“SAVE THE DATE” | co-writer-director, Michael Mohan
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, January 22, 2:30 pm –Library Center Theatre, Park City]
When I was a kid I wanted to be a magician. I watched a VHS copy of David Copperfield walking through the Great Wall of China over and over and over again. I still don’t know how he did it.
Filmmaking isn’t that much different. I mean – think of it this way: movies start out as ideas. In your brain. These get spilled onto paper. People then pretend to be the characters on that paper. Which is filmed through the lens of a camera. The contents of which end up on a hard drive. Which are re-organized on a computer. And spit out onto a tape. The tape is then played through a large box at the back of an auditorium. And that idea is shot out onto a screen for people to watch. If that’s not magic I don’t know what is.
As for why this particular story is told as a film and not through another medium – I actually lobbed this question to one of my co-writers Jeffrey Brown. Jeffrey is known for his autobiographical graphic novels, and for me, as a director, I felt like my number one responsibility with this film was maintaining the honesty, simplicity, and authenticity of his voice.
But for Jeffrey – I just got off the phone with him – he says that Save the Date is an incredibly personal story somewhat inspired by the start of he and his wife’s relationship, and being able to write it as a screenplay allowed him to tell this story in a less literal way than he normally does in his books. Being able to play with the gender of the characters and add much more of a playfulness to the situations rather than retell events exactly how they unfolded in real life – the fictionalization simply made more sense if he could move outside the medium of comics.
And so we combined my desire to tell an honest and visual story with Jeffrey’s desire to examine the confused beginnings and endings of relationships and that’s Save The Date. Plus, movies have cool soundtracks and comics don’t.