Sharing The Love came about at a time where I was yearning to try something new. Luckily, a close colleague of mine at Diversionary Theatre, Matt M. Morrow, reached out to me regarding a musical film project that was being produced by Randall Baum.
Two things interested me about this project from the beginning: an original musical film, and the ability to test my talents in a new medium. Most of my career has been as a director and choreographer of stage musicals. Directing a musical film had been on my list of things “to do” for a very long time. Finding the time and right project had never happened. That changed in March of 2021.
I knew from our first meeting that Randall shared a similar passion for creating art. I also was impressed by his background in media. The connection between us was strong and I sensed a new collaborator and friend had come into my life.
While Randall had the idea for the project, the canvas, as they say, was blank when I came on board. It was up to us to find the right mixture of artists to help bring this particular piece of art to life. One of the fun parts of my job as a director is bringing people into a project. And while this piece was rehearsed and filmed in San Diego, it was a bi-coastal effort. Our writing team of James Olmstead and Omri Schein straddled both coasts with James in New York City and Omri in San Diego.
The band and all of the backup singers rehearsed and recorded in NYC while the cast and crew were strictly San Diego based. While the story centers around three friends looking for an escape from their “pandemic blues,” there are a host of other characters that join along the way. Many patrons of San Diego theatre will see some of their favorites pop up throughout the film.
The time frame for this film was short! We originally started with four days of shooting, one day to record the vocals in the studio, and just a handful of rehearsals. And we almost did it in that truncated schedule. As always happens though, reshoots and adjustments were necessary, but by the time we got to that part of the process, everyone on board was having such a good time that the cast and crew were eager to keep going so we could get it just right.
And that is what I took away the most from this project: joy. Inevitably, on any project, there are stressful and sometimes contentious moments. I don’t remember if they happened on this project because I just remember the fun, laughter, and creativity that flowed on set. I am excited to “Share The Love” with everyone once this film finally premieres. I guarantee you will finish it with a smile on your face and a new thought about the power of friendship and love.
Sharing The Love debuts on YurView California Saturday, July 10th at 11:30 am and again on Sunday, July 11th at 7:30 pm PDT.
The show will continue to air throughout the month of July on YurView California. Check your Contour program guide for additional air times. Special thanks to Subaru of El Cajon.