The Photowalk is a reward we’re offering to our backers in the Kickstarter campaign. It is a tour of the locations where The Fruit of Our Womb would be shot – but it is also a trip through the memories which, for me, underlie each location. It is also a walk through the process – the geography - of making the film, creating the whole out of seemingly random pieces patched together seamlessly through the “miracle” of filmmaking.
Lynn and Joe’s house is described in the script as the Fifth Avenue penthouse. I’m planning to shoot each scene on location not a studio – which means we would have to find an apartment that fits the description. Where would that apartment end up being? Hard to tell... We might have to shoot the interior in one part of the city, and the exterior in another… We might even have to shoot each scene in a different location. During this tour, I will take you to some if not all of these locations and guide you the process of taking photos and editing them together so as to create a new, imaginary space.
In 2 still from “Lullaby For Ray” below, we see the interior and exterior of Ray’s squat. The scenes were filmed in different locations, then patched together to create an illusion of one place.
The story is set in Manhattan in the early 90s. But the film is not a period piece. Rather than going for a photographic likeness, I want to conjure the spirit of that time. The 90s New York is a gritty and greedy place. It is a city of growing wealth and swelling inequality, where the bleak world of Christina is situated very close, geographically, to the immaculate domain of Lynn and Joe – so close in fact, that the two worlds intertwine, almost collapse into one another.
This is how I remember the city - I came to New York in late 90s. To me, each location in the script is a point where memory and fiction intercept. One of the first places I lived was a tiny studio with a crooked floor in the Alphabet City in East Village. I stayed there for 3 years while attending NYU. When I think of Nikki’s apartment where Christina spends a night after leaving Ray’s squat – and before finding her new home in the fifth avenue penthouse -- I think of that studio. I will try to recreate it in the film -- re-create the look and, more importantly, the feel of that place as I remember it. Of course, the city has changed drastically since the 90s – and the East Village was transformed by gentrification. Unless we get lucky and find a pocket of old New York, we might have to shoot the scene in another borough… far away from the spot that inspired it. During the tour, I would take you to both locations -- the real place and its simulacrum in the film.
I imagine New York in this film as a lonely place, almost hallucinatory – a ghost city inhabited by living and breathing bodies. To create this mood, I’m planning to shoot most exterior scene in-between and after hours. But the production design would play an important part as well. As part of the tour, I will take you to one of the actual locations where the film was shot and show you how it was transformed by the art direction, lighting and cinematography.