Director's Notes from Michael D. Olmos
Filmmaking, for me, is about discovery and finding new connections; on a story level, on an intellectual level and most importantly on an emotional level. I come from a diverse cultural background, which, I think, has always given me a unique outlook on life. My second favorite thing to do is to travel, meet new people and experience other cultures. The more I do this, the more I see that we are all more alike than different, connected, and film is one of our common currencies.
What I hoped to add to this project was my own unique, fingerprint to the story, and my own unique worldview. I saw the character of Filly Brown as an avatar for everyone's rite of passage to find his or her own authentic self. Through this tenacious, uncompromising, confused, desperate, deluded, compassionate, talented, reckless and lovable character, a walking contradiction - brought to life by the original and incomparable Gina Rodriguez - we were able to accomplish that goal.
Part of our discovery on this film, influenced by the music, was its operatic design. It feels like a movement that builds to the last dramatic scene that is so emotionally overpowering, that it drains you and revitalizes you in the same breath. We designed it so that there are no close-ended scenes in the film. Each scene leads into the next - building on the one before it, all the way to the final scene that ends in a crescendo. It's still a traditional three-act story, with turning points and a climax because of the dramatic through line - but because of the musical structure to compliment it, it builds and builds all the way to the end.
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