It had been almost eight years since I had graduated from high school, and I hadn’t kept in touch with many of my classmates. Although, in January I reestablished contact with an old acquaintance, Austin Everett. The subject at hand, his movie, Secondhand Hearts. After a few brief Facebook messages we decided to meet at Cheesecake Factory, which turned into a two and a half hour discussion about movies, life after high school, social media, and more particularly his film and his future career.
Over the next few months I would have the opportunity to sit down with Austin a few more times to discuss the movie, his own personal social media use, and ways that I thought he could help bolster himself on different platforms. During these meetings it was apparent the love and passion that he had for film, and for the ability to tell stories through movies. He spoke of the industry with such intrigue and detail, where I saw a movie, Austin saw an intricate work of art with many moving pieces, with excellent chemistry bringing that movie to the big screen.
Fast forward six months from our first sit-down and I managed to make my way on set of the small budgeted independent film. In mere moments of walking in the door, I realized that this did not fit my preconceived notion of what an independent film set would look like. The level of organization, preparation, and professionalism that I experienced were leagues above what I was expecting. As I found my away to a quiet corner of the kitchen, it appeared that I was witnessing a well-oiled machine, and the pieces working independently of each other had perfect cohesion when brought together.
After about forty-five minutes, the scene had wrapped, Austin came over and welcomed me to the set and introduced me to a few of the cast and crew, and we briefly chatted about how things were going, and then he was off doing director things. I made my way to the basement (as these scenes were being filmed in a house) and met the Producer, Connie, and we caught up on some logistical pieces of information and discussed the movie, it was clear that she was busy and stressed, but loving every minute of the process. On our way out of her office, which was a bedroom in the basement, I walked by members of the cast that were laughing and talking and enjoying their time on set. That would be a recurring theme that I would see throughout the five or six visits I would make to the set, everyone was enjoying their time, the people that had been chosen to fill the roles, both on and off the camera, love what they do, and enjoy doing it.
Secondhand Hearts may be a love story in the script, but what I saw was a cast and crew who had a love for making movies with confidence in the script and in each other. This movie won’t bring in millions at the box office on opening weekend, but it will have changed each and every member who were a part of it forever.
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