“MY BEST DAY” | Writer-director, Erin Greenwell
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Saturday, January 21 6:00 pm –Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City]
I can trace back wanting to make movies to my father and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Once in grade school, I had a history presentation due. While watching the above mentioned movie with homework-is-due dread, I was struck with inspiration. I asked my dad “Is this true?”. “Yeah” he remarked. My fact checking was pretty dodgy. Pulse racing, I made my father point out the name in the Encyclopedia Britannica and then based the rest of my research off the movie.
The next day at school, I took it upon myself to secretly get dressed in the bathroom as a cowboy, stroll out from behind the cubicles separating the classes and give a full fledged and unsolicited living history presentation starting off with “Howdy. My name’s Butch Cassidy and I’m from the Hole in the Wall Gang!”
I remember the startled and enraptured faces of my fellow students and as I launched into my monologue littered tidbits of truth, my brain split into a firework of thoughts “No way…They’re buying it…It’s working…”
The power of storytelling took hold. No one picked on me or called me weird because I had dazzled them with magic. From that point forward I wanted to tell stories and movies seemed this biggest way to do it.
When I was older, discovering Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have it, Rose Troche’s Go Fish and Steven Soderbergh’s Sex Lies and Videotape made me emboldened to pursue telling my stories and create a filmmaking community in spite of the obstacles of apparent limited marketability.
Comedies like John Water’s Hairspray and Mel Brook’s The Producers further confirmed the outsiders had a voice through comedy. All the more thrilling was the understanding that voice could be subversive and inclusive.
Finally, I’m a filmmaker because it’s hard. Hollywood movies that give the underdog the win have created my own stubbornness to persevere in an impossible business. It can be expensive. So many things can go wrong. It can be exclusionary to marginalized communities. To make a good independent movie with a cast and crew is therefore political to me. It’s the most positive form of “Take that!” I enjoy.
It takes such skill to rerender a dream across so many hands and the potential to share it with audiences in a theater or across broadband is so far reaching.
I will never stop making movies in one form or another.
You’ll have to pry the urge to risk from my cold dead hands.