Diary Of Making A Movie #9 – Assembling The Team

03.29.17

If this was a heist movie, we’d be at the part where we start recruiting various criminals to join the team. (Incidentally, if you were a thief, would you really want to have a reputation? “Oh, Tony. He’s great at cracking safes. But he got too well-known and the cops busted him.”)

Anyway…

I met with Jay, who did a great job editing my first short film¬†last year, to go over some particulars. Got a tentative shoot date set for next month, with actors and crew penciled in. Jay is going to be pulling double duty as director of photography and editor. (Actually, he’ll also have a producer credit, so he’ll be wearing three hats.)

It’s like Ocean’s 11, except instead of movie stars robbing a casino, it’s regular people scheduling a day of work. So really, not like Ocean’s 11 at all.

The short film is going to do a few things.

1) Serve as a test run of how the feature production will go. If we can knock out, say, 8 pages in a day—then we can reasonably assume that 12-13 days of shooting is a good target for the feature. This will be important not only for scheduling, but for the budgeting.

2) Be a proof of concept in case we go to the Kickstarter route. Instead of doing a crowdfunding video with only interviews, we can actually show a finished mini-product. (Or as the software folks call it, a Minimum Viable Product)

3) Give everyone a chance to work together before the pressure cooker of a feature. I know most of the people involved, but it’s still nice to let everyone gel and get comfortable on a trial run. That way, if there are any issues, we can resolve them. Which is way better than trying to switch things up in the middle of a two-week shoot.

Just working on this little project makes me realize why Hollywood is so risk averse. Everything is so expensive, so time-consuming, that making the wrong choice for a lead actor can completely sink the project. That’s one reason why you see the same actors over and over—they’re a known quantity.

 

Script-wise, it’s still been slow going. Probably another 15-20 pages to go on the first draft. And I can already tell it is going to need some serious remodeling. But it will still feel nice to get over this first hump.

Is it completely unrealistic to get into production by July 15th? I honestly don’t know.