A local film tells a story of love, diversity and time travel
“Lesbians who travel through time.” That was all the pitch Tierney Harris needed when their friend Will Holst asked them if they wanted to take part in a short film, The spirit over time. It tells the story of Dawn, a young woman who has been haunted for years by a mistake she is desperate to fix. But also, yes, lesbian time travel. The film will premiere at the Phoenix Film Festival on August 14 and will also screen at OUTFEST Los Angeles on August 20.
Holst is a sci-fi fan, but it was important for him to tell a story where the main characters weren’t all like him, a white man. He wanted the story to show some of the diversity he knows and loves among those close to him. For example, the character who comes up with the theory of time travel is a young black professor. And the story revolves around an interracial lesbian relationship.
“I thought it was really great to make this a very obvious LGBTQ story, because you see a lot of, ‘Oh, here’s the story and it turns out it’s gay. “But definitely, while I was on set, I was like, ‘I’m going to make this so gay, on purpose,’ said Harris, who plays Dawn’s partner Grace.” I’m bisexual and I loved having the opportunity to really express myself on a film like that.It was the first project I was involved in where I was able to show this side of myself.
Many of the cast and crew are alumni of the University of Arizona, and all are or were affiliated with the university in one way or another. The group’s familiarity with the city is manifested in the film: the main characters roam the Tucson Desert, sip coffee at Espresso Art on University Boulevard, cross Rattlesnake Bridge on Broadway Boulevard, and even take shelter from a sudden downpour, like all Tucsonans must have done. In some ways, this is a love letter to Tucson as much as it is a love affair between two people.
“I was really excited to do something in Tucson with people I know and love,” said Isa Ramos, who played Dawn. “It was really cool to add a little magic to the places that shaped me.”
While COVID has blocked or even annihilated the creative efforts of many, Holst said he acted as a catalyst for the film project.
“We would always talk about movies or come up with great ideas and they never materialized,” he says. “And this time, I was like, ‘Well, we should do it,’ because you never know what the future holds. You really have to take every possible opportunity to be creative or to do something that you love or are passionate about.
It’s hard to imagine a better year to make a time travel movie than the year the weather seemed completely out of whack. Some months in 2020 seemed to drag on for months, while others felt like they lasted a few seconds. This collectively distorted sense of time set the scene. People’s schedules were different. People’s priorities were different. People’s creative processes were different. But between other tasks, and early in the morning and late at night, the 13-member team was successful. They shared a COVID bubble and worked safely – the most people on set at any given time was six, and many of the team did their post-production work remotely. Holst said everyone on the team had a handful of jobs on the project.
“It was something I had never done before, and it was in the middle of 2020, so what else were we doing?” Said Dani Danec, who did makeup and hair on the show (and was second AD, and kept track of the program, and was a stunt performer, and did audio work, etc.) She added that in addition to being able to Getting to the set when she was also doing another job, one of the biggest challenges was shooting a movie in the summer heat that takes place in November. “How can we make you feel like you’re bundled up without actively killing yourself?” ”
Holst said he calculated the budget to be around $ 7,000 – which includes both the cost of the equipment he already owned, the leased parts and the equipment he purchased as part of the 2020 universally self-prescribed retail therapy movement.
The team were thrilled when the film was accepted at the Phoenix Film Festival, Arizona’s largest film festival, as well as OUTFEST Los Angeles, one of the largest LGBTQ + film festivals in the world.
Watch Mind Over Time on Arizona Shorts A at the Phoenix Film Festival at 4:50 p.m. on Saturday, August 14. Or see it in the OUTFEST Los Angeles What a Girl Wants short film program at 7:00 p.m. on Friday August 20. For more information visit MindOverTimeFilm.com.