Rodrigo Lopresti was part of the team for A Song Still Inside from the moment of it’s inception. In fact, the film was inspired by a conversation he had while director Gregory Collins was in New York sleeping on his couch. “We ended up having a drink and sharing some ideas on the things we have experienced, and that’s where the idea was really conceived,” Lopresti recalls. “Then he went back to Pennsylvania and the next thing I know I have an email come into my account. He had written a one-page synopsis and laid out the whole concept for the film.”
Less than four years later, that film, A Song Still Inside, in finished form is getting ready to debut at the Sarasota Film Festival. Lopresti plays the lead, Mike, and will be here for the premiere
Of course, Lopresti’s life experiences aren’t exactly the same as Mike’s. In the film, Mike is a stay-at-home dad, while Lopresti has no children. But like Mike, he does know what it’s like to be a frustrated actor and filmmaker who can’t seem to find work easily while the person he is in a relationship with has jobs rolling in.
At the time Collins was on his couch, Lopresti was in a relationship with a woman he dated for 10 years. That relationship has since ended, but he learned a lot then about the sacrifices one has to make with any long-term commitment. ‘You will always have money issues, and you will have sacrifices you have to make between the thing you love and your relationship,” he said. “Obviously, having a baby is a whole other thing to have in there.”
Mike throughout the film grows increasingly frustrated with the limitations that come with parenthood but which nobody warns you about in advance. I can tell you that when I watched the film, as a father of two children myself, the struggles of Mike were truly captivating. The challenges of showing up to meetings with a writing partner while bring a baby along will speak to anyone whoever told themselves, ‘I have work to do at the office, but I’ll bring the kid along. It’ll be no big deal.’ In other words, Mike makes the same mistakes many of us do.
And then he makes more. On multiple occasions, he leaves baby Seth alone for moments while he leaves the apartment, and the time away only grows. Temptations to take truly neglectful action for the sake of convenience eventually drive Mike to make mistakes with the potential to destroy his family. Lopresti doesn’t know anybody who has been so bold, but talked to plenty of friends who felt similar temptation. “My friends with babies just had all these crazy stories.”
Lopresti knows the Sunshine State well, having grown up in Miami, but has never been to Sarasota. He said he excited to see a reaction from the audience at the premiere, and to meet with as many people while in Sarasota as possible.
The film premieres Wednesday, April 10 at 6:45pm, then screens a second time Friday, April 12 at 2:30pm