Week One Tasks

The first week of preproduction is now well underway. Cooper and I are up to our elbows in work, but we’re off to a great start and on track. Her organizational skills are vital to this partnership. I contribute boundless energy, dogged tenacity and the ability to do more than one thing at a time. I do need to have someone help put my focus in the right place., which takes us back to Coop. Complimentary skill sets, just like when we’re writing.

We formed a new production company. Last year, we called it Chegg Productions, a name coined by our editor Matt, a combination of “chicken” and “egg”, as in, which comes first. We are now 202 Productions, named after Cafe 202, a coffee shop on Route 202 where we did a lot of the writing of MY SPIRITED SISTER. 202 Productions is officially registered as a business, and we’ve got a business bank account for our funding. Much better for keeping track of the budget.

We’ve also got the first draft of our budget. In films, budgets are revised, just as scripts are. We have almost double the funding we had last year, but we still need to spend it wisely. Using what we learned while making ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? has been a huge help.

We also have our shooting dates locked in. Six day shoot, the first three weekends in November. No three week break in between like we had last year. What a momentum killer that was. So glad we don’t have to do that again.

We’ve got our Line Producer/Unit Production Manager, Director of Photography, Editor, Gaffer, Sound Recordist, Post Production Sound Mixer, Hair and Make up artist and our 1st assistant director for the first weekend. It’s a great start. We’ve got feelers out for a Script Supervisor, Production Coordinator and Production Assistants.

We’ve started discussing casting and a couple of actors have asked us for the opportunity to audition. Very nice. It’s a great project and people are interested. It’s always helpful when your cast and crew are excited about the film.

Casting is really one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire filmmaking process. Cooper and I both love it. We were very excited to discuss it today in a phone call. We’re really eager to start seeing actors as well as begin rehearsals.

Location scouting is also one the tasks we are starting. It’s fun too and essential to our success. We’re also hoping to find an art director/production designer. That was one of the areas where ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? was lacking. This time, we don’t want to neglect that aspect of production.

That’s enough of my rambling. You’re up to date. Nothing truly exciting has happened, but it will. Stay tuned.

Setting Dates and My Color Palette

We had a production meeting tonight and made solid progress.  I was able to report good news to my team.  I found a car for a key scene in the film.  Our filmmaker protagonist and his wife drive to a country inn.  We need shots of them on the road and then exiting the car in front of the inn.  As a successful filmmaker, he needs to have an expensive car.  I placed an ad and a very nice gentlemen who is in the business is allowing us to us his Chevy Corvette at a very reasonable rate.  We’ve been very lucky so far.  There seems to be great support for the independent film community here in Connecticut.

Another piece of good news is that I was contacted by a very experienced camera operator who is volunteering his time and skills to us as an assistant camera person/lighting person.  We now have two people in that position, which will greatly facilitate the shoot.  Our new AC also has connections and is working on finding us a sound mixer, boom operator and perhaps an art director.  I am really sweating my lack of a sound crew.  Good sound is essential to a quality movie.

We also set a number of dates starting with our shooting dates.  We are shooting on consecutive weekends in October, 13 and 14, then 20 and 21.  This will give us enough time to prepare, the weather should be cool, but not cold and the falls colors on the trees will enhance the visual quality of the film.  At least I hope so.  Weather can be quite uncooperative.

As we still have three speaking roles to fill, we set a date for casting.  We’re going to use a casting site and put out an ad for actors to submit their headshots and resumes to the site.  Then we choose the ones who look promising to come in and read.  This will be an interesting experience for me.  I have auditioned many times.  This time, I will be the auditioner rather than the auditionee.  Fun!

A rehearsal date was also set.  I’m not going into detail there.  You all know what rehearsal is and this post is rather dull at this point.  So, let’s move on to something more fun and interesting.  And personal.  Everyone seems to like when I reveal personal stuff.

We were discussing things like set design and wardrobe and how coordinating colors makes for better shots and a more visually pleasing film.  The topic of color palettes for different skin, hair and eye colors came up.  You know how some people are winter, summer etc.  Now, I have never thought about any of this in relation to myself.  I dress primarily for comfort.  My clothes are always clean and not torn or anything, but certainly not fashionable.  I wear a lot of blue, solely because all of my favorite sports teams have blue as their main color.

Since I am playing one of the leads, people asked me what colors I wear and what my palette was.  I have no idea.  Well, that is going to change.  One of our co-producers is an experienced make up artist.  She is going to take me clothes shopping and work out what my palette is.  This is very funny to me.  It’s not something I ever thought I would do.  It’s not a macho thing, I find nothing wrong with a man choosing his fashions to look his best.  It’s just not something that I do.  My looks are not my strong suit, so I really don’t worry about them.

I am going along with this because it will help the production value of our film.  I will do anything that will make this movie better.  I also trust my team.   It’s part of the game plan: surround myself with people who know what they’re doing and let them do it.  It’s going to be funny.  I will probably laugh the whole time.  The whole concept of me looking at wardrobe and enhancing my appearance is so foreign to me.  But if I’m going to act in a film, I guess that’s part of the deal.

I will definitely post about the experience.  I’m sure you’re all dying to know what season I am.  My favorite season is summer, I was born in June.  But I don’t think it works that way.  I really am a dedicated artist.