I started writing Killing June with my good friend Arne Bystrom when I was 16 years old. It was supposed to be a short concept film, but the more we sat on the idea the larger it grew.
I was 19, and we had finally finished the script at an awkward 37 pages long. Not quite a short, not quite a feature. "Even though I've never made a film longer than 3 minutes, I think I'm going to make this near-feature film" I thought to myself. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
We had Arne as a script supervisor and assistant director, my brother Nicholas on sound, and my friend Jessica Hurst handling warddrobe, set dressing, coffee runs, and overall damage control. That was our crew.
After seeing a lot of talented people at our oh-so-professional auditions, we stumbled on the miracle that was Wonder Russell and Nathan Pringle. We immediately saw their natural chemistry, and how easily they slipped into their roles. That was our cast.
Like everyone back in 2013, we turned to crowd-funding to secure the budget for our film. The project never reached the masses (not that we really tried) but many of our friends and family generously donated to our overly ambitious project. I laugh about this now, but we were extatic that we raised just over $8,000. It seemed like so much money! We ran out about half-way through production.
But! Since at this point we were quite experienced in making films without any money, we marched on. We even wrote another 11 pages into the script during production because, why not?
It was probably about 3 months into editing the film that I suddenly realized: I don't know how to mix the sound for a film, I don't know how to color a film, I don't how to do visual effects for a film. So I did what any homeschooler would do and used the internet to teach myself everything I could about the post-production process. The film was finished 2 years later.
I didn't go to school for film, I made Killing June. The entire process from conception to first screening took 6 years, and I consider that my formal film education. It was stressful for years, I wanted to delete the entire project, and I thought I was a failure about 90% of the time. But I finished it, then I screened it, and all of that melted away.
I finished my first feature film at 22 years old. It's flawed, it's weird, and I love that we made it.
View the full film here: http://killingjune.vhx.tv/
From Seattle Weekly: