ON WHAT MAKES ANATOMY OF A LOVE SEEN UNIQUE:
LOVE. It’s the thing everyone wants, and once you find it you will feel your highest highs and your lowest lows. If you had it and lost it there is a hole in your heart, and you can only hope and pray that through time that hole becomes smaller and less painful. If you haven’t found it yet, you have a yearning, always. The questions – why do other people have this and I don’t, have I had it and didn’t know it, am I meant to never have true love? God almighty, just talking about it makes my heart race and breath quicken because it’s so visceral. Movies keep being made about LOVE because everyone on the planet can relate to it, and for me it’s that elusive thing that I can’t get right.
I wanted to do a very organic film, one that was driven by instinct and a clear idea of subject matter and story. I was blessed to find three amazing actresses who are talented AND gifted with improvisational skills, and who were enthusiastic about the project. They wanted it – they felt the pull of the material and the challenge. Casting was a wonderful experience. For the role of ANNE, Constance came in to read for MAL but after just a few moments I said “please be my ANNE”, and that was that.
The next step was to pair them up in chemistry reads, and in the end I liked a number of the women who came in to read for ZOE very much, but I didn’t find a good fit for MAL. That led me to cast both of them from the ZOE pool, which was so great, because Sharon and Jill were supposed to be in this film. No doubt.
ON AOALS BEING 100% IMPROVISED:
It was incredible – we loved working this way because it was always so real. Anatomy of a Love Seen was improvised for two very important reasons. I wanted the actors to really get into the characters and their feelings. We worked out the scene beats so everyone knew where we were going, and then just lived those moments. Sure there were a few challenges, but that’s the case if a film is scripted as well. We all just really knew our characters and what they wanted!
ON BEING THE DIRECTOR AND ALSO PLAYING KARA, THE DIRECTOR IN THE MOVIE WITHIN A MOVIE.
It’s funny how that worked out, because originally I was going to cast the part of Kara and just model her after me. In the end I couldn’t wrap my head around directing an actress playing the director to direct the characters in an improvised movie. My brain doesn’t work that way. I decided to play Kara, which was fine since she’s pretty much me, and prayed that my old acting chops from 25 years ago would make their way to the surface.
Once we got to the set, I had a blast putting my acting hat back on. The cast was amazing to work with. I never knew what they were going to throw at me, or at each other that I had to react to. When it came time for the emotional scenes, I surprised even myself. It was “okay, give me 60 seconds”, I’d turn away from everyone, and when I turned back the emotion and the tears were there, and they were real. I didn’t know it at the time, but making the decision to play Kara allowed me to do what I set out to do in the beginning – direct the film from the inside. I didn’t know what I really meant at that time, but perhaps my subconscious did.
ON THE KEY PLAYERS WHO HELPED FINANCE THE PROJECT:
There was one – Executive Producer Jan Miller Corran. HA, poor Jan, folks are going to read this and her Facebook page is going to blow up. I hope she’s cool with giving her props publicly, because it was my dream and her dollar that made Anatomy of a Love Seen happen. I told her about it, including all the scary parts, and she said, “well this is what I can invest right now” and I said, “great – I can make a good movie with that”, and it was off to the races. She has been my number one cheerleader through this whole thing, and let me tell you, that means a lot.
Writer/director Marina Rice Bader (Exec. Producer of Elena Undone, A Perfect Ending) will make her directorial debut at the 32nd Annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival with the world premiere of her feature film entitled “Anatomy of a Love Seen”.
The lesbian-themed feature film will be screening Friday July 18th, 2014 at 7:00PM at THE DGA 1, located in The Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood, CA. The premiere will be followed by an exclusive cocktail reception after-party with the entire cast and crew.