Geographically Desirable is an upcoming indie film from filmmaker Michael Kravinsky. The story is of a driven, overworked and sleep deprived TV News woman whose life is derailed when she inherits a house and dog in a small quirky town, its garnering good buzz on the net. We spoke to Kravinsky about the film’s journey from script to screen.
I have to ask, did the movie start with the title or did the title come later?
The title, Geographically Desirable, came early, but it came after I started forming the ideas for the film. I started thinking about a big city news producer in a small town; a fish out of water story. If she has love interests in both places, the title was obvious to me. During my single years, that’s how I would describe my dates. If they lived less than 50 miles from me they were geographically desirable.
How much did the script change between the first draft and shooting script?
Lots! Beyond some serious tightening, the original script had Nicole being in her early 20’s instead of the mid 30’s. She was just starting out in TV news. But the more I thought about it and discussed it with a screenplay consultant, the more it became obvious Nicole needed to be older. She had to have had a lot of time in the news business. That way she could be open to change. Also, Nicole works the overnight shift. A younger person accepts bad hours as part of “climbing the ladder.” Someone in her 30’s could be seen as having enough of that.
There’s a lot of interior work; where did you film the movie?
We lucked out with locations. The news editing rooms were shot in a Northern Virginia post production house and the studios and control rooms were shot at Washington DC’s Newseum. “Eddie’s House” is my home. The biggest support though came from the town of Floyd in southwest Virginia. This is a small town of around 425 people. They let us shoot street scenes and the interiors of 6 locations. Amazing people and town. It really added to the fullness of the look of Geographically Desirable.
Is the lead character based on anyone?
Nicole is a combination of hard charging news executives that I’ve met. Mostly female, but there are some lines that have come from male executives and producers as well. I figured it would give Blair an edgy professional persona. I’ve discovered that if you describe Nicole’s personality to someone who works in the news business, they can picture who that person is.
Can you yourself, working in arts and media, relate to the plight of Blair’s character?
Absolutely. The news business can really pull you in. Working long odd hours; nights, weekends, holidays; being on call all the time, missing family gatherings. This is some of what I went through while working in news and this is Nicole’s life. Thing is, just like me, she really enjoys it. Nicole lives and breathes TV news. There’s a scene in Geo Desire where Nicole and her girlfriends are having dinner. There’s a lot of discussion of guys and relationships. When it comes around to Nicole, she looks up and says, “Can you believe what’s happening with the French Presidential elections?” That of course is met with silence.
How different a movie do you think this would be had a big studio got involved?
I’d like to say I’m absolutely positive a studio would make no changes. Every decision is superb. It’s perfect as it is. The reality? It’s hard to say. I suspect that a studio may have insisted on a particular actor in a particular role. That in itself would have changed the film.
How handy a tool has the internet been in marketing the movie? Do you think it’s a blessing for independent films?
The internet, especially social media has been key in getting the word out. There’s a lot of great indie film work out there, but it’s a tough sell when you don’t have a large advertising budget. I’ve used Facebook and Twitter and gotten very positive results. Much better than the official website.
On a side note, I’m concerned and vocal about the net neutrality issue. Anyone working in the creative world, needs to be aware of how easily all the openness and fairness of the internet could be choked off if the rules of the road are changed.
What are you plans for the movie?
At this point, I’m working to get Geographically Desirable into more festivals. We’re already in the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival . I’m hoping for some more good news in August. We’ll see. From there, I’ll approach distributors and see where that leads.