House of Hugs Productions

Julia Radochia's blog for her films, film festivals, and film in general, among other things...

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Back to Happy at Home

(Back to Happy at Home website)

In my first post about Happy at Home nine months ago, I wrote that this project remained on my To Do list. I didn't believe in overexerting myself on this film when I needed my energy for other films that would probably do more for me in advancing my career. (After I wrote the post I started writing, casting and planning for I Just Want to Eat My Sandwich.) But, Happy at Home had a special meaning for me and I knew that I could still do something with it without having it take over my life.

Well, I finally did, and I can now say that the film is completed.

I had to wait until September to make any progress with it. I really wanted my star, Sean Vincent Biggins, to do his own voice over, and since Sean lives in Los Angeles, I had to wait for a time when he came back here to visit his family in Waltham.

So when Sean came home for his 20th high school reunion over Labor Day weekend (which I find funny since, as you can see in the photo above, there is a scene in the film where he is paging through his high school yearbook) I asked if he would come over and record the voice for us. When I say "us" I mean Jeremy and me. Jeremy's the sound guy, after all.

Sean was more than happy to do it. I wrote a new script and he executed it with ease.

OK, so it still took me another two months to finish it. In October I did a few re-edits and laid in Sean's voice. I still was needing something else, though -- a voice for Neo, Sean's dog in the film (and in real life). Just last Sunday, before the Patriots game and before the Red Sox won the World Series (WOO-HOO) I had Jeremy record Neo's voice. I thought that giving more life to Neo would give the film a boost and insert more ideas in the audience's mind over what the film was about.

It's actually quite fitting that Happy at Home was a film I did for my last class at LA City College and that I finished here in my metro Boston town, because the film itself has Los Angeles and Boston elements. The setting is clearly LA (at least to those of us who know LA), in the neighborhood of Silver Lake. You can see from the style of the building and the steps leading up to the apartment that this is California.

Then there's Sean, as "Steve", wearing his Cape Ann T-shirt. Also, if you look, you can find Boston items in his apartment such as a photograph of Fenway Park and some Red Sox knick-knacks. Not to mention that Sean does his Irish jig in a couple of bits in the film, and hey, after watching the ALCS and the World Series, a certain Red Sox pitcher named Jonathan Papelbon comes to mind.

The time was right for me to complete this film. Thank you Jeremy and Sean for all your work on it. And Neo, too. It was nice to have just a three person and one dog film.

Happy at Home part 1
(Back to Happy at Home website)

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