Rare is the film project that can be made with a crew you could count on one hand. Rarer still is one where the entire production team, cast and could fit on a tandem bike. It might sound crazy, but that’s exactly how Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder chose to make “The Planters,” their desert-bound dark buddy comedy of sorts.
With an unlikely friendship at the film’s center playing out against an unlikely terrain, Kotcheff and Leder already had their work cut out for them. But add on the idea that the two would be solely in charge of the film’s sound, costumes and makeup, not to mention directing, writing, shooting, producing and starring in it, and you’ve got quite the filmmaking endeavor. Indiewire’s readers chose “The Planters” as the February Project of the Month.
The dynamic duo behind this effort gave us some additional thoughts via email about their unique approach and product.
What’s next for the project?
We shot portions of the film before our fundraising campaign, and now that it’s successfully finished, we’ll be completing the film this summer.
What are the biggest challenges for the project?
The way we’re shooting it. And yes, that’s a challenge by choice. Being the only crew and the main actors makes it both creatively rewarding but one of the most demanding things we’ve every done, physically and mentally. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to remember to bring that “Jesus Loves You” teddy bear prop to location when you’re squeezing all the camera equipment, lighting equipment, costumes and makeup supplies into the back of your car.
What are your goals?
To make a film we’re proud of. To get “The Planters” into theaters. To continue making good work.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
There will be no time for sleep and never enough coffee. Embrace the pain and your bloodshot eyes.