Director Maureen Bradley’s debut feature Two 4 One (coming soon to the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival, September 25th to October 10th) is a bittersweet romantic comedy with a transgender hero in an unimaginable predicament. The movie tells the story of an oddball couple Miriam and Adam, who have an ill-advised and pivotal one night stand that sees them both wind up pregnant. We had a chance to ask Maureen a few questions before the screening of the film, read on to find out more about the inspiration for the film and the behind-the-scenes stories.
VIFF: What inspired you to make Two 4 One?
Bradley: I’ve witnessed and been part of the queer baby boom and wanted to tell a story that brought a fresh perspective to intentional family-making. My family’s story isn’t particularly dramatic and not worthy of a bio-pic. However, prior to my daughter’s birth, I read about a trans man who accidentally got pregnant helping his girlfriend through DIY artificial insemination. I immediately thought: “Now that’s a movie.” A few years later, I dreamed up Adam and wrote the script.
VIFF: What was the biggest challenge you faced while making the film?
Bradley: It’s a toss up between Gracepoint shooting in Victoria at the exact same time as us (drying up local crew) or working within a micro-budget. When you have no money, then you don’t pay anyone. The line is clear and almost easier. When you have micro-funding, you always feel stretched. It seems like you have a budget but you don’t. Our budget was probably equivalent to what Gracepoint spent on toilet paper. That said, Telefilm’s micro-budget funding was such an exciting injection of energy for the film, it made us push ourselves to actually dive in and make a feature.
VIFF: How many shooting locations did you have and how did you manage that on such a small budget?
Bradley: I was told many times to cut my locations down. There is no way you can shoot 25 locations in 15 days. The beauty of the micro-budget funding was the complete freedom it gave me. Any other shoot with heftier funding would likely involve a more reasonable and conservative approach. I did cut down the locations only to increase them again when location scouting with Amy Belling (director of photography). We wanted to make Victoria and the Cascadian region a character in Two 4 One. And the only way to do that is to see it. Some days we switched locations two or three times.
The location for Franny’s house (Gabrielle Rose) was a small wooden boat house built on the rocks of Gonzales bay in the 40s. It was about 200 sq. feet and we crammed 40 cast and crew in, on and around it for three days!
In the end, we had 21 locations and 16 shooting days—not including B unit. We added an extra day to the shooting schedule after the first week. Budget: $170,000—but people always as that one!
VIFF: What’s the main message you want people to take away from your film?
Bradley: There are a hundred different ways to make a family, not to mention the kinds of families.
The path you think you need to follow may have more pit stops than you expected. But you will get to there.
VIFF: Who is the filmmaker that inspires you the most?
Bradley: Woody Allen from 1977-1997 and Blue Jasmine, his masterpiece. Yes, he’s controversial. And his best films show us the humour and beauty in our flawed humanity.
VIFF: What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers in BC?
Bradley: Stay the course. And don’t rush into things. Make it local. It’s worth it. Always have contracts, even and especially between friends.