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Notes on the Production

Home was 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 street.

Home was written for New York actors Jason Liebrecht and Nicol Zanzarella. Seitz was impressed by Zanzarella's work in the 2000 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."