Since I released the trailer for my new short film about Parkinson’s disease, I’ve gootten a lot of questions about it. Is it real? Why did you make it? How did you do all this with Parkinson’s? So I decided I would answer some of those questions here and bring you along for the journey!
Question: Is it real?
Answer: Well, it depends on what you consider real. The film is not a documentary, so these are actors playing roles from a screenplay I wrote. There is a scene towards the end in which real people with Parkinson’s give our main character advice on how to handle the diagnosis, but generally speaking, this is a fictional film. However, while the movie is fictional, the story is real. I based the situations in the film on my own experiences with Parkinson’s, so the film is real in that respect. Also, anyone diagnosed with Parkinson’s will recognize themselves in the main character, so again, in that respect it is very real.
Question: Why did you make the film?
Answer: There are a couple of films about Parkinson’s from Hollywood (Love and Other Drugs being the most famous example), and several documentaries and short films out there a well. But there was no film which featured the experience of being diagnosed and feeling your life fall apart. Those people just diagnosed with Parkinson’s (especially young onset) often feel alone, with few if any people to give them a shoulder to cry on. So I wanted to create a movie which is suitable for those just diagnosed. I want someone who was just diagnosed and recognize they are not alone. Others have been through this, and it is survivable.
Question: How did you do this with Parkinson’s?
Answer: I worked quickly to shoot this in one day with a brilliant cast and crew. We were a small ragtag crew; I shot most of this and had my crew keep track of shots and move equipment around. I couldn’t have done it without help from Aleen and Carina. Martin Scorsese says that 95% of filmmaking is casting. If you find the perfect cast, you will have the film in the bag. I was so fortune to work with high quality actors who came preapred and needed little in terms of instruction and guidance. They were brilliant. Isabel is so talented, I feel humbled to have worked with her. Buddy took the role of the brother and just nailed it. Karin was the perfect therapist. So in short, how did I do this with Parkinson’s? Work with the best people who helped me do my job by letting them do theirs!