Sibling duo releases characteristic movie Again for Good | shot in Pittsburgh Display | Pittsburgh

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Photo: Courtesy of Bailey and Molly Donovan

Molly Donovan in Back for Good

Independent filmmaking requires a lot of collaboration and a cool head as the process challenges those involved to handle budgets, location scouting, and other tasks. Fortunately, Bailey and Molly Donovan, the sibling duo behind the Pittsburgh-based independent film Back for Good, appear to have an above-average brother-sister relationship.

“People are mostly amazed that we can do this,” says Bailey, who grew up with Molly and his family in the South Hills neighborhood of Brentwood. Shortly after graduating from Point Park University’s Cinema and Digital Arts Program, he co-wrote and directed the film with Molly. “Nobody comes and says, ‘You know, I work with my siblings all the time.'”

Back for Good, which was released on Friday June 4th on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play, is a huge feat not only for the two of them but for their entire family during the Pittsburgh leg The production has filled various roles (the film was also partially shot in New York City). Molly, a working actress currently based in New York City, starred alongside her father Peter in the film. Her sister Hannah did makeup, and her older brother Joel, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and co-founder of DragonWake Films (Bailey is also a founder), served as executive producer. Her mother, Bobbi, served as a production designer.

Bailey and Molly, who based the film on their own professional struggles, point out that the film was a true Pittsburgh affair beyond their own family. The crew consisted mostly of local film professionals, including many of Bailey’s Point Park classmates. They also worked with other local filmmakers like Justin and Pat Francart, two cousins ​​who make short films together.

They also filmed many of Pittsburgh’s landmarks such as Mount Washington and the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In, as well as restaurants in the South Hills and South Side.

The plot may sound familiar to many millennials who at some point in their lives have been forced to move home due to a number of factors. It follows Max, an aspiring actress who “faces her quarter life crisis by separating from New York City and returning home to reclaim the love she left,” according to a press release.

Molly, who attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, says the film is based on her own life and the struggles that come with working as a young actor .

“I was definitely frustrated,” says Molly. “If you don’t get a lot of signs that everything you do is the right choice for your life, especially when you are pretty young, wonder if you are really on the right track. Are these bad? Days Signs I’m doing something wrong? Or does it just feel like that when you’re trying to do something hard … And it was definitely based on a lot of things I was feeling, you know?, Kind of questioning, kind of Reassessment of things. “
Molly and Bailey agree that while they grew up in an “art-sponsored household” where they even put on small plays as children, they never planned to work together as adults. After Molly wrote the first draft of Back for Good, he showed it to Bailey and asked if he would direct.

“My answer was, absolutely, because I had just got out of film school and I was looking, you know, what should be my first step after school?” says Bailey. “I wanted to try to immerse myself in a project that was really important to me and that was ambitious. And I couldn’t think of a better project than something Molly had written.”

After working on the script together, the pair began filming in late 2014 and finished production in 21 days. The film hit the festival scene where it won various awards at the NYC Chain Film Festival and the Atlanta Underground Film Festival.

While the two had previously worked on short films both together and separately, Back for Good is their first feature film. As a result, Molly and Bailey say they went through a learning curve, especially with regards to distribution. They finally decided to distribute themselves.

“It was kind of a whirlwind because we went from festival to festival and Molly and I zigzagged around the country together,” says Bailey.

Bailey believes that while the city attracts a number of large studio projects, from big budget films to prestigious television shows, it lacks a focus on the local filmmaking community.

“People I went to school with and other Pittsburgh movie people are working on it [outside projects] and do a great job, ”says Bailey. “But it’s rare to have a Pittsburgh-born project with a local crew in all positions. So we were very excited to be able to put this together. “

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Chris Fafalios (left) and Molly Donovan in Back for Good - PHOTO: Courtesy of BAILEY AND MOLLY DONOVAN

Photo: Courtesy of Bailey and Molly Donovan

Chris Fafalios (left) and Molly Donovan in Back for Good

They point out that the film was made possible largely thanks to support from the Pittsburgh community. They credit Point Park University and the Pittsburgh Steeltown nonprofit for serving as donors to the project. Molly says a lot of people also donated locations or food for the cast and crew.

In addition, Chris Fafalios, bassist for the Pittsburgh-based band Punchline, took on his first acting role as Max’s love interest and also contributed the music for the film.

“There were just a lot of people willing to expand,” says Molly.

For now, while the film is only streamed, they’re planning on hosting a personal Pittsburgh premiere at some point.

Bailey says the experience brought him and Molly closer together and showed the dedication and generosity of Pittsburgh filmmakers.

“I’m really honored to have worked with the people we’ve done, and I’m so proud of the work they’ve done,” says Bailey. “I think it turned out great.”

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