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2010, 96m, drama, romance
In an effort to quick-fix their respective relationship troubles, six 30-something friends decide to form a "Framily". After Ethan inherits his Fathers big old house outside San Francisco the friends all move in together and try another way of living. Life in the house is easy - and not. As friendships and family merge, each member of the Framily comes to question what it is they want beyond the quick-fix.
Produced by: Julia Gebauer
Cast: Richard Gunn, Jennifer Christopher, Jennifer O'Kain, Scott Peat, Kelly Pendygraft, Reanna Nicole
10 questions with Framily director, Joachim Heden at the half-way mark.
Friday, March 4th, 2016
1Hi Joachim! First, can you tell me the initial seed that made you want to make Framily? One of my friends got divorced, and I saw him and his ex-wife struggling with making that new life work with children having two homes etc... And then I thought, hey, would it be possible for them to still live under the same roof if there were other people around as well...
2You've got such a talented group of actors. How did you meet them all and what was it like working together? Richard Gunn (Ethan) and Jennifer O'Kain (Kate) had auditioned for my first film 'New York Waiting' - they were not the right fit for that film, but I tucked them away in "the good pile" and always thought that I should do another film with them down the road. The other actors we met in auditions in LA . However, I never had all the actors - the members of the FRAMILY - in the same room before we started shooting. But one of the first few days of shooting was a long evening where we knocked out all the scenes around the dinner table with the whole "framily" - and sitting around that table I knew, and the actors felt it: that we had a really great cast that played so fantastically well together as a circle of friends. From there on the rest of the shoot was easy - sitting around that table knocking out 19 pages of script in one night, and doing it so well, really baked in a lot of trust in the whole production, but mostly between the actors them selves.
3What was your writing process like for this film? Like it's been for all the scripts I've written - think about the idea for the film for a really long time (a year or two) and then write the first draft very quickly, typically 10 days or less. Then, leave that first draft sitting for a few months not touching it, and only then dig into the rewrites.
4You write, direct and edit your films. Which part of the process do you like most? The thing I like the most is being on set, so I guess "directing" is the answer - but when you do all of it, you are always wearing all the hats at once. While you're shooting (directing) you are also thinking how to edit the scene, and you're always thinking about if the script maybe needs a polish...
5Framily is your second feature film. Can you tell me a lesson you learned from your first film that helped prepare you for this one? The single biggest misstake I made on my first film was to let it be very much a "one note" film. On FRAMILY I really tried to mix it up more, to put a little comedy in with the drama, and I think this made it a better film.
6The cinematography is really nice in this film. How did you and Patrik Thelander come up with your look? Which films did you use for reference? I can't say that we really sat down and created a look as in deciding on a color palette and such - we didn't have the time or budget to do that.. The look of the film is mostly a result of placing the camera well, choosing the lens and blocking the scenes to play to the advantage of the locations. Really basic stuff, but those things really are the basic building blocks of a "look". If you want to get technical about it, we shot on RED ONE with the original mysterium sensor. These were the early days of RED and there wasn't as much "wisdom" out there about shooting RED, so Patrik basically rated the camera at 800 and used his meter for all exposure desicions as if we were shooting film. The result is that most of the film is about a stop underexposed, but with that first iteration of the RED ONE that's not a bad thing.
7What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? I know I should have a good answer for this, but I don't :-(
8What was the most difficult aspect of making this film and how did you solve it? I guess the most difficult thing was to make the schedule. We shot for 18 days, but in the end, we did ok. If I remember correctly we had only three unplanned overtime hours.
9I think the idea of living together with a bunch of friends sounds really nice but do you actually think it could work? Do you think yo could live with 5 of your friends now? I do. For the last few years we have spent our summer hollidays renting a big house in Spain together with friends, living basically as a framily. I like it a lot, It always feel a little empty when we return to normal life.
10What's next? Over the years I have learned to not put all the eggs in one basket so I always try to have a multitude of ideas brewing. Right now I have an "underwater suspense thriller" in development that's moving along - we've gotten some development grants and the project has been accepted into the Europeean EAVE workshop - which is kind of a big deal in Europe. I'm also trying to put together a very small feature set half in Thailand and half in New York, and I'm half jokingly, half seriously, considering a sequel of sorts to my first film New York Waiting. I don't know it that would be a feature of maybe just a short.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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