ANA AND ANTHONY IN LOVE
ANA AND ANTHONY IN LOVE is a short film about an impossible situation, an unconventional romance that thematically explores questions of love and art. I hope these themes will be well below the surface of the viewer’s experience of the film while watching it, but will tug at him or her later, after walking away from the theater, TV, or computer. I hope to create a visceral, empathetic experience for the audience that will, in 7 or so minutes, draw them into the middle of the impossible situation the three main characters find themselves in.
The story of ANA AND ANTHONY IN LOVE came to me when I first heard Andrew Bancroft and Ashley Pérez Flanagan (of the band Moondrunk) perform together about a year ago. There was a tension in their music exemplified by the song “Go,” in which the lyrics are saying, literally, “go,” but the voices are utterly in love with each other. That tension speaks to me of the often difficult reality of love. The way is rarely smooth. More often than not, it seems, love doesn’t work the way lovers would hope.
I imagined the boyfriend — Eddie, as he came to be called — sitting and watching these two musicians on stage.
What must he think? The singers have to be in love when they sing — the voices in their songs love each other. Where is the boundary between the reality that all performers aspire to create, and the reality that exists off stage? What is this like to watch for Eddie, a non-performer who wants to be supportive of his girlfriend?
Likewise, would Ana be failing to listen to her heart if she didn’t give in to her feelings for Anthony? Or is she being seduced by the illusion, by the art they’re creating, and mistaking Anthony, himself, for the voice in their music? Is there a difference?
As an actor (as well as a writer and director) happily married to another actor, I’m fascinated by this dynamic in the performing arts. Even in a completely professional setting, in which no lines are crossed, there’s an intimate dimension to the relationships we develop in rehearsal and performance, especially when we’re playing in romantic roles. This is a dimension Eddie, as a non-performer, cannot experience with Ana; as a non-performer, can he even understand it? I think he simply senses, viscerally, that this woman he loves is slipping away, and he’s powerless to counteract the dramatic pull that Anthony represents.
After that first performance by Andrew and Ashley, which inspired the story, I put it aside without writing anything down. If it was an important one to me, I knew it would come back. About a month later, I heard Andrew and Ashley perform again, and the story flooded back to me as vividly as it had the first time. At that point, late last spring, I wrote the first draft of the script.
As I’ve lived with this story, I’ve realized that the two men represent a choice between very different lifestyles, lifestyles that many artists find themselves pulled between. Eddie, Ana’s boyfriend, is financially stable. While the story doesn’t specify, I imagine him working in advertising, a field that leverages creativity but exists in the structure of a more traditional work environment. Anthony, on the other hand, is living the “life of the artist” as our culture usually conceives of it, pursuing his art at the expense of all else, with the instability that lifestyle often entails.
In this regard, Ana is a young artist at a jumping off point. Will she go “all in” as an artist? Or will she choose a different (and no less legitimate) path? I believe this is a bit of a false dichotomy, but our culture presents the choice to become an artist as an either-or proposition. Either you pursue your art (and die in poverty), or you sell your soul for financial stability. While I don’t agree that the choice really is binary, as an artist, I identify with the tension of being pulled in these two directions, as Ana is, of feeling that I’m being asked to make a choice every day I continue to pursue art as a vocation.
I set aside the newly written script once again last spring, but by the fall of last year, I found I couldn’t shake it. I knew I had to make this film. The script has changed quite a lot since then — it’s construction, the choice of scenes to depict on screen — but interestingly, the underlying story, itself, has basically remained the same.
In addition to bringing this love triangle to life, I also hope that this film will help bring the music of Moondrunk to as many people as possible. Obviously, I’m a fan. I hope to create a few more fans with this movie.
Ultimately, I want to draw as many people as I possibly can into the impossible situation that Ana, Anthony, and Eddie find themselves in. I hope audiences will walk away not thinking about, but feeling the stark difficulties that their emotional realities have created.
Ana and Anthony are young musicians who are hitting an exciting moment in their career together, and they’re falling in love. The problem is, Ana has a serious boyfriend, Eddie.
Is Ana wrong about her feelings for Eddie? Or are she and Anthony mistaking their art – their music – for reality? Is there a difference? Ultimately, Ana’s going to have to make a choice: the more stable life Eddie represents, or the Anthony’s all-in artistic life.
Featuring the music of the band Moondrunk, ANA AND ANTHONY IN LOVE is an unconventional romance. The feelings, the passion, are real for all three characters, but someone – or everyone – is going to end up hurt.
When complete, ANA AND ANTHONY IN LOVE will be about 7 minutes.
At present, we have a working list of 20+ film festivals. We’ll submit to some of the biggies, certainly, but our plan is to focus primarily on festivals that have a musical element, and in cities or regions where members of our team have a personal connection.
We’ll have to be mindful of sharing the film with our supporters in a way that won’t jeopardize our ability to submit it to film festivals, but we hope we’ll be able to do so by the end of 2015.
Ultimately, after the film has made the rounds at film festivals, we’ll find a place for it to live online, whether with Seed&Spark, or elsewhere.