Although Todd Looby’s 2-week stint as the primary caretaker of his daughter posed a challenge to finishing the script he was working on at the time, it turned out to be a fruitful one. All of the drama and comedy that the filmmaker experienced during that time provided him with the material for an entirely different script. That story became “Be Good,” starring Amy Seimetz, Thomas Madden and Joe Swanberg, which Looby has now wrapped shooting.
Looby decided to create an autobiographical “observation on what happens when roles are reversed” in the world of young parenting. He sees it as an experience with which all young parents can identify, especially “in a time when a lot of men are staying at home and it’s now a push-pull role on the father of whether to be the breadwinner or the best dad possible. The ideal roles are reversed and the tension that results from that explores where a lot of couples seem to be.”
In the film, an independent filmmaker who must work on an adaptation of a best-selling book must juggle work with taking care of his young child (played by Looby’s own daughter, Tessa Day).
But the film is about more than just the challenge, it’s about “how much patience pays off and what a beautiful experience it is to grow through that hardship.”
When asked about problems faced in production, Looby mentioned that the team “had a very low budget so that was always a problem but we did well with what we had. We basically had a very loose approach. About a week before we were going to shoot, the lead actor was in this ABC show “Final Witness” so we had to shut down for a month. Ultimately, though, the time away allowed us to plan a little better.”
As far as casting, Looby was considering playing the male lead, but ultimately went with Thomas Madden, with whom Looby had worked before on his first feature “Lefty.” He thought of Amy Seimetz for the female lead, “checked out some of her work and was sold on the spot.” And he and supporting actor Joe Swanberg (“LOL,” “Hannah Takes the Stairs”), strangely enough, met through their mutual midwife.
Looby hopes to have a final cut of the film by December 1 and to finally get back to work on the other script (the one he was working on when he was derailed by “Be Good”) with a fresh perspective.
Director/Writer/Producer: Todd Looby
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Thomas Madden, Joe Swanberg, Paul Gordon
Editor: Ryan Gould
Sound: Frank V. Ross (director, “Audrey the Trainwreck”)
Executive Producer: Vlad Radovanov (“We Live in Public”)
For indieWIRE’s interview with lead actress Amy Seimetz on her own work-in-progress, go here.
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