Upon arriving in West, I met the single most amazing human being I could have crossed paths with. One of the first things she ever told me in what would become our regular walks across campus was "Oh yeah, I have a TV show." This 18-year-old home-schooled dork had written, directed and filmed a whole TV show and said it like it was some casual fact. A year and a half later, Andrea opened up about how scared she was.
"Let me tell you about the scariest day of my life.
To set this scene for you. Picture a warm July evening, and a too tall teenage girl with aggressively sweaty palms wiping them on an evening gown, even though it's 6 pm and way too early for that kind of dress. That's me. I was setting up a projector to play the web series I had taken nearly a year of my life to create, and fifty of my closest family, friends, and actors would see it. We had strung tinsel everywhere and laid out copious amounts of food, and all that was left was to actually show the main event. Support Group.
Support Group started as a script idea. No, it started as a text. Hey, I have an idea, do you wanna read it for me? It turned into something I poured my life into, and it became more than I ever thought that it could. After the months of writing, and casting, and recasting, and filming, and editing, so much editing, I made my first movie. Of course, the unrelenting help of my best friends and family, incredible inspiration from the creators of this world, and a pinch of idiocy helped me out, but at the end of the day I went to bed thinking, 'I made a movie.' There is no better feeling in the world.
Let's catch up with sweaty-palmed Andrea, shall we? She sets up the projector, whispers something to Julia Peake, and it's time to begin rounding people up. This is it, this is the biggest moment of her life up to this point. This is her dream coming true. Years of working has led her here, and she?
She is currently crying in the bathroom. Like, ugly crying. On the floor of an event hall. Because at that moment, everything I had done didn't matter. I didn't care that everyone I knew was ready to cheer for me, or that I did something kids my age would kill to get to do. Because I hadn't washed my hair in days. And my makeup was running, and the decorations were all wrong, and I hated my movie. Who cares how cool it was to make if it's the worst thing I've ever seen.
I want to highlight the scariest part of filmmaking for me. Hating what you're making. You could read this and think, no, I would never make something I don't like because I would only pick good ideas. Throw that one out right now. I made a movie once about a fly stuck in peanut butter.
Trust me, there are really bad ideas. But the fear comes in when you've found something good to write about, and you spend all day, and then you have to show your partner. That fear of disappointing someone creeps up and points out every flaw in your work. When you are in the middle of a shoot and one thing goes wrong and it feels like nothing is working, so why should we even try? I can tell you why.
To this day, I don't like to show people Support Group. But I do. I showed my roommates, and my teachers, and 1000 people who saw it online. And I'm petrified every time that I do. When you create something, you do not draw it out of thin air, it comes from inside of you. Which means, showing someone something you made is the same as showing them a piece of your brain. It's personal and scary. They might not like it.
And then, what happens when you don't like that piece? When your own body and soul turn on you, and you see every flaw. In the first episode of Support Group, there's a cut in the middle of a shot where everyone moves slightly to the right. Episode two has my reflection from behind the camera in the window. Every time I see these problems I am so ashamed that I made something terrible, but in episode four the cuts during a conversation are so smooth I forget I'm seeing them. And the diner is absolutely beautiful in episode two.
We forget, as creators, that we are people. That people make mistakes, and that is what makes the best moments. My favorite part of any movie is the blooper reel, and Support Group is just the same. We can fight for perfection until we are blue in the face and the blood runs dry, but the creations we leave along the way are not disregarded rags, they are stepping stones. They should be respected as the only reason we are here now.
So, when you make that movie, where your backyard is a set and your mom has to fill in, do not be ashamed that you didn't plan better. Be grateful that you are smart enough to find a solution, and didn't give up before you had a shot. Learn from what you ruin and write down when you lose your balance because trust me, you will. Treasure every single mistake, because one day, when I am holding an Oscar in my hand, all I will be able to say is, "Thank you for being my Support Group."
If this has shown me anything, it has fully displayed Purple Nose's, and Andrea's stand alone, love, passion, and understanding of the film industry and her projects is astonishing. There is not a member of this team that is older than 20. Here's Purple Nose's site. The Facebook page here. Check em out on the gram, too.