Applause typically greets the credits of an independent film making its debut. However, that wasn’t so when “A Good Enough Day” was screened Monday night at Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
More than 100 guests attending the special screening of Spokane native Trevor St. John’s film were silent at the conclusion of the film. However, that was hardly a negative reaction.
The audience was gripped by the emotional story of a terminal father, whose life was derailed after the death of his teenage son. The dad, played by St. John, who attempts to reconnect with his daughter emotes at the end of the film, so the audience, which feels for the protagonist, was in a state as the movie concluded.
“I didn’t know what would happen, but the people who came out were gobsmacked,” producer and director of photography Don Hamilton said. “You could hear a pin drop. I’m guessing it’s a good thing.”
Good guess. The clever film, with a $100,000 budget, was shot almost entirely not only in Spokane or in Kendall Yards but also at Dean and Walnut, which is where Hamilton’s studio is located. “We did it all here at Felony Flats,” Hamilton said. “Everything but a bridge scene was shot from within 200 feet of the studio.”
“A Good Enough Day” is an intimate, deep film driven by story, not effects. “We were encouraged by the acceptance of ‘Nomadland,’ ” Hamilton said. “That film is very dialogue-driven. We robbed the tomb of ‘Nomadland.’ ”
There is some great improvisation, which propels the film forward. “That’s what the scene with Mercy Sanchez is,” Hamilton said. “Mercy is the church secretary of the Catholic Church (St. Joseph’s) across the street. Mercy improvised the scene with Trevor, and it worked out beautifully.”
The conflict in the film is gripping. “One of the tenets of screenwriting is to really throw the kitchen sink at your protagonist to make his life as difficult as possible,” St. John said by phone from Los Angeles. “How can we stop this guy? We want to make it impossible for him. The hill he has to climb has to be steep.”
The film’s producers have to climb a steep hill. Film festivals are very competitive. Hamilton and his co-producer, Lorna St. John, have sent “A Good Enough Day” to Sundance and South by Southwest.
“This is an interesting, bizarre, little film,” Hamilton said. “We’re not going to outdo Marvel, but that’s all right. The screening we had at the Fox is encouraging. … In a way, I can die happy since the film screened at the Fox. But I want to see what can happen next.”
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