Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day #19: Always Working

Happy 4th of July everyone!

While I am heading out to go see my little hometown parade with the wife, and I'll probably be enjoying the standard fare of barbecue and fireworks, I will still be working.

There's a great scene in a brilliant an little known foreign horror film THEM, in which a cute young teacher comes home to her loving husband, a writer, who's at work on his next book.

She asks him to stop working so they can eat dinner. He smiles and says, "A writer is always working." He saves his work and closes the application. "I'm still working." He shuts down his laptop and closes it. "I'm still working." He chases after his wife, laughing as he tickles her. "And I'm still working."

No matter how hard I try, in the back of my mind, I will always be thinking about Another Life. I'm always working. Which reminds me of an idea for a good shot... where's that pen...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day #18: Holiday Weekend Homework

Cinematography meeting is postponed to Monday.

Which is good. Kind of. The Tone Book is done, and I'm quite proud of it, but the shot lists aren't done and need some good, hard work.

I will be working all weekend on the shot lists as well as Camera Movement clips for the tone book and another draft of the script.

I met with my mentor, Pablo, Thursday at 6 PM. My dialogue scenes with Scott and Angela aren't quite there. He gave me some good pointers: Scott has the gift of the gab while Angela is never comfortable speaking. He also helped me figure out a more devastating and real dialogue exchange for the balcony scene.

And there's so much to do in the next two weeks: we have until July 17th to greenlight the film. To do that we need:
  • a final script (working on it)
  • a final budget
  • a final schedule
  • storyboards
In those documents is the built-in hard work that we have locked locations and all key crew members (stunt coordinator, make-up, studio teacher, and more), we've fully coordinated safety plans for all the prop-gun scenes, we have reached agreements or made purchases/rentals with all of equipment houses in every department.

That means lots of meetings and a location scout this week. All the while, I need to work on storyboards and rehearsals.

But tonight, I'm going to see Public Enemies and do laundry with the wife. I'm so whipped and I love it.

Tomorrow... I will be enjoying the 4th of July with my family.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day #16: Filmed in...

Our pitch at Panavision went quite well!

For those who don't know, we pitched our film to Ric Halpern at Panavision, Inc. who's in charge of the New Filmmaker Program there. To paraphrase, if they like you're film, they see artistic merit in the story and visual design, and they see that your crew and production plans are professional and well put together, they offer a top of the line camera package for free.

The producers -- Liz, Mitsuyo, and Min -- all got there early along with our cinemtagorapher, Jay. He just came back from shooting a doc feature in New Mexico on a Native American reservation, which sounded fascinating.

It was great to see all of us dressed up (looking so sexy) with a great pitch packet and some well-rehearsed little speeches.

We prepared for Ric to sit back and hear all of us talk, but instead, he asked each of us pointed questions, which threw us off guard at first, but I'm confident that in our words and in our packet that our experience, professionalism, and talent shined through and showed more than enough artistic merit to impress Panavision.

Fingers crossed!

After that, Liz and I met with Cheryl, our casting director, and we reviewed the audition tapes. After 2,000 submissions and around 50 auditioning actors, we narrowed it down to :
  • 6 Angelas
  • 4 Dougs
  • 3 Scotts
I was very impressed with Liz and Cheryl (and her assistant, Chance -- brilliant young talent) and their insightful input on all the actors. After viewing all the top choices, and talking with them, it was amazing how simple it was to choose those 13 actors and actresses.

Now I need to put together the Callbacks schedule, e-mail that to Cheryl, and get back on top of the production book and shot lists!

Tomorrow, I swear to the Higher Powers of Cinema, I will have my production book DONE. Stay tuned and take a look!