Joe Swanberg keeps this journal in an effort to document the LOL making process and figure out where all his time and money went.


  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • Friday, July 01, 2005


    I'm currently at a really fun point in the process of making a movie. Fun for me at least. I have characters in my head, vague ideas, and now I get to find real people who will shape and influence these characters and turn them into a film. It's great. All the time I'm looking for friends and aquaintances and strangers who might have some quality that would make them perfect to be in this movie. I specifically don't develop any of my characters too much until I know the person who will play them, because I want that person to bring a lot of him/herself to the character, and to feel a sense of ownership. Once I know the actor, then I can get to know the character better.

    "I don't know if I can act," is the first thing everyone tells me when I ask them if they want to be in a film.

    Everyone can act. Some are good and some are bad. But I'm not looking for acting. I'm don't want to pretend. I'm looking for people who have a quality in their day to day life that I can bring to the character. Something I can shape and distort in the right way to fit the loose ideas I have in my head. It might be a certain vocal quality, or some physical characteristic, or even something as simple as the way someone dresses that tells me they would be great in a film.

    "Don't worry," I tell them.

    It's strange asking someone that you don't know very well if they want to be in a movie. There's a moment of tension, where the fear of rejection is running high. If they say yes, then it's great, but if they say no, or even if they say maybe, it's easy to feel a bit of a sting. But it's exciting, the prospect of someone who isn't an actor getting in front of the camera and giving an amazing performance. I love this part of the process. I'm going to be sad when I have all the roles cast, and I no longer have an excuse to take a closer look at people and wonder if they would be great in a certain role. And that's why it will be exciting again when this film is finished and I get to start on another.


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