Cashing Out (2012)

An unknown writer struggles to write the perfect piece…even if it kills him.

Directed by: Angie & Rob Bowen (credited as Persephone Pomegranate & Robert Bowen)
Written by: Rob Bowen
Starring: Rob Bowen

You can also get the free digital download of the festival cut of Cashing Out here! Just click and download will begin. Then just unzip the file and enjoy!

Director’s Notes

People talk all the time about virtual trials by fire, and I feel that the universe really wanted to drive that point home as I set out to start this new chapter of my life as an indie filmmaker. Having finally broken the cycle of unending pause I sat on, waiting for my words to make it to the screen, I set the date that we were to begin this journey. I had penned a poetic and highly personal piece to get this ball rolling, and even decided I would step in front of the camera as this was a learning experience I didn’t wish to inflict on anyone else. The day we were set to begin filming in our apartment, we were forced to evacuate due to the threat posed to the city of Manitou Springs by the spreading of the Waldo Canyon Fire. A fire that had begun earlier that day.

Perhaps it was a sign, one I failed to heed, as I shot the film the next day as we were allowed back into town. Using a borrowed home movie camera from my parents, and driven forward by inspirational words of an indie filmmaker whose work I admired and had recently attended a screening of, I shot the film in a matter of hours. Once I set out to begin editing the footage and getting the voiceovers recorded, I realized I had a very big problem. The camera that I used, coupled with the poor lighting in the room, added up to an image that would never focus for more than a second or two. The universe had thrown another curveball, and had this film itself not been about me no longer allowing my passion to be delayed, I might have just discarded the entire thing. But with Darren Lynn Bousman’s words echoing in my head “Just fucking do it!”, I pushed forward more resolved than ever in my quest.

So I grabbed the only high def camera at my disposal, my smartphone, and I set out to reshoot the entire film…on my smartphone. I fashioned a tripod head that would hold the phone without intruding on the image, and I even over-compensated with the lighting, adding a dreamlike, washout to my character’s face. I was not going to be so easily derailed from seeing this through to the end, and I am so glad that I kept going because the finished product was something so wonderful for me to behold.

The film deals with an aspect of myself that I felt was holding me back, as I mentioned. So really, being able to complete the film was only made that much more satisfying by having those problems and roadblocks crop up in my path to be overcome. I feel like I appreciate it even more so having had to push through them to get the film made, and start this whole indie filmmaking ball a rolling! The film was very poetic in nature, and I enjoyed bringing my love of poetry and love of filmmaking together in this way. I really hope that translated through the piece.

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