the FILM - the JOURNEY

You  know how some people can have a pet project that they can't afford or don't have time to finish. The vintage car up on blocks in the backyard, the ship in a bottle, the Da Vinci needlework piece? That was this film for me.
Anthony Harrison - 2016
Original production photography wrapped in 1996 
     It's not often a film can celebrate it's 20th aniversary and its premiere in the same year. After 3 years of post production on a shoe-string financing halted further work and the film sat on a shelf - unfinished for 15 years. 
     Although it hasn't been a continous film making process, when something takes this long to complete it is wonderful how people will try and keep your spirits up, whether you need it or not. They’ll say things like -
”Some of the pyramids took at least forty years.”
"If it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well."
"Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

A personal favorite from a good friend really reaching to be inspirational...  - Einstein said, 
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that
I stay with problems longer." 
the FILM - story
Simple-minded Joseph Briteman, a disfigured institute patient wanders off into an animated world of fantasy and reality in search of his long lost sister.

His quest leads him to an encounter with a kind-hearted film star who unwittingly brings him into her unique world of make-believe. In the end, it is a near-death experience that finally allows Joseph to accept the truth regarding his sister’s disappearance.
excerpt from “Filmmaker’s Journey"
Anthony Harrison talks about the making of Joe Finds Grace.” (page coming soon)
…there were some pretty steep learning curves involved with digital editing and special effects programs and audio editing programs and I really only learned the aspects that I most needed to do specifically what I wanted to do with the film.  I’m jumping ahead here a little. Let me step back.
A fantastic scan was done by Cinelicious in LA and I now had a digital master file of the original cut negative. This newfound filmmaking freedom truly begged the question - how far can I take my original idea now? 

The post production gap of 15 years was enlightening as far as what it allowed me to do with story development. When you get years to ponder it gives you the opportunity to be fairly creative at solving the little things that nag at your brain over time. The original film was written to be shot in ten days, and was shot in ten days, and this meant that a certain amount of story limitation was necessary.

One of the most important plot issues for me boiled down to the actual motivation of the lead character for leaving his life skills program work yard and wandering off into the wild and crazy real world. It was there in the script. It had simply been a desire to save this fictional woman from a magazine article and redeem himself in his mother’s eyes, because she behaved as though he was basically a curse of nature; the reason everything had gone so wrong with the family.
Now I could expand on this and actually get more specific. One very clear event became the catalyst for his tormented existence. ‘What he was searching for became more about ‘who' he was searching for - his baby sister, Grace. She was no longer mysteriously gone, but alive in this photograph he had found in a magazine flyer. There was hope. This single-minded desire is what clearly launched Joe out on his mission.
To elaborate on Joe’s internal process I decided to explore the notion that inside his head the world was full of vivid flashes. Most of his memories were quite horrific and made worse by the way in which his mind played them out on an endless loop. Okay, it helped a lot that I had done oil paintings for years and also happened to be fairly comfortable with photoshop, because this was the tool I used to plan and market my paintings. It meant that I could expand the story and visuals of the film almost without limitation...