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Sometimes it is fun to play that game "What were you doing at this time last year?" At this time last year I was getting ready to shoot the movie, we would begin shooting it in just about three weeks. We were busy picking the paint for Christine's room and the exact sticker to go on Andrew's window. I had saved ads from Sav-On and Rite-Aide for weeks and when my friend Susan said Let's hang out, I said Ok! But do you mind if we cut out hundreds of pictures of household appliances while we talk?

Susan Ploetz cutting out pictures for Sylvie's" scrapbook"

I enlisted other friends too, like Sean Tejeratchi, who designed my cd and video covers when we were both living in Portland. Now he was in charge of all the graphics for the movie. There are more graphics than one realizes, including things like this:


Sean made the test paper and wrote the graffiti. But sadly this desk never made it in to the movie.

On the day we shot the museum scenes I remember glancing down at one of the captions for the art work and then laughing out loud:





As the shoot went on we all began to notice that Sean was taking every opportunity to work possums in to the movie graphics. Like in one scene a student holds a bottle of juice:


The label Sean made to replace the Odwalla label.

A rumor began to circulate on the set that Sean had in fact tamed a baby possum and was living with it. Emily (assistant art director) confirmed this, she had dropped something by his house and witnessed the animal running around on a homemade habitrail which spanned his apartment. (Oh - Sean just called as I was typing this! I told him I was writing about him and he requested that I use the phrase "he has an air of..." ) One day, right before Sundance, I went over to his house in a mad panic, we had to design the poster for the movie immediately. We had been working feverishly for about an hour, when suddenly Sean turned to me. "Do you want to meet Chumpy?" he asked.


Chumpy is hard not to love. He has an air of forgiveness about him. Like he might forgive us all for all the things we don't do well enough. Does Chumpy care about the poster? No. Chumpy doesn't even care if the movie does well. What he wants is a dark, safe place to nestle. And I can really relate to that.

Posted by Miranda July on June 13, 2005 | Permalink