How Lemons Grew
The inspiration and process behind the short film, Lemons.
Before moving to Tennessee from Boston, I learned the disturbing story of people I had known most of my life. They had been abused by their caregiver in unimaginable ways for decades.
Discovering this changed the way I saw the world. I imagined having to cope with that; being unable to speak of it.
Once I became exposed to the mannerly culture of the South, I’ll admit it concerned me. I knew the implications of not saying what needed to be said outright; the dangers of social acquiescence.
These thoughts festered in my mind for years. Writing Lemons became a way for me to try and articulate them. I knew the script had to communicate the disturbing aspects of abuse, but I didn’t want to show the abuse itself.
From the beginning, the film was essentially a writing exercise. I wanted the challenge of writing a script that would evoke the torment of both abuser and survivor.
That changed while auditing a local acting class. A scene was performed that demonstrated exactly what I had imagined for the demeanor of Deborah. The performing actor was Dianne Berry; she went on not only to star in the film, but became Executive Producer as well.
Soon after, Amanda Young came on board as a producer, bringing Nathan Thompson on as both cinematographer and executive producer.
Jared Carter left us all stunned after his reading for Edwin, and we cast him on the spot.
Everything was locked in, and the only thing we were missing was a location. We were down to 6 days, thousands of dollars committed to cast, crew and gear. We had even flown crew in from LA. Still no location.
Amanda worked her magic and secured the perfect Tudor mansion conveniently hidden in my own neighborhood. It already contained 60% of the props we needed. Lucky break!
We now had over 30 people working toward getting this picture made. The film was shot over 3 days on location, with 2 days in the studio.
After picture locked, the other key post-production roles came into play and we moved forward on Lemons whenever time allowed.
Two years after the first draft, the film was complete.
Writer / Director — Simon Werdmüller von Elgg
Actor / Executive Producer — Dianne Berry
Cinematographer / Executive Producer — Nathan Thompson
Producer — Amanda Young
Actor — Jared Carter
For a full cast and crew list, visit our Website