Last year, a pandemic forced many of us to slow down, reassess our lives, and adjust our priorities.Newly released movie Back for GoodWritten and directed by Pittsburgh-born brothers duo Bailey and Molly Donovan, touching on the emotions that lead to great transitions. The film was shot in 2014, but the theme remains important.
“People deserve the opportunity to review their lives. If you act really quickly, it’s hard to do that,” says Bailey. I hope this movie reminds me of creating the life people want. “
Back for Good According to the release, an independent comedy drama following Max Kelly’s story, “An ambitious actor who confronts the quarter-life crisis by breaking up with New York City and returning home to regain the love she left behind.”
The film proudly uses Pittsburgh as a background, and the cast and staff are mostly local.Many of Point Park University’s Bailey classmates are part of production and Chris Fafarios, the bassist of the Pittsburgh-based band. Punch in, Acting debut as Max’s romance partner.
Chris Fafarios And Molly Donovan (📸: @backforgoodfilm)
In addition to the talent of the Steel City, the brothers’ family was sewn into the fabric of the movie. Brothers Joel Mika Donovan will be executive producer, sister Hannah Donovan will lead the makeup department, mother Bobby Donovan will take over the production design, and father Peter Donovan will be Max’s father with Molly. Played in the movie.
The production was backed by Point Park University, where Bailey studied film and digital art, and the non-profit Steeltown Entertainment.
And the good news — what you can do now Stream feature films Delivered on Apple TV and Google Play, it will be available on Amazon Prime later this week.
We watched the movie and caught up with Bailey and Molly before the release. Below is our Q & A edited for clarity and length.
Film cover art by Molly Donovan (📸: @backforgoodfilm)
The 2014 film was produced on a fairly low budget and was shot in just 21 days. Where was the shooting done in the city?
Bailey: We shot at both Brentwood’s parents’ home and our neighbor’s home. I also shot it on Mt. Fuji. Located in Washington, South Side Bar Exterior, South Hills Bar Interior, and Twin Highway Drive In. (Editor’s Note: The drive-in was then demolished and converted to Sheetz.)
This movie was exactly a project led by Pittsburgh. How did the Pittsburgh team come together?
Bailey: It occurred primarily through contact at Point Park. Many of my friends were looking for ambitious projects as the first step in our career before we went on different paths. I knew they had great work ethics and we had great chemical reactions.
Molly: Many people have been very helpful. We were really stepping on the first feature. It was a work with many first-timers. A surprising number of people have stepped up. Whenever I was caught up in an unexpected situation, or when I thought I couldn’t solve things, there was always someone who said, “This works.” It’s just like the people of Pittsburgh, reaffirming the many good points of Pittsburgh and the people here.
Father Peter Donovan, who plays Max’s dad (📸: @backforgoodfilm)
This wasn’t just a Pittsburgh project, it was a family issue. Did you write or perform together when you were young?
Molly: When we were little, we were doing all sorts of things like that. Ballet, theater at home … We generally have a creative family.
Wasn’t it difficult to convince your dad to play your dad in the movie?
Molly: Our father was a mathematics major and a drama minor. He has theatrical blood. We had to awaken it. The relationship between me and my father is concrete and unique. I don’t know what else we did. It was inevitable … he played his own version very well.
Bailey: Actually, he is retiring from active duty and is working as a voice over!
What did it mean to you to make a feature film in Pittsburgh, mostly with a local crew?
Molly: Being able to shoot with the indigenous people of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh was very significant. I can’t forget the day when the department heads met for the first time. It was very moving to see this group and see that very talented young people are ready to dive into this ambitious project with us. Background during filming in New York Actors have told me that they are more organized and professional than some of the big sets they worked on. Further evidence that the talents raised in Pittsburgh are truly special.
Bailey: Pittsburgh thinks it’s fortunate that so many large TV and movie production companies are coming here to shoot. I know a lot of local filmmakers who are doing great work on these projects. However, in many cases, those works bring in many casts and department heads from outside the town and try to film Pittsburgh as New York or another city. So I’m really grateful for the opportunity to focus my local talents on a leading position and draw Pittsburgh in a way that only the locals can really understand.
What are you most proud of in this movie?
Bailey: It may sound obvious, but I’m infinitely proud of the cast and crew. It’s just their professionalism and the quality of their work, especially in that situation. Most of the crew had just graduated from school and were running on a limited budget, so they had little time. Therefore, there were many excuses for not working at the highest level. Still, I’m still in awe of what we were able to accomplish together. Thanks to the great producers, I was able to do everything with a safe and polite set, eating hot food and without overtime.
Molly: I’m most proud of the existence of this movie. It may sound strange, but I think it’s basically a miracle that a movie is made. No matter how organized, we are fighting obstacles from all directions along the way. There are many things that have stopped the existence of this movie. But our crew and cast were really great. The care and dedication they put into this project is overwhelming every time I think about it. I am very proud to be able to work with them. And we are very proud to have achieved what we were trying to do. I made a movie together.
Mountain Washington scene (📸: @backforgoodfilm)
Do you have a favorite scene (no spoilers!)?
Molly: I don’t have a favorite scene, but shooting on Mt. Washington made my dream come true.
Bailey: There’s no spoilers, but the last 15 minutes of the movie fascinate me every time — and just in case, I’ve seen this literally thousands of times. This is Molly and the other Reed (Julia, Julia,). I think it’s the height of the chemistry between Peter and Ian). Their performances are very warm and authentic. Every time I see them, it feels like a new experience. The actors are amazing.
What do you want people to take away from this movie?
Bailey: I hope people will remove this self-confidence and self-love. People deserve the opportunity to review their lives, but when they act really quickly, it becomes difficult to do so. Some people think they deserve it and solve it. I hope this movie reminds me of creating the life people want.
Molly: We are very humble in the idea of success as an artist. Being in it may seem wrong, and if you’re not kind to yourself, you may be separated from reality … and sometimes you need to check with someone who cares about you. It is also a fact. You can also look it up yourself. It’s about reevaluation and it’s not a bad thing to do it.
I never returned to Pittsburgh (Editor’s Note: Like the character Max.) It was just a “what if” scenario. This was written when I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing or what I was doing. This movie explores something that sways in the mind when many people are in that transition.
What is the future of the Donovan brothers?
Molly: I have another feature script that I plan to co-direct.It is called Audrey and the wolf, Set in the current New York City. It’s like a modern fairy tale — an encounter between a beauty, a beast, and a succession to the throne.In some respects it is quite different Back for GoodThe scale of the story is large, dealing with themes such as privilege, power, and the temptations that accompany it. Basically, this is a very personal relationship story and we look forward to sharing it.
Bailey: As Molly said, we are working together on another feature. It was a great learning experience with different kinds of stories. In general, working with Molly helped me understand how important it is to work with people with different life experiences, especially in the writing process. Obviously, there are many people who are different from me than Molly, but I still learned a lot. Working with brothers and sisters allows for a very rare kind of collaboration. You get something like unconditional love and respect, the door to a truly solid creative process. You can open it. I’m really happy to continue working with you.
Just for fun
What is Bailey’s favorite activity at “Rose”? What is your favorite place to eat a bite?
Bailey: I love running and walking in Flick Park. You can meet many wonderful dogs. From time to time, while driving on the Liberty Bridge, you “accidentally” enter the wrong lane and are forced to drive in the mountains. Washington. Before the pandemic, my favorite thing was to meet other artists and watch their movies, plays and music. There’s a very cool art scene here, so I’m still just tracing the surface. I decided to move to veganism during a pandemic, so I’m slowly discovering great vegan food in the area. Onion Maiden and B52 are great, and Spak Bros makes killer vegan buffalo Seitan pizza. Pages Dairy Mart has been my staple food since I was a kid, so I miss the ice cream anymore, but now that I have oatmeal ice cream, I’ve been to it three times already this year. I would also like to thank Kings Family Restaurant and Charley’s Subs. I can’t really imagine how I would have made this movie without them.
The same question for Molly, what do you have to do or visit when you get home?Molly: I don’t know how many times I was picked up at the Megabass drop-off and taken directly to Mad Mex. I go there at least once. Brunching in Zenith is one of my favorite experiences in Pittsburgh. Engaging the whole family in a brunch in Zenith is not difficult at all. Whenever I’m in town, I go to a thrift shop. Pittsburgh has the best. Also, highway robbery vintage! I want to live in that store if possible. Their products are so great that they order them on their website and have them shipped to New York. I love going for a drive when I visit. I always go to Mount Washington at least once, but Pittsburgh looks beautiful from every angle.