Q&A with directors Will McCormack and Michael Govier (spoilers follow)
How did this come about?
We met in the most unlikely of places: an acting class in the valley. We became fast friends. And since we’re both writers, we would meet in the park for avocado sandwiches to volley new ideas, as writers do. We were both interested in writing about grief and wrestling with the loss in our own lives.
How did the collaboration between you two work out?
We both created and directed the film and were there for all parts of the filmmaking process. We both just love to collaborate. We came up in the theatre and love that communal experience of collaboration. It’s exhilarating. Artist inspiring other artists. We sought everyone’s input and created a climate for everyone’s voice to be heard. One difference was Michael was a producer on the film and ran a lot of the production elements, while Will was an executive producer and helped secure financing.
Have you heard from anyone who has had personal experience with this? What has that response been like?
So many people who have lost loved ones have reached out to us. Maybe thousands.
As storytellers, it’s been the most rewarding connection of our lives. “If Anything Happens I Love You” has been such a cathartic experience.
Music plays such a vital role in this. Can you talk about how you landed on some of the music choices here?
In a film without any dialogue, the music was paramount. One alarming statistic that our EP Robyn Klein shared with us: Only 6% of all film composers are women. Lindsay Marcus composed most of the score for the whole film. In a film that is 12 minutes long she created 8-plus minutes of music. We also had the Inner-City Youth Orchestra of LA, run by Charles Dickerson, arrange and perform the “Beautiful Dreamer” section of the film. We were thrilled to have King Princess’ “1950” in the film. It’s an anthemic ballad, perfect for our story needs.
How did Laura Dern and Netflix get involved?
Laura Dern and her producing partner Jayme Lemons saw an early animatic of the film, loved it, and graciously joined the team. They both work closely with Everytown for Gun Safety, so this story was a perfect fit for them. Netflix got wind of the film and they had an internal screening. The next thing we knew, we were in 200 million homes.
So, now the film is on Netflix and has become quite a sensation, which I know you didn’t see coming. I mean, this just doesn’t happen with short films. What has this part of the journey been like for you?