By Megan Wadding, Sept. 25, 2014.
Known best for her executive producer role on Elena Undone and A Perfect Ending, writer and director Marina Rice Bader released her first feature-length film, Anatomy of a Love Seen, the day after it debuted at the 32nd annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival.
As the driving force behind Soul Kiss Films, her independent film company, Bader’s artistic direction is focused on the goal of creating evocative, entertaining and compelling movies by women, for women and about women.
Anatomy of a Love Seen transports the audience onto a movie set where a newly broken-up lesbian actress couple are being required to reshoot a love scene for a film they’re working on.
In an interview with Echo, Bader spoke about the process of creating the film and her unique distribution choices for it.
Echo: What inspired you to make Anatomy of a Love Seen? How did you come up with the concept?
Bader: I knew that I wanted the first film I made on my own to be about my grapple with love. It’s the universal thing; it’s the thing we all want. If we don’t have it, we long for it. If we do have it, we take it for granted, usually. It’s a really painful roller coaster. My favorite movies are the ones that take you to a place that you don’t normally get to go to. I decided it needed to be in one location, and that’s sort of what inspired the idea for a movie set. I thought it would be lovely to bring the audience behind the scenes of a movie set because most people don’t get to go on a movie set.
Echo: What was it like creating a film without a script? How did the actors work with this idea?
Bader: The film was fully improvised. I created a 15-page outline and then I found actors who were gifted at improv and we all just jumped in. Improv has its drawbacks, but it also has this amazing gift that it gives the film where the actors are able to be in that moment an organically feel and live the emotion of the character without being boxed in by very specific words that they’ve had to memorize.
Echo: You make a cameo as the director of the film. How did you manage to direct the other actors while portraying this character?
Bader: I was originally going to cast the character of Kara, but then I started thinking about it — I was going to have to direct an actor to play the director directing characters that improv the film — and it was one too many layers for me to wrap my head around. I knew that I really wanted to direct from inside the film, and I ended up doing just that.
Echo: This film has been released internationally, streaming online. How did you reach this decision?
Bader: It started as sort of an out-of-the-box, gut instinct sort of thing. Once I was through the editing process and post-production was well underway, I really sat and thought about what I wanted to do with it. I didn’t want to go with the traditional distribution route. What bothers me about that is that it’s exclusionary. There are a lot of territories that don’t get to watch the film at the same time as US and Canada. I don’t like that model. I just opted to do it on my own at this time and make it available. Now it’s been seen in 90 counties, which is phenomenal.
Echo: For how long will the movie be available online? Are there any future plans to make it available on DVD?
Bader: It will continue to be available online and I am going to make a limited DVD release. I have some amazing extras that I want to be able to do something with. [With the help of Gravitas ventures] we’re working on getting the film into other platforms, like iTunes and Amazon.
Echo: Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Bader: We are in the final editing stage for Raven’s Touch, which is a new film that’s in post-production right now. Also, I’m starting production on a new film at the end of the year. So stay tuned.
Anatomy of a Love Seen is currently available for digital rental on Vimeo via the film’s website, anatomyofaloveseen.com.