavan as Dan, Chen Drachman (that’s me!) as Lizzy, and Aleksander Varadian as Jordan.

Meet the fam!

But wait, there’s more!

We have also found Ruth’s house, which means we have found Ruth’s’s Ruth’s. Try to say that 4 times in a row.

We had something very specific in mind, and we feel incredibly lucky that we have found a beautiful secluded house by a lake, in the middle of a forest, with many nature friends constantly visiting, and a real homey feeling. 

I’d love to share some photos with you (taken by our entire team) and as we visited the place following a massive snow storm, most pictures are quite wintery, but we do have a few that were taken during the summer!

Let’s start with a couple of drone clips, courtesy of our DP, Natalia Bougadellis!

 

 

Can’t wait to film there!

Lastly, we’re still raising funds to help cover our post-production costs. Every little bit helps us greatly, so if you feel inclined, you can check our ongoing donation page.

Till next time! 

 

category: Ruth's

At long last – so many updates!

Hello everyone!

I know it has been ages, but there was so much going on behind the scenes and I wanted to have things in order before I posted anything. The result, of course is that I now have tons of updates for you about Ruth’s!

First and foremost – we have a shooting date! Indeed, we’ll be filming April 26-28th, 2019, with none other than Tony and Emmy award nominee, Tovah Feldshuh (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Walking Dead) in the lead role. She’ll be reprising her performance as she also did the live reading at the Manhattan JCC on October 2018. We do need help to make sure we’re able to shoot. More on that below!

***

But wait, there’s more!

Meet Our Team
One can’t make a movie alone, and I’m excited to be joined by these wonderful ladies, as we remain loyal to our vision of having women in most of the key positions of the film.

Becca Roth – Director
An award-winning documentary and narrative filmmaker who has written and directed films that have screened at film festivals and in communities nationwide. Her debut documentary feature, One: A Story of Love and Equality, delves into the personal stories of people on both sides of a heated political debate, and strives to understand differences and build bridges, which is an ongoing theme in Becca’s work.
You can read Becca’s full bio here.

Caitlin Gold – Producer
Caitlin is an independent producer and founder of the New York-based development and production company, Tanbark Pictures. She has produced award winning features including IMAGINE I’M BEAUTIFUL and the upcoming THE SOUNDING, starring Catherine Eaton, Teddy Sears, and Harris Yulin. Her latest film, INEZ & DOUG & KIRA, starring Michel Chernus, is currently in post.  Caitlin is also one of the founders of The 51 Fund, a new equity fund dedicated to financing female-helmed narrative feature films.

We also have the lovely Ginn Andrews taking care of our social media (we have social media now!) and I’m hoping we’ll have more updates for you soon.

*** 

Last, but not least, we just launched a new crowdfunding campaign! After 3.5 years, we’ve parted ways with our previous platform, and are happy to work with Seed&Spark, a platform meant specifically for indie filmmakers, with 80% success rate. 

As the nature of this campaign is different, unlike the previous one, this one will offer rewards. Please feel free to check our new campaign, it’s way more visually appealing than the previous one, and look, we even have a new, temporary poster:

And a new campaign video which you can see on the campaign page!
You can find the campaign here, and by all means, please do forward and share this with friends who might take interest. We have 30 days to reach our goal! And we must make 80% of our total goal in order to be “greenlit.” Please know that “follows” also help! So if you can, go to the page and click “follow,” that’d be great! 

Here’s where you can find us:
Official website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

More soon!

category: Ruth's

New Random Fandom episodes!

Hello everyone!

It has been quite a while and I’ve managed to fly out twice since the last update, so I think it’s safe to say things were hectic and hectic they remain!

But until I can share more, let us celebrate with the 2 latest episode of Random Fandom.

For episode 8 we sat down with LA based animator Leigh Lahav who most likely created a thing or two that came across your timelines. She tells us about her career and favorite fandoms. She has a new video coming out later this month which I know first hand is bound to be awesome!

On episode 9 (which is brand new and came out earlier today!) we spoke to the lovely Claudia from OTW (The Organization for Transformative Works,) the same people who created (among many other things,) the incredible fanfiction website Archives of Our Own. They also created Fanlore, they provide legal consultation to fan artists, and so much more. They’re amazing and most people have no idea how much they do for fan communities. But now you can get a glimpse into the workings of it all!

Our 10th episode will also mark our 1 year anniversary of this impossible, bi-continental podcast, and as it is a special celebration, we had to go big, which for us could only mean one thing – inviting podcast favorite Janet Varney (Did anyone say Avatar Korra?!) to play with us. She was lovely, so stay tuned because it’ll be worth it! 

category: Random Fandom

Ruth’s updates *** New Random Fandom episodes

Hello everyone and happy March!

Here are a few things from the past couple of months.

First and foremoest, Ruth’s got accepted to another festival, this time across the river in New Jersey (everything is legal in New Jersey.)

Check out the Top Script category here

Additionaly, here’s a piece I wrote about Ruth’s for the Canadian Jewish Review. 

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Also, here are the latest two episodes of Random Fandom, which I’m especially excited about. The first one talks about activism in fandom, and the other one was an interview with two of the ClexaCon directors – a huge event coming up next month!

Take a listen!

More soon!


Ruth’s updates and more.

Hello everyone! 

Season 3 of The Path premiered a few weeks back. Here’s a little something to tell you all you need to know about the Meyerist movement! 

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Some news (and actual “in the news”) about Ruth’s.

The script passed another round of the American Gem short Script Competition and Literary Festival and is now a semi-finalist (see list of qualifying scripts.) It’s the third round, the top 7%. 1309 were submitted, 93 remain. Keep your fingers crossed as this grant could really help in making the film a reality!

***

More on Ruth’s – My Jewish Detroit just posted a piece about the project with a short Q&A. You can read it here.

Also from today is a piece on Jewcy.com! You can read it here

*** 

Lastly, I did a short silent film with a bunch of lovely people and you can see it right below.

Have a great February!

category: The Path