After completing their guerilla documentary "Much Ado About W: Art Wars of Santa Barbara (premiere SBIFF 2007)," co-writers/directors Tina and Michael Love wrote a short dark comedy about anger that they could make in their back yard on a budget of frijoles and tortillas. About nine months later what had started small had morphed into something... modestly bigger: a low budget feature for an ensemble cast.
In October of 2007 casting calls using free services like LA casting, Explore Talent and Craigs List, brought in over one hundred actors from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Production began later that same month. Using Craigs List, the Love's found and connected with twenty-four-year-old, self-taught cinematographer Justin Creamer who lives in nearby Ventura. Craigs List also brought them in contact with Brooks student Cammy Hicks for second camera.
The inspired mishaps, hilarity and low budget adventures in making the movie kept the couple laughing, in bed and out, though not so much when the lead actor from Los Angeles dropped out two days into shooting due to health issues. Miraculously, Craigs List came through again, this time with Bink Goncheroff, a more than worthy replacement from Carpinteria.
Principal photography took place in November and December, and editing began in January 2008. More pickups were done and new scenes added as late as that summer. A major collaborator on the film from the very beginning was composer and associate producer Raphael Atlas. Over the internet from Smith College in North Hampton, Mass where he is a professor of music, Raphael brought his wit and wonderfully inventive musical acumen to the equation.
Many people volunteered to help with this venture in different capacities: professional filmmaker friends loaned equipment and invaluable advice, neighbors took on cleaning and decorating locations, others donated locations (17 locations were used). Somehow the help and things needed were always eventually there, even on the worst day when a major location for the climactic scene was lost and the entire cast and crew had to caravan ten miles over San Marcos Pass to plan B location, where it promptly started to rain, but the shoot went on. Cast and crew became a close-knit team and stuck it out through all the low budget challenges.
Thanks to the cooking skill of Michael's windsurfing buddy and former prison cook Paul, cast and crew always ate well! Tina became concerned when the Santa Barbara police officer playing the role of a bicycle cop turned out to be the same officer she had yelled at when he ticketed her a couple years back. If he remembered, he never let on. The owner of the Santa Barbara Boxing Gym, not only offered his location, but pretended to be knocked out in a sparring match with the actor. The Madonna Inn let the filmmakers shoot in their infamous "waterfall" men's restroom free of charge. Nine months after they began, Cottage Hospital kindly allowed them to film the last scene of the film in the no-longer-in -use birthing center at Goleta Valley. And so production went on, riding a wave of hard work, camaraderie, and generosity. About a year after shooting began, notwithstanding juggling their kids and their day jobs , Michael and Tina completed "Hold It like a Baby". See more