Saturday, May 03, 2008

I just sent off an application for IFP's Independent Film Week's Emerging Narrative... thing. It's for scripts with directors to get in touch with producers. I'm excited, and I don't want to jinx it, so more later, when I've heard more. This is only one avenue for the story, so I'm keeping my eye open to other avenues.

In other news, I'm going to be filming a short in July. It's been written - first draft only - and I'm going to go through it to figure out what I'll need and how much it'll basically cost. I don't think much is going to change structurally in the story, so I'm not too worried about that. Any changes will be to dialogue, and character description (which it needs).

The main reason I'm doing this movie this summer is to use equipment and people I've never used before, namely sound guys, makeup and costumers, and an HD camera (and maybe even a steadicam... please, God. I've been good. And I could be better. But it would be soooo cool if I could use a steadicam). I'll treat it with the respect it deserves, which is a lot. It's a great little story, called "The Interruption." The logline would be something like "A young woman must deal with upheavals in her life - including saving a friend - before she can settle in and commit suicide." No, it's not going to be a comedy, so stop laughing.

I'll need to nail down the script soon, and start auditions, then getting the costumes together. Have to run. There are people to talk to.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I just got off a shoot - four days long - two day shoots, two night shoots. It was directed by a friend of mine from my film class. There were, overall, about 20 of us, give or take a few. It was one hell of an experience. Basically, we shot in Long Island for two days, then two nights in the city at The Producers Club. I was the Assistant Director.

What that means is I did the slate, conferred about shots, issued warnings, corralled people onto set, looked threatening, and delegated responsibility, among other things.

The thing is, we needed more time. You'll hear that from me a lot, I think. The film I worked on in January? We needed more time. Hell, if it was up to me, we'd have wrapped that one in February. Speaking of, it screened last night in the city, along with three other films. I was rather proud, but astounded by how fast it shot by. I mean, who knew 15 minutes, 46 seconds was that short?

Anyway, the short needed more time, I think. We needed just one extra day. But that seems to be par for the course. If we'd had five days, I'd probably be saying "we needed six." And so on. And the only reason I say this is because the last day/night felt like it should have been cut in two. What amounted to a 15 minute scene (three whole pages!) needed an extra day to give the crew and cast a rest. Still, it was fun. Even though my back hurt through most of the production, which isn't a good sign.

The crew was international, which I love. The director? Israeli. The script super? Egyptian. The Assitant Camera? Indian (and I love working with him... we were on the same crew in school together, and he's an excellent filmmaker.) Sure, there were plenty of Americans, but I see one of those every time I look in the mirror. And no, I'm not the most normal guy out there, but still, I think it's refreshing to see the world through other people's eyes.

Now I'm going to write a short and shoot it in early June over a weekend (two locations, four actors, that kind of thing.) It's more to work with new equipment I haven't worked with before, and to see what I can get out of it. It's a test for this fall, when I plan on shooting the short version of The Night Nurse. That's not to say that this upcoming short (I'm calling it "The Interruption" for now) isn't going to get the attention it deserves, but I figure I might as well be honest about it.

I've also just signed on for a production in July to be directed by my favorite director, FSG. I'm a sucker for a talented, beautiful woman behind a camera.

More later, and I hope to be coming back her more and more often.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I've finished film school, and I think the final product is kinda.... crap. But it's a student film, so I think we can cut it some slack. It was tough. Very stressful, I guess you could say. I had all the stress, but none of the symptoms of stress.

So now I'm working on another movie as a producer - and later as a sound guy - and I'm smitten with my director. It's complicated. But I'm getting through it, because the movie is the important thing. If I keep that in mind, I can get through the day. The thing is, I am getting stress symptoms now, but it's not because of the movie. It's because... well, whatever. That's not the point.

Now that I'm out of school, I have to start worrying about paying for my own stuff. I have to either save up my pennies (and there aren't that many of them), or I have to get investors. Looks like I'm on the hunt for some cash.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm really beginning to understand a few things since I've started this class, and especially this documentary. First, I can understand why Peter Jackson slept through post production on King Kong. I'm constantly tired. I don't get to sleep much because 1, I'm always doing something, and 2, because I'm always freaking out about what I'm doing with my time. Second, I can understand why film people are so cranky and mean. You don't get a lot of sleep, and you're stressed out all the time. Hell, I think I've ground my teeth into dust! And I might be getting an ulcer. Or at least my heartburn is coming back.


That's about it, really. I shoot in two days, and I've still not got permission from the venue. Stay tuned. This whole thing might fall through the floor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Okay, this may not make the most sense, but then, my readership ain't exactly huge, so I can get away with not making sense all the time, capiche?

So I'm in film school now, and I've already done a short film. You'll see it eventually. The point is, it's not The Night Nurse. It's not even a little bit The Night Nurse. So what's this post doing here?

Because it's a step. I've taken a step toward The Night Nurse. And this weekend, I have to shoot a documentary. At the Bowery Ballroom. Of a Japanese band called GitoGito Hustler. And I've hired an interpreter, and I have to hire an extra camera, and cameraman. I have to see if my cinematographer is going to show up. And I have to get cleared to shoot at the Bowery by some guy named Johnny Beach (I shit you not).

So it's been busy, and I have to admit, sometimes I've been terrified. Because I spend the day at a job feeling like I'm wasting time when I could be producing this thing, and then when I actually produce, I have to psych myself up to do it.

So I recite to myself a little bit of the Bene Gesserit Littainy against Fear:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Shit, man, sometimes I think of getting that tattooed on my left forearm so I can read it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

So get this: Tonight, after work, at 6-ish p.m., I will walk from 15th Street and 8th Avenue, all the way over to Union Square, up to the Northeast corner, where I will attend my first class at the New York Film Academy. Yes, my minions, I will be starting my 12 week program in digital filmmaking. I will be required to make three short films by December, and then all friends and family are invited to the screening. I think I'll adopt Steven Spielberg, the Weinsteins, Terry Gilliam, Quentin Tarantino, Takashi Miike and many, many others, so they can come and support me in my time of glory. Nothing like family, right?

This is all part of my plan, now. It wasn't at the beginning. In the beginning, I was just going to take some cash, get behind a camera and start yelling at people to do my bidding. But apparently there's more to directing that just yelling at people, and then being publicly disappointed by them when they don't bring you the cerulian sweater that's so essential in communicating the desperation in your main character. Who knew?

Anyway, I'll be required to do some yelling, and at other times, take the yelling from other people. That means, in clear and concise English, I'll have to do all the other jobs that come with making a movie, like director of photography, lighting guy, sound dude, editor, and coffee jockey.

Wish me luck. And you're all invited to the screening.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Good news, kind of. First, my artist has gone through one third of the short script. You could say we've broken into act 2, and we're in the fun and games part of the story (that would be a reference to Save the Cat, a wonderful screenwriting book by Blake Snyder.) Also, I've been accepted at the New York Film Academy. Classes start on September 17, which means I'll make three short films before I tackle The Night Nurse early next year.

Also, in a related note, I've registered the site, which will be my production company. Nothing's there right now, but eventually I'll get the site designed and up and running, with some of the animated storyboards.

Way off topic, the 100 Calorie pack of Lorna Doones? Pretty good, actually.