Invisible Seasons: First production experience

It was an eventful day of filming back on Wednesday. I had the privillege of following the action, taking production pictures as well as some footage for the film on Jane’s new Canon 7D.

Director Maria Finitzo, DP Jim, Sound Recordist Rich and I got off to a great start. Just as we pulled into the parking lot of Kelly High School, one of the biggest in the city, Coach Stan of their womens’ soccer team came out to us with warm greetings. The girls were lacing up their boots, getting all geared up for their match against Whitney Young High. Emotions were high because for the seniors in the team, their high school soccer experience was coming to a close.

It was also my first time meeting Elizabeth and Nancy, two remarkable young women whose passion for the sportclearly shone through. What followed after on that field was plenty of action, accompanied by the soundtrack of Kelly High School’s cheers. And even though the girls put up a tough fight, the opposing team emerged victorious.

The girls took their loss graciously and did their best to provide emotional support for each other. As someone who was a team sport athlete myself at their age, I knew what it felt like for them. And that was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do as a filmmaker… as much as I’d wanted to put that camera down and embrace them in big hugs too, I had to keep on rolling, knowing that the message embedded in the image will be incredibly powerful. But the girls took things in their stride. They exchanged comforting hugs, reassuring nods and strong words of encouragement, knowing that when they step back to see the bigger picture, they’ve grown tremendously from their time spent training with each other.

The final stop for the day was at the home of Chicago Sky President and CEO Margaret Stender. It’s amazing how much you learn about people just by stepping into their homes. It was a heartwarming scene of Margaret sharing a home-cooked meal with her children.

What an incredible day it was for a young filmmaker like myself. It sure brought back fond memories of my rowing days. I also got to witness firsthand the power of the moving image, and how rich a story we can tell with a well-placed camera.

Looking forward to more production adventures with Invisible Seasons!

Invisible Seasons is a Kartemquin Film currently in production. It explores the world of women and sports, Title IX, and how change takes place in a democracy. Set for a 2012 release, you can gain access to behind the scenes footage and trace our production journey by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. Our official site is currently under construction and will be up soon!