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Written on Your Face was a long time in the making. Before we made our first short, El Caffinato, we already had a draft of this script sitting on the shelf, collecting dust. As it’s such a low-concept story, you might wonder why we decided to pick it up again, dust it off, and bring it to life. We had our doubts, too, but felt an abiding interest in these characters—Oscar’s earnest obliviousness, Anna’s wit and hidden feelings, Brian’s intellect and mischievous impulses, Morty’s quirky perspective on life. When we revisited the script, we felt compelled to explore these characters’ voices, their relationships, the contrast of their ideologies, their age.

College graduation looms quietly in the background of this film. “Have a wonderful summer! Seniors—good luck with your next steps,” calls the professor as the students finish what is, perhaps, their last class ever. The events of our story unfold in a period of limbo, between the end of classes and the beginning of exams. As graduation begins to seem real, a seismic shift in verb tense occurs: the question is no longer, “Who will you be someday?” but rather, “Who are you now?” It requires you to make a proclamation of sorts, but your first attempt to answer that question may be flat out wrong.

As “someday” catches up with our characters, they try to change their status quo, but do so with varying degrees of self-knowledge, delusion, and denial. We felt interested in the confusion, angst, and innocence of that moment. Our hero, Oscar writes “lines” for himself and rehearses the things he’ll say to Heather, a distant crush, while ignoring the affections of his best friend, Anna; in a sense, he is writing himself a part in a different movie, a “carpe diem” story about the guy who triumphantly goes after his dream girl before it’s too late. Maybe he imagines himself as part of Can’t Hardly Wait, another story about distant crushes, graduation and misplaced letters, but we took our story left where that movie went right. Much as Oscar thinks his story is about seizing the day, the story we wanted to tell was one in which he has to learn where his heart truly lies.

As we completed the film, we were surprised to find more melancholy notes in it than we had expected. We think this comes of our interest in interiority, and our acknowledgment that comic circumstances are often experienced with inner turmoil. Written on Your Face is a movie about wasted time and about discovering that you’re totally and completely wrong about yourself at a rather decisive moment—a moment when it would probably be a whole lot better to be right.

Then again, the convoluted journey to that moment of epiphany is an important part of the process. It is with great affection that we watch our characters walk their tangled paths, which may be the only real way for them to get where they need to go.