As a director at Picture Park, I know a fair amount about the advertising community in Boston. And as such, I know quite a few people who have been laid off. I’ve gotten my share of “This is my new email” emails and joined up for a couple aftermath drinks around town. The one thing that they all had in common for me was that I never knew what to say. I had learned to treat them as the professional equivalent of the receiving line at a wake. I gave my condolences and moved quickly along. It just always seemed to me to be one of those things people would rather not discuss. I mean, who would want to relive the moments of such a horrible day?
So, when I signed on to direct Lemonade, I was a little apprehensive. There is something very intimate about interviewing people. You have to make a connection before you can expect someone to share with you, but asking them to contribute so many personal details, about a generally bad experience, goes well beyond that. It’s my job to help the subject forget the lights, camera and the crew surrounding them. I wrote dozens of questions with follow-ups, and follow-ups to the follow-ups, to help put them at ease with re-telling those painful details. And from every person I interviewed, I received a wonderful gift. Due to our subjects’ generosity, I rarely needed to go to beyond 2 or 3 questions on that topic. They were so forthcoming, that they would just move through and dispense their stories, answering my subsequent questions before I even had a chance to ask them.
I wanted to be a part of this film so that I could help my laid-off friends and people like them to recover and deal with their newfound situations. And because of the candor of our subjects, this film will do just that — better than I ever dreamed it would. I wanted to take this opportunity to give my gratitude to all of you who took part in the making of the film- the crew, the vendors and most of all, everyone who shared so fully with us the specifics of their current and ongoing life changes. Without your honest, whole-hearted participation in telling your stories, Lemonade would be a mere Q & A session, instead of the sadly beautiful and optimistically hopeful tale of taking a bad situation and making the best of it by learning how to follow your dreams. Now I finally know what to say…