Progress

I’m thrilled that my short film, Rock and a Hard Place has been well received by those who’ve read the script. To hear such good actors praise the script feels wonderful. There are now four actors who’ve committed to the project and I couldn’t be happier.

Image

Peter Campbell was the lead in my last short film, Upon Reflection. I look forward to seeing his portrayal of this new character. I know he’ll be great.

Image

Stacey Iseman is an accomplished actress whom I saw as a perfect fit for this project. Luckily she said yes and I couldn’t be happier.

Image

I had Aieron Munro’s face in my mind as I wrote one of the parts of this film. Of course he wasn’t quite so handsome and happy in my vision. I was thrilled when he agreed to be part of the production.

Image

I watched a lot of footage of Tyler Parr and knew pretty early on that he was perfect for this project. Best part of all is that he accepted the challenge and I can’t wait to see this man bring that character to life.

There is still a long way to go before we get on set, not the least of which is filling out the final role and landing a Director of Photography. Then there’s the little matter of crowdfunding this project which will be no easy task. Am I excited? Damn right I am. These are incredibly talented people that will make this film amazing and will help me be a better director. I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled at the progress of this project.

Stay tuned.

Advertisements

What’s In A Name?

It’s a big deal, the title of a film, short or feature. How many times have you picked up a book because you liked the title? Think of how often you hear a title of a film and your ears perk up with curiosity or excitement. Think of what happens when you hear or see a title that has the opposite affect. It’s my first opportunity to connect with an audience and it’s one I take very seriously.

My decision made on my next film, it’s time to edit and rewrite that script until it shines. I was going through it again last night and suddenly realized that I didn’t like the working title, Injustice For All. It’s a negative, it’s formal and it really doesn’t say what’s at the core of the film. So, I kept editing and it hit me. It was clear and made sense and was familiar to people. I turned back to the title page of the script and wrote, Rock And A Hard Place.

ImageThe name not only describes the dilemma facing every character in the film, it’s also easy to digest. It speaks to the heart of the film.

Our justice system doesn’t always seem to work, at least not from where most of us sit, on the outside of it. We see people getting slaps on the wrist for what are serious crimes and it’s upsetting. I’ve written several pieces, both fiction and non, that address this issue. This is the one piece that I feel opens a discussion on justice or the lack of it and also entertains people with a gritty story.

A couple experienced a terrifying home invasion years ago and arrive home to find the man responsible for that crime tied up in their basement. What do they do?

Rock And A Hard Place. Yes?

Timing

Of the three projects that I’m considering, all are definitely possible to shoot. One thing that I have to consider is when I can shoot them. Given that two have the option of shooting in any season, they have to be given priority. But which of those two should be first up?

I’ve decided on a script tentatively titled, Injustice For All. It stands at fourteen minutes and will use the talents of five actors. Aside from the obvious timing, why this script over the other? Location, location, location; I’ll only need three locations. Length not withstanding, this should make the shoot a lot easier; no moving people and gear. This will make the shoot less stressful for actors and crew – including yours truly. The cinematographer will only have three locations to light and that will definitely make life easier for them.

This is not going to be simple. No film ever is. I’ve tried to think ahead and mitigate any problems that will occur. The next phase is going to be difficult – finding talent to help me bring this story to life.

Fingers crossed. Stay tuned.Image

Choices

Every film I make takes me one step closer to my ultimate goal of directing my first feature film. Though it certainly may not have been evident between shorts one and two, I stretched myself and learned even more about my capabilities, or the lack of them. That progression will always be my aim with each short I attempt. My next certainly will push me in new directions, the most important of which is finding the right people to the jobs that I so foolishly attempted in my first two films. I will be relying on a cinematographer for my next film and I’m hoping to fill other key roles as well.

Before I can make any of that happen I must choose my next project. You’d think that would be easy, right? So did I but I found a few barriers in the way of making a decision.

Image

One of the things I had to do when writing scripts was take off my producer’s hat; I found myself changing the story because of costs or availability or any number of restrictions. All that did was restrict my creativity and storytelling abilities. I needed to tell the story first and worry about the production later.

I’ve completed three scripts for short films ranging from eight to fourteen minutes. Time is not a constraint, though I do prefer a shorter film so, if I choose the longer script I expect there will be some trimming.

One of the considerations for my choice is cost. How much will the budget have to be in order to complete the film. I’ve made rough estimates and of course the script that will cost the most to produce is the story I want to tell. The funny thing is it’s the shortest of the three scripts.

I’ve started trimming down some costly elements all with an eye on maintaining the story. For instance, I had a late 1500s ballroom dance scene with ten dancers, two of whom were my leads. Now, I’ve rewritten the scene to be just the leads (a more intimate dance) and moved it outdoors with one violinist (as opposed to an orchestra or quartet). The actors/dancers were really not the biggest cost in that scene; I’ve gone from ten actors in period formal wear to two actors in period garb that I’ve yet to decide on. And, one musician instead of four or more.

I’ll try to get as much free anything as possible but I know there will be costs involved. Having said that, what was looking like a $100,000 film is going to cost a fraction of that. There is still much to be decided, but I know now what story I want to tell and thanks to putting on a creative producer’s hat, it’s possible.

Stay tuned.