The Story of Maggie and Annie
Annie has it all in life. A wonderful husband and a darling little girl. All is going well until she goes to a softball practice and meets Maggie. Maggie -- cute, athletic, and openly gay -- touches feeling deep down inside Annie that she has no idea existed. Maggie also is attracted to Annie but vows to her friends that she will not make a move on her because of her wonderful family. As the friendship gets closer and as they struggle to stay apart, all hell breaks loose. A night of dancing and drinking puts Annie in the arms of Maggie. The love affair begins and reaches a point where there may be no way back.
The Follow Interview with the Executive Producer/Writer and Director of Maggie and Annie, Kimberly K. Wilson was conducted by Lynne Hancock of Out Takes Film Festival of Dallas Texas
Lynne: What is your film Making background? Was it film School, an opportunity to work on another indie film or...?
KKW: I came to California to be a writer mainly but thanks to the DV age I was able to produce and direct one of my scripts. I have went to several film schools but most notable the Hollywood film Institute. Maggie and Annie is my first feature.
Lynne: It looked like we the viewers were going to get a happy ending for everyone. But then boom! Out of nowhere comes a plot device that wasn't, as far as I could see, foreshadowed anywhere in the story. Why did you decide on a relatively downbeat ending.?
KKW: Like all writers, when you come up with an idea you go with it. I thought what if a married women fell in love with a lesbian. Great husband, adorable daughter, wonderful family life. That is when I started writing. The Characters took over from there. I didn't want this as an ending and when it happened I cried my eyes out writing it. I felt it was really the only ending I could have written. Everyone wanted me to make the husband an ass/drunk and have Maggie and Annie live happily after. I didn't and wouldn't take the same old Hollywood ending. At least not for my first film and trying to establish myself in Hollywood. I needed to go off course. I have taken lots of shit from the gay and lesbian community about the ending. First and foremost it is filmmaking and second, everyone in life doesn't always ride off into the sunset.
Lynne: You wore many hats, Producer, Writer, Director, was that easy or difficult for you?
KKW: Making the movie was difficult for a lot of reasons. For one I did do it all. I wrote it, directed it, cast it, found locations, and just kissed lots of asses. A must for a low budget film. You will find your best movies directed by the writer. The reason why so many big films are bad is because someone writes a great script with passion and from the heart, they have this great vision. Then a director or studio gets hold of it and the true vision is gone. He/She/several writers gut it and the great vision/story is ruined. I have several other scripts written that I am trying to sell and I cringe to think what will happen to them if someone else directs them.
Lynne: How did you hear about our Film Festival?
KKW. After is showed at the Fort Worth Festival I received an Email from Luara Logan, A Dallas resident whom seen Maggie and Annie and loved it. She told me about your festival.
Lynne: How has your film been received at other festivals.
KKW: The Venues have all been full. The reviews have been very good overall. The saddest thing about the festival run was several Gay and Lesbian festivals turned it down because of the ending. That really hurt me. It is a movie. Reality sometimes does bite. It is a low budget movie. Cost thousands to make not millions. If people go in knowing this and just follow the story and the great acting they will see a great movie.
Lynne: Turned it down? Well that does suck. Where were your actors from?
KKW: All cast in LA. But of course none of them were born here. Joy(San Diego), Amy(Washington State) Adam(Pennsylvania), Jennifier(San Diego) Lizzie (NY) Shannon (Oklahoma) Me (Wisconsin)
Lynne: Did you ask your actors to stick closely with the script, or did you encourage improvisation?
KKW: Yes, (they stuck to the script) word for word. Out of the whole movie there may have been five words tossed in. Most writer directors are sticklers with this. When the writer is the director they know the script word for word. And when dialog is added or tossed in more times then not, the big "CUT" is coming.
Lynne: Did you have problems finding actors, or funding because the film deals with lesbianism?
KKW: As you seen in the movie the acting is great. I have also been an LA acting coach for 10 plus years and was trained by some of the best. That is why I cast it myself. The one thing about LA is great actors come a dime a dozen. I was able to get great well trained actors. That is the one thing I really had control of doing in a low budget film. Great acting is a must in a low budget film and for me. That is what I am most proudest of in this film: the acting. If this was a big budget movie Amy Thiel would be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance and Joy Yandell wouldn't be far behind. I truly believe that. About the funding? I paid for it all. "Ouch" I tried to get funding. I think as far as funding goes, not getting any had anything to do with the lesbianism in the film. This is my first movie. Only a dumb rich relative will give money to a first time filmmaker. My next film should be easier getting funding because I have something to show to investors. I think the Lesbian content in the film kept Hollywood biggies from doing it, although Drew Barrymore's company had the script for awhile then past for no good reason why. It was then optioned by a big production company but eventually they flat out told me they didn't have the time and effort to put into a topic like this. Then the DV age came along and also the making of Maggie and Annie.
Lynne: Looking back on the film, it there anything you wish you'd done differently, good or bad?
KKW: I would have love to do lots of things differently but with the money and time I had to do it I did the best that I could have done. What I accomplished with Maggie and Annie cannot be described. The only ones that will ever be able to understand what I went through are the people that have done what I did. A brief rundown on the making of Maggie and Annie. Myself and producer/best friend Loni Martinez did all the preproduction. I cast it, and did all the contracts. We had only 16 days to film so we filmed 16 straight days 12-16 hours a day. Yeah, it was non-union. The cast and crew were worriers. In the sixteen days I watched my life savings and more go out the window. People can rip apart the tech part of the movie but they have no idea what I had to work with. As for the ending I would not change it.
Lynne: Can you tell us about your next project?
KKW: Counting Maggie and Annie I have nine feature scripts penned. My next project that I decided to do was based on what I could film the cheapest. Not what I really wanted to do. It is kind of based on a true story about this Man I once met. He was obsessed with these dancers at a place called the Chee Chee Club. That is the name of the film. He becomes so obsessed that he goes seven days a week and of course it ends in tragedy. It is in pre-production and we are still trying to get more funding. I will never do another low budget film like Maggie and Annie. Maggie and Annie has helped me in getting investors to listen to listen to me and hand me over money. That is why you need to make a first film no matter how you do it.
The Chee Chee Club is budgeted at $500,000 I have a ways to go. I could probably do it for $200,000 but then we will be cutting our ourselves short. My goal is to get the Chee Chee Club made, and find success, and then be established enough as a writer and director that I can do any project I want. I just finished a script - I feel is my best to date. It is about a lesbian Hollywood makeup artist that falls in love with a married Bisexual. The bisexual and her husband are sex addicts and secretly film the two women having sex then they befriend her. She loses it and becomes a master of disguises and makes their lives a living hell. She rules and yes she does ride off into the sunset at the end. I am hoping that can be my third film. But like I tell all Filmmakers/Actors and people in general, in this business the only thing that is guaranteed is that nothing is guaranteed.
Lynne : And one last question, who do you make films for? Who is your Audience, or do you care?
KKW: My audience is anyone that likes movies. I consider myself the audience. When I leave a movie theater I need to be touched somehow. Weather it is laughing or crying. I need to feel something. If a filmmaker can do that then they did their job. That is why Maggie and Annie ended like it did. I didn't like the ending but as a filmmaker it was my job to somehow touch the audience and stick to reality as close as possible. I will not be only writing/making gay films. I wrote an animation I am hoping to make someday.