After years of cable access experimentation and two previous no-budget features aimed at a fringe cult audience, local icon Jimmy Humphrey is set to make a serious mark with a new movie designed to appeal to anyone who ever wishes they had something to do over again. And maybe again after that.
Here’s Jimmy to explain: “In a nutshell, the movie is about a guy named Adam (played by Bennett Duckworth) whose girlfriend Lynn (Bekah Beran) dumps him, and through some mysterious movie magic, he somehow gets a second chance to make a first impression. It’s a kind of a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets same girl again and again, kind of story.”
Sounds almost like a fantasy number, but The Day I Met Her is no standard issue romantic comedy, says Jimmy:
I think for me, The Day I Met Her is a film about the kind of regret you have in your 30s for that time you wasted in your 20s. In particular, the constant scheming one does in that time of their life to try and make relationships work, which in most cases is all for the wrong reasons. It’s not a ‘I love you and we need to make this work for us’ kind of thing , it’s a ‘I need you and we need to make this work for me’ kind of thing. There’s an inherent creepiness about it, but I think it’s something that a lot of people can relate to, even if they never want to admit it.
Our lead character is at a stage in his life where he’s put so much time into finding and keeping a girlfriend, who he thinks in some way is going to personify who he is, that he’s never really put much stock into himself as a person. And of course, an act of fate or possibly an act of science is going to make him suddenly come face to face with that realization. The movie is kind of a comedy, until it’s not. It’s kind of a drama, but sometimes it isn’t.
It’s Jimmy’s most personal work yet, and also his most adult. A child of the ‘80s who grew up — like many of us — with cable TV and VCR as a somewhat ill-suited nanny, it’s always been his ambition to make a mark through film.
Equal parts influenced by John Waters and George Lucas, Jimmy has spent most of his lifetime behind a camera, starting with the family camcorder up through today, hitting it guerilla-style with lighting supplied by roadside emergency equipment, the finest video camera widely affordable, and store-bought editing software that he’s completely mastered. He’s busting it lo-fi, but the upside is, he’s making exactly what he wants. His voice is entirely his own, and the new project is on a subject that he is passionate about.
When you do a no budget movie like this, you’re not beholden to any particular target audience, so you can do whatever you want and take the viewer on a kind of emotional rollercoaster.
This is my first time doing a film that’s not exclusively a comedy or a farce, so trying to ground the characters and make the film have consequences for our characters was really important to me.
Although he’s leaping into a whole new stratosphere this time, he hasn’t left his influences completely behind:
“It’s a very personal story, but it’s also an homage in a lot of ways to various time travel/time loop films that I loved growing up. Groundhog Day, Back To The Future, those films are like sacred text to me. I’ve always liked playing with the way you can tell a story, as far it being a nonlinear narrative and time travel kind of stories are a perfect playground for that.”
Jimmy works on his projects in gaps of free time between his workday life. It takes a while to finish a two-hour feature; his previous one took over three years to finish. This one began over a year and a half ago, but is nearing completion. He’s planning an October release.
“Right now we’re looking at a theatrical screening in the fall, which I’ll use to make some final tweaks to the movie. I like doing that because a full audience can tell you so much about what’s working and what isn’t. After that, we’ll lock the film down and probably have the DVD released sometime in the winter, along with a small showing.”
The Day I Met Her is set for a single, one-night premiere at the Village 8 (Louisville’s indie answer to Mann’s Chinese Theater) on Sunday, October 9 at 7 p.m.
So what’s next?
“Being that this film has its share of dramatic elements, I’m looking to do some very undramatic things next as a palette cleanser. I’ve had a lot of fun making new content on my YouTube channel recently and I think I’ll continue doing that and I have some ideas on new stuff in that same vein. I do have a short film of the horror variety I’m thinking about doing, but I’m not sure where or how to present that just yet.”
The mind of Jimmy Humphrey is rarely idle.
For more information about The Day I Met Her, check out facebook.com/thedayimethermovie. You can view the trailer for the film below.
Photos: Chris Humphries and Theresa Humphreys