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LOVE HAPPENS

About The Production
For filmmaker Brandon Camp, the journey to the romantic drama Love Happens started several years ago when he lost his mother. "It was a very difficult process for me,” he offers. "There was denial at first; I didn't really feel anything at all for about a year. All of a sudden, it hit me one day and there was just a flood for six months. I found out that there was something very interesting in the process of grieving and what people go through.”

Camp's longtime writing partner, Seattle-based producer Mike Thompson, was moved by how his friend was coping with the loss and wanted to work with him on a new project in which they could explore the themes of grief, letting go and acceptance. As Thompson spends a good deal of time traveling to Los Angeles, he grew interested in the physical and metaphorical idea of what it means for someone to move on. He approached Camp about bringing the two concepts together for a new screenplay. Burke walks over hot coals at his seminar.

"We both related to the idea that when you travel, your entire world is turned upside down,” says Thompson. "When you're on a trip, you might meet the girl of your dreams, you might crash and die, you might run into somebody that begins the career of your life. You're discombobulated. Travel breaks down all of the barriers and puts you in a state of vulnerability and openness to experience new things. We seized that idea and used it as a starting point.” The co-writers, who have worked together for more than 15 years, note that they are drawn to meaning-of-life questions when they begin a script. For this project, Thompson explains, "We asked, ‘What do you do and how do you react in the aftermath of loss?'We tried to make light of some of these existential questions and the more absurd aspects of grieving and death—not get mired in the maudlin aspects of it, but rather flip the coin and see where the light is. Our objective was to make a movie about transformation and light, hope and joy, and redemption and rebirth.”

For the film, nothing about the journey from pen to screen was traditional. "Normally, we're methodical,” explains Camp. "When we write together, every word is agreed upon.” They decided to shake things up with their latest collaboration. As they began, Camp wrote five pages and sent them to Thompson without discussing the content. Thompson added on to that copy, writing five more pages and sending that back to his partner; they continued in this manner for the first 50 pages. "It was freedom,” remembers Camp. "We forgot about the hell of the developmental process and just had fun again, getting back to the reason why we got into screenwriting in the first place.”

As the story began to unfold, they "came up with the idea of a grief guru and the contradiction that he is living,” Thompson continues. "Then we got structured and came back to our normal writing mode.” During this period, they made the decision that Camp would direct and Thompson would produce their film.

For their protagonist, the screenwriters imagined Dr. Burke Ryan, a psychotherapist and self-help expert who has stifled the grief he's felt since the sudden death of his wife three years earlier; Burke has channeled all of his energy into helping other people let go of pain while ignoring his own. When romance unexpectedly enters his life in the form of free-spirited florist Eloise Chandler, Burke is pushed to confront the many truths he's long been denying.

Camp elaborates: "We like writing characters who are ordinary people that find themselves in extraordinary situations. That's how Burke came about. He was just a normal guy writing articles for Psychology Today, and this horrible tragedy befell him. The next thing you know, he has become an acc

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