Shape Of Love NOW – This week in movie-making

+ prepping this weekend’s filming mission

+ planning upcoming interviews

+ building Shape Of Love: 200 Years In Maine’s sister site

PHOTO and QUICK PONDER of the Week: Shape Of Love In Time

My Mom was born in Portland, Maine and grew up in a neighborhood near Deering High School. She graduated from there to the University of Maine at Portland (today’s USM), and later transferred to the University of Maine at Orono.  A history and government major, she earned an internship with Maine U.S. Representative Stan Tupper, and spent her junior year in Washington D.C. That’s where she met my Dad, a senior at Georgetown University, who was a Portland, Maine native too. They’d grown up less than a mile apart but had gone to different schools and never met. Several months later, Dad proposed to her in an apple orchard behind Androscoggin Hall at the UMaine Orono campus. They went home to Portland and were married, got their first apartment and had their first child (hi). That’s a picture of my Mom below (on the left with dark hair) her freshman year in college.

Those of you who followed the blog I wrote while making the last film know my Mom died in 2016. I still struggle with Mom-less-ness. When she was sick and dying, I needed a place to escape the pain so I made up an imaginary hometown called Malibu Maine. After she died, I dedicated it to her. Then I dedicated the film to her. 

I’m still not very good at talking to her – it hurts too much – but I seem to be good at dedicating things to her. I guess I’ll keep doing that as an expression of my love until I find my words. 

A few months after I started working on the new film, Shape Of Love: 200 Years In Maine, an unexpected find made me feel that Mom knows what I’m trying to say. In an old box in the basement, I discovered a leather binder from 1950 full of old post cards, brochures, newspaper clippings, travel guides and maps of Maine. Mom made it in grade school. It must have taken her months. It’s a treasure; a time capsule of Maine and a time capsule of Mom.

Somehow it survived sixty-eight or so years to be opened up and enjoyed in time for Maine’s Bicentennial celebration kick-off. This week, the Maine Bicentennial Commission officially introduces Maine200, the State’s information resource for Bicentennial events, programs and news. The Commission is encouraging individuals to get involved in commemorating Maine’s past and celebrating its present, and in that spirit, and with a little help from Mom, I’ve started a Bicentennial themed website. I’m going to launch it very soon.

In the process of making Shape Of Love, canvasing Maine’s counties and traveling through time, I meet people, places, and things; stories and experiences. The film will be home to some, but building the Bicentennial site with others feels like a good way to share my love of, for and with Maine. And it gives me another way to share an adventure with my Mom.  Here’s to you, Mom; and here’s to Maine.