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  • Kathryn Postema

A Look Back at Perelandra's Year

What a year we’ve had! Jacob and I are so incredibly grateful to all the talented people who have joined us in our creative endeavors over the past year. I am taking a moment to reflect on these achievements and consider the year ahead.

Nottingham was released online January 17, 2018. It was the anniversary of the presidential inauguration one year prior. As we had worked through the summer and fall of 2017 on the post-production for the music video, we wondered how long the themes we explored would be relevant. We wondered if people would watch it and what the response would be. Nearly a year later, the video has had over 70 thousand views on Facebook and over 100 shares.

In March, we brought two writers into a writer’s room where we together created the storylines, characters, and world of Real American. Penni Jones, a novelist, and Jalexia Stoutmyre, a film student and artist, brought their own unique perspectives to the ideas we had been tossing around for months. I loved the depth and richness their collaboration brought to the story.

In April, I saw a fashion show that featured clothing designs inspired by Nottingham as part of the Grand Rapids Film Festival. It was fascinating to see these artists create works in a completely different medium and watch how they used fashion to convey the themes and social commentary of our film.

Pre-production for Real American continued as we revised and re-wrote scripts, searched for leading actors, and discussed logistics such as locations, gear, crew, and funding. The most challenging experience of the year for me was running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the show. Jacob had crowdfunded once before for his film Break Glass in Case Of…, but for me it was an entirely new experience. It takes a lot of emotional energy to ask people for support; I felt exposed and uncomfortable. Whether approaching friends or strangers, it requires being able to articulate what the funds are for, what the project is about, and what we hope to achieve from the show we are making. But being able to explain these things is important, whether actively crowdfunding or not.

In August, we went into production for Real American. I took on the role of assistant directing while we were on set and have learned so much in the process. I loved seeing all the connections that sprung up between actors, crew, and all the people involved in making the show. We’ve had to stay flexible and adapt to changes. But above all, I was blown away by the artistic energy and collaboration every one of our crew members brought to the project.

In October, Nottingham screened at the Coachella Official Latino Short Film Festival, and while Jacob and I were unable to attend, Josh White, the song’s composer and singer, made the trip. On the same day, I hosted the film presentations and discussions at the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival. It was incredibly rewarding to talk with and meet so many talented filmmakers while screening their work on a big screen in front of an audience.

Soon, we’ll be building the combined practical and CGI elements to create the spaceship in Real American, and once the weather warms up, we’ll be shooting the remaining scenes to complete the production phase. We already have a few rough cuts of episodes and I can’t wait to get started on details like sound design, music, and color correction.

Looking back, I feel proud of the work we have all achieved together, and eagerly look forward to another productive year. I’ll be continuing to work hard at becoming a better artist, collaborator, and filmmaker. And, I’m excited to see more amazing art being made by all the creative people in my life.

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