Notes on the Production
shot in Matt Zoller Seitz's home in Brooklyn, New York. The apartment
served as a set, lodging for out-of-town crewmembers, equipment
storage facility, holding area and mess hall for the production's
cast and crew while serving as home to Seitz, his wife, coproducer
Jennifer Dawson, and their five-year-old daughter, Hannah.
"Shooting in our home was a blessing and
a curse", said
Seitz. "We were living on a cluttered movie set for longer
than I care to think about." However, the complete stability
of the location made it possible to schedule a busy cast and
crew who, in true microbudget film fashion, juggled paid gigs
and day jobs with their work on Home.
"After a while,
our five year old, Hannah, didn't think there was anything unusual
about shooting a movie in your house," says
Dawson. "She knew when to be quiet on the set, and by the
end of the shoot she was setting up craft service tables and
fetching extension cords."
Home was shot in downtown Brooklyn
in a freestanding 19th-century brownstone between a large apartment
complex and an Antiochian
cathedral. On one muggy August night, when dialogue was barely
audible because of air conditioner noise, an enterprising production
assistant bought three hours of silence by going door-to-door
handing out apples. Another night shoot was interrupted by a
man with a crowbar chasing another man down the middle of the
Home was written for New York actors Jason
Liebrecht and Nicol Zanzarella. Seitz was impressed by Zanzarella's
independent drama Too Much Sleep. To Seitz's surprise,
she later walked in to an audition for the female in a short
film Seitz was casting and did two scenes opposite Liebrecht,
who wasn't a cast member, but had been hired for the day to give
the actresses a professional to act with. "They were paired
up at random, but there was just something magical about them
together," Seitz said. "They seemed to get a kick out
each other and to want to surprise each other. The short film
ended up not happening, but I watched the tape of Nicol's scenes
with Jason ten times."
After Seitz saw Liebrecht's intense performance as Sex Pistols dynamo Johnny Rotten during the New York run of Lipstick Traces, he started thinking about a project that would team them. The original concept was to follow one couple and the progression of their relationship from first meeting through courtship, marriage and family. The film would all take place in one house, which would serve as a silent observer.The first act of the original script was conceived as a short film following Susan and Bobby's first meeting, which would take place at a party at Susan's. However, while writing and casting the other party guests, Seitz became interested in exploring the stories of the other couples and their tug of war with domesticity. "The original concept for Home was about that tension between freedom and stability," says Seitz. "But it became a bigger challenge to try to explore that idea with several couples in one night. The piece became more of an ensemble, but Home is still Bobby and Susan's story."