Actress Courteney Cox, best known for her Emmy Award-winning comedy Friends and for her Golden Globe-nominated role in Cougar Town, segues behind the camera to make her feature-film directorial debut at the Tribeca Film Festival with Just Before I Go. (Press materials)
Just Before I Go will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24.
Please give us your description of the film playing.
Ted Morgan has been treading water for most of his life. After his wife leaves him, Ted realizes he has nothing left to live for. Summoning the courage for one last act, Ted decides to go home and face the people he feels are responsible for creating the shell of a person he has become. But life is tricky. The more determined Ted is to confront his demons, to get closure, and to withdraw from his family, the more Ted is yanked into the chaos of their lives. So, when Ted Morgan decides to kill himself, he finds a reason to live.
What drew you to the script?
It has heart and deals with life issues, and is outrageously funny.
What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was completing the film in 23 days with 41 speaking parts and 19 locations. Also, finding the right balance between the serious human pathos and the boundary-pushing comedy.
What advice do you have for other female directors?
Have thick skin, trust your instincts and your vision. Ideally, there will be a time when this is no longer a question.
What’s the biggest misconception about you and your work?
I’m not actually sure. Maybe people assume I’m only drawn to comedy, but actually I’m drawn to darker themes and inappropriate humor.
Do you have any thoughts on what are the biggest challenges and/or opportunities for the future with the changing distribution mechanisms for films?
The increase of platforms to watch, promote and distribute various projects has ultimately created additional opportunity for filmmakers. These channels help more projects to get funded quickly and have the potential to reach a broader audience. I welcome any changes in distribution if it will allow for more films to be made.
Name your favorite women directed film and why.
It’s too hard to choose between Jane Campion’s The Piano and Martha Coolidge’s Rambling Rose. Both are beautifully told stories with exquisite performances and unique visual styles.