Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2 steps forward, 1 back

Frustrating start to the week.

Got a call from the DOP on Monday. He called to let me know that he got accepted to a school of some sort out in Toronto. Good for him. Unfortunately, classes start for him 1 week before I shoot my film. Bad for me. He ain't gonna be here. Looks like I'll have to start looking for a new one. This is a big blow.

However, two steps forward include the addition of our Key make up person and Script supervisor, both of whom I have worked with before and look forward to seeing again. So a little movement forward.

Now, hopefully everyone else will fall into place over the next 2 weeks, and I will be all crewed up.

Won't do me any good if I don't have a cast.

25 days out and looks like I have a lot of work to do.

Pray for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tour Day

It was Post Production Facility Tour Day today! Gathered up my editor Alan, my mentor Tom and joined the other teams to look at what the post production world had to offer.

Now for all my other shorts, my whole post production department consisted of me, myself and I, with the help of my wife and my producer. So while I know a little about editing the video, mixing the audio and correcting the colour, the people I met today are absolutely the best in their field.

The picture editing part of the tour was rather basic. Editing suites, formats and more frightening warnings about using the Red camera system. I'm surprised that so many of the other teams are still going to use the Red after the dire warnings. I guess they have a team from the top down that knows the camera and the workflows needed to successfully use the system. They also have some time to discuss things with the post production people before they go to camera.

Anywho, after the editing facility, it was off to 2 post production sound houses. Both were fascinating. Like I said before, a full post production sound package for $2,500.00! And you get the same treatment as a big budget Hollywood feature would get. The cool parts of the package are the sound design, the foley work, and being able to sit in on the mixing, watching your film come to life right before your eyes. I can't wait.

The only drawback is that I underestimated the amount of time needed by the audio post production team, so it looks like the release date now gets pushed a few weeks. Oh well.

So it looks like I'm going to make the date change official tomorrow. Lost one crew member, my Costume Designer. Hopefully I can find someone as good as her. She opened my eyes to some things I hadn't thought about, and the short will be better for having her along this far. Thanks Maya.

30 days until we go to camera. Need to get a cast, find a new costume designer, production manager, 1st AD and script supervisor. It seems I don't have as much time as I think.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On the ground - At full stop

Things aren't going smoothly.

Got a call from the Producer informing me that both he and the Executive Producer would like to push our filming dates a week or so. Schedules aren't syncing, people are becoming unavailable, Casting, or lack thereof, is becoming a real issue. Something I didn't want to do. I was really hoping to get this thing in the can and a rough edit done before the end of February, but that doesn't seem as if it's going to happen. Little bit of disappointment, but oh well. The whole reason for getting it done before the end of February was to apply to one particular film festival in Toronto. But at this point, not everyone will be available for our filming on the 7th and 8th, and trying to rush things like casting won't help the project in the long term. I'll just end up settling for whatever cast I can get, and I would rather push filming by a week or two than not get the cast and performances I need. And by pushing, hopefully my 1st AD will be able to help out on set. Pushing is the best thing to do.

So now we film on the 21st and 22nd of February. Can't do it on the 14th. I'd probably lose the entire crew, and my wife. Need them.

We'll see what happens next.

Oh, and by the way, does anyone reading this know how I can get a hold of a trained pig? Something that will sleep and we can wake up on command? Just wondering.

Me sleepy now. Bedtime?


Monday, January 12, 2009

Hitting the ground at a good steady pace

Dear diary,

It's been a while since we've last spoken, and boy do I have stories to tell. Stories of welcoming key personnel and looking for replacement personnel. Changes to the schedule, locations and script. Let's begin.

Finally got our Director of Photography nailed down. Looking forward to working with him, as everyone I spoke to had nothing but great things to say about him. BUT, Iit looks like I may have to find a new Assistant Director, as the one that had agreed to help me out before will now be out of town for the filming dates. This is more my fault than anyone else's, as we decided to change our filming dates to the weekend, the 7th and 8th of February. He is in town on our original dates, but other things had changed, which made the move to film on the weekend possible, which allowed more crew to volunteer their services. Unfortunately, the move to the weekend makes the AD unavailable. *#@%!!!!

So why move the dates to the weekend? My brilliant Production Manager and Production Designer put their heads together and figured a way to get some better locations for free. After a little wheeling and dealing, we managed to move our interrogation room set (previously free only on the weekdays) to a sound stage currently being occupied by the television series we are all currently working on. Free location. Anytime we want. Including weekends. I Like that.

Now that we have decided to film on the weekend, we now have a lot more crew that are willing to help out on the short. No one has to sacrifice a paid work day to volunteer on a non-paying gig. And not only that, the thinking is that more equipment will be available to us for free. I like that too.

So here we are, a little over 3 weeks to our film date and everything seems to be moving forward. One big problem, WE HAVE NO CAST!

We seem to be having trouble finding a casting director to take on the project. No one seems to want to help out for free. Now, I'm 3 weeks away from filming, and haven't looked at any cast yet. I am starting to get worried. I need to get something started by the end of the week or I'm going to be in serious trouble.

And now I'm scouting on a feature, and that takes me away from my computer for the entire day. My Blackberry can only do so much. Another little addition of stress I can do without. Unfortunately, money is NOT something I can do without, so must work. But having trouble keeping focussed. I mean, here is my opportunity to make my life changing (possibly) short film. The short film that I will use to attract work as a director. This has to be perfect. This needs my undivided attention. Well, most of my attention.

NO! My undivided attention! I've got to give this every bit of my effort. There will never be another chance to make a short film with $20,000 of someone else's money. This is the moment, you own it, you better never let it go. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.

Wise words. Thanks Eminem.

Time to put this thing into high gear. This is my chance. Got to get cast, got to refine my vision, got to get it done.

Until next time.