Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pics from the Cafe

Here's the first batch of pics. I have a lot more (esp. from saturday) way too many to post here (over 200) but for the actors, I will burn you a CD or DVD with all the pics on there. Dailies from the shoot will take a while to get back (mostly because I am too broke to pay for them now) but I am saving and should get them back within a few months. When it all comes in everyone will know, and I will try and get some clips online. I plan to bring my laptop to work every day, and hopefully with enough slow news days I can rock out a rough cut quickly, and we can have a small screening.

Saturday we will meet up at providence at 9:30. we don't have availibility until 10 or 10:30, but that way we can start rehearsals and set up the lights so that when we do get in there, we can go very quickly. After that we need to shoot the scene in the hallway, the scene where Karen walks into Rachels house, the note being slid under the door insert, and the small scene in Karens bathroom. I will go through the script to make sure thats all we have left, but I think we should be able to do that in one day and be done with the principle photography. We have 750-850 feet of film left, so lets hope it doesn't take any more than that. We ended up burning a lot more film in the cafe than I thought we would (though in general we shot less than I planned on for the scenes we got)

Thats all the news thats fit to print. We're in the home stretch!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

First weekend of shooting done.

Thankfully when the door was built, it was fairly light, so 2 grips should be able to pull it out of the way during the shoot with no problems (I hope)

After this weekend of shooting, I thought that would be funny to point out my earlier comment. The people who were on set today can attest to how well that worked out. We had one decent take, though the door took too long to move. In the following takes, the door progressivly disintegrated. It was actually pretty funny to watch just how bad the design performed. I think we got enough coverage to hide the doors failings, and the cut should be more intense than the original shot would have been.

I was happy with all the perfomances. I left each scene feeling very confident we had more than I hoped to achieve. Big ups to Briant and Sheri and Renee and Scott, Tom, Jeff, Heather, and Kyle for delivering a higher level of performance than I expected. (Sheri Pointed out that I missed Renee, sorry Renee, I was tired when I wrote this. You were AWSOME on set....better than Sheri who always pointed out what I missed. jk)

Pictures from set will be availible shortly. I am too tired to post anymore for the indie filmmakers following this blog. I have to go back to shooting video tommorow, bummer.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Shooting Schedule for 10/21 - 10/23

I will try and call everyone or email them with their personal call time schedule, but here is a general overview for those who would like to plan early.

Saturday, October 21:

10:30-12:30 - Bum Scene (pg 6)
1:00-4:00 - Ext Snow City (pg 8, 9)
5:00-10:00 - Karen's Bedroom Night scenes (pg 3, 4, 8)

Sunday October 22:

10:30 - 11:30 - Karen's Bedroom Day Scene (pg 8)
12:30 - 2:30 - Karen's Downstair Scene
3:00 - 4:30 - End Scene (EXT, before last hospital scene)

Monday October 23:

5pm - 12pm Snow City Cafe (we may wrap early that day)

I will have full wardrobe requirements for each day, as well as props ready tommorow, so that everyone is ready. We originaly were scheduled to do the hospital scene on Saturday, but because of a conflict with the location, we will shoot the following weekend on the 28th. That should only take 4 or 5 hours to do both sequences that needs to be shot. Also that is why monday is so light. We may have a few pick up shots that day, but I doubt it.

Anyway, more to come shortly. I am currently breaking down the script into each shot, page, prop, wardrobe and lighting requirements for the various days. As soon as that is complete, it will be published.

Ben Clarke (the author) left us a note in the comments, I thought I would bring it up to the main page:

"Hi everyone!I just thought I'd pass on my best wishes to you all for the shoot this weekend. It's been a real priviledge to watch this film come together from all the way over here in the UK, and I am really thankful to everyone who has taken the time to get involved.

Thanks also to Mike, who has worked very hard to get this far and who has been a pleasure to work with from the start. A real professional.

I hope the shoot goes well for you all, particularly Sheri who has the task of being centre stage throughout this film.

So..good luck, and if Mike gets you doing something crazy, you can just blame me for writing it in the first place! Ben Clarke."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Moving Closer to first slate

We have several things in place and ready to shoot. Unfortunatley (for the actors checking this site) I don't yet have a solid shooting schedule, but we are getting closer to having one ready to post.

I spent last night building the dolly and the door prop. It was a good lesson in why I should never try for set construction. I would be a decent carpenter, if I weren't trying to rush the job. Fortunatley for our purposes, it should work (except for the few screws that I didn't line up properly, that now prodrude out of the bottom of the door jam.) On the dolly, though none of the cuts are really straight, I did at least take my time building the trucks, so it moves properly, even if it looks a little funky.

We found a location for Karen's house. We also had a problem with the hospital, so it looks like we will shoot that next weekend (along with the other hospital location) so at least we have time to prepare. Finding a location for the second hospital would have been tricky to do with all I have on my plate this week. It also means that anyone who is interested in an extra role, don't worry about this weekend, since we won't need it until next. I think Heather will be needed on Saturday night for an extra role, but everyone else won't be needed until the 28th.

Also we have a location for the endscene (before the hospital) its a beautiful bluff on hillside that will be a gorgeous view when it comes time to shoot. Thankfully when the door was built, it was fairly light, so 2 grips should be able to pull it out of the way during the shoot with no problems (I hope)

Other than that, we had a problem with a couple freelance gigs paying on time, so unfortunatley the whole permit through the city thing is out. Very unfortunate, since there was something really cool about shutting down downtown to accomodate a night for day shoot. In the grand sceme of things all it means is I can't show the windows of the cafe. Not a huge deal, but that was something I thought would add a nice visual touch.

We will have a schedule (I promise) later tonight or tommorow, just as soon as I finnish the plan for each scene. It should be pretty lax schedule (esp. since we are shooting the hospital next week)

I get the audio set up tonight, along with buying a costume for heather, tommorow we start securing all the rental gear, insurance, etc. and do a camera test. Friday we pick up the grip equipment and saturday morning we shoot! I am extremely excited. In spite of all the problems and roadblocks we had producing this week, I think we are still ok, and it should be a great shoot. Oh, and I think Ben Clarke, the authour of Sleep may stop by the blog to send his well wishes for our shoot, so look for that.

For the techies and film buffs following this shoot, check back on tuesday or wednesday for lots of set pictures and stories behind the scenes.

Oh, and if any of the links above from google interest you, feel free to click them. I am low on funds obviously after bankrolling this film, so every little bit helps (I have made a whole $3 on this blog so far.)

If any of the actors are checking this, let me relay some costume advice to you (I will be calling on thursday to confirm schedule and lay out wardrobe, but maybe you can check if you have any of these things now)

Karen: 3 different outfits. No vivid colors. Think black and white (more black than white)

Rachel: 3 white outfits. Angelic colors, so we can make you more radiant.

Stalker: For this weekend, just a suite (black or brown) a trenchcoat, and if you have some, black leather gloves.

Detective: Suit and the overcoat that Jeff has will work. I will get you a notepad, and if there is a badge availible (I think Jeff said he had one?) we can use that as well. If not, I am not too worried about a badge (I have never seen a detective wear their badge on the outside, usually only pull it out if someone wants to see it)

Bum: Bum Clothes. If you don't have any, we can go to Value Village and find something on 2 bucks.

Man 1 & 2: Black suit, black tie. I will provide you with an IFB for the shoot (ear peice)

Let me know if theres anything new or if you don't have any of these things. There is still time to hit Value Village.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cast announcement and schedule

Ok, so cast has been announced, I beleive I sent an email out to everyone. If I missed your email then the cast is as follows:

Karen: Sheri Lisenbee
Rachel: Renee Daw
Stalker: Tom Jacobs
Detective: Scott Stohl
Bum: Dirk Willas
Man 1: Jeff Fenn
Man 2: Dorrell Harper

Now, if you didn't get a speaking role, you are still invited to be an extra. Email me if you want to do that. I will keep everyones email address handy so next time we do a film, or I hear of a casting call locally I will keep you all informed. I want to thank everyone for showing up. I was really surprised by the quality of actors that turned out. Going in I thought it would be an easy choice, but everyone was great and I had to really think about it and take input from the casting director.

The schedule we have planned now is incomplete, but the two major scenes are set up for us (hospital and cafe).

On saturday (october 21st) we will begin at the end. We have two hours in the hospital, so I will need Karen, the Stalker, and two doctor extras in scrubs (wardrobe will be provided) I think we will start around 11am. After that we will probably take care of the outdoor scenes (with the bum and with stalker just before the end.) I think we may also do some of Karens room scenes that night.

Sunday (oct. 22) will mostly be spent at Karens house doing the detective scene. Also we have a shot outside the snow city cafe that day (also the detective scene, just before the end). I think the end scene will be shot in two seperate locations, given the hospitals requirements of a 2 hour shoot. So sunday we will finnish up the Dr. Solomons portion of the endscene.

Monday (oct. 23) will be spent getting pick up shots and cleaning up any scenes that have yet to be completed. At 4pm we will get access to snowcity to begin set up. They will be cleaning up for about an hour, so we won't be able to shoot until 5pm that night. That will be a Karen and Rachel show that night. We will probably go until 10-12 or somewhere in there (hopefully not too late)

This Sunday (the 15th) I am planning a table read for all actors. I think we will plan that for around 4pm at my house in midtown (36th and latouche) let me know if that works for you, or if there are any issues. I will be calling everyone on Saturday to confirm that.

In other sleep news (for all those indie film makers and film buffs around the globe that have found this blog) a few technical specs of the film. We are shooting Kodak 7217 200T 16mm. I bought 4200 feet of short ends, so lets hope I don't need anymore than that. We are shooting on a CP-16r camera, which if anyone hasn't seen one, they are tanks. Very uncomfortable to do handheld, but it will do. For glass we have agnineiux 10-150mm zoom, and a 6mm angie prime. We have local production house Talking Circle Media is providing grip equipment. Lights are comming from ABC tv station and the university.

For the real tech heads some problems in this shoot: the speed of the film is going to be rated at 125. That means I need a ton of light to expose. To exagerate that problem, the main location, a cafe, can only let us film at night. The script calls for daylight, so a 20x20 silk will be placed against the building and somewhere in the neighborhood of 6000w of light will make it look like day to the camera on the inside. Other problems thrown into the mix is sound. Oddly enough there are very few Dats in Alaska and finding one for the weekend at a decent price proved difficult, so we are recording on a marantz digital recorder, that saves audio to Compact Flash.

To finnish the film we are using adobe premiere pro (or maybe Avid or Final Cut, depending on various factors) . The lab doing the work is Post Works New York, which has been very helpful in preproduction, and are very friendly. They will also handle both telecines for offline and online cuts. The final telecine will be on a Spirit to D5HD and we will present at film festivals in HDCAM or DVCPRO masked to a 1.85 window.

We have a guy doing a score for the film, and the actor playing detective, scott stohl will probably play slide guitar for some fill music. Also we will probably try and get bryant mainard to do some guitar and maybe mandolin work for the film. Lots of exciting stuff happening for this film, and we are 1 week away from principle.

Check back here tuesday for a summation of the shoot and LOTS of still pics of the production. At some point we will also have some video blogs on you-tube and a trailer.

Anyway, thats the haps for now. (oh, if you are from out of state just following production, don't be a stranger. Leave a comment or email me.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Auditions were great!

I was really pleased with the level of performances from everyone at the auditions! They were great. Now I have a harder job than I thought I would trying to select a cast from who came out. I believe I should have it selected by tommorow. Check back for a posting.

I had to bring in our acting director to help select the cast. It was a really good showing by everyone. I hate to have to choose between everyone, but I suppose in the end I will have to choose.

I will open up the film to everyone who auditioned and at very least get them in as an extra (we need doctors and nurses for the final scene, and for a bedroom scene)

This should be a great film, no matter who I select! Also it looks like I have a freelance gig shooting the E-40 concert for the opening act, and if I do, that means that the quality of craft services will definatley increase. I know how much impact good food has on acting, so I will do my best to get that in place. Maybe I can get a catering sponsor?

Also we will have money for proccessing and telecining the film! I know that sounds like a given, but I have had issues with the budget recently when the city dropped the bomb on me and told me I needed a million dollar insurance policy to cover their assests (though I refuse to believe I can rack up a million dollars worth of sidewalk damage, at least we will be covered.)

Once I announce the cast we will need to do a few things in prep:

1. Lead actors will need to talk with us so we can figure out a wardrobe option for every day in the film.
2. Extras will need to give me their coat sizes so I can get lab coats and scrubs for doctors and nurses.
3. We will set up a table reading rehearsal for next weekend to prepare for the shoot.
4. If there are any updates in your availibility let me know. Key dates are saturday and monday (esp. monday after 5pm) since those days are on locations where we have limited availibilty.
5. Let me know if anyone has any alergies, so I can make sure not to have them part of the craft services.

Also I should have contracts ready by the first table reading. Check back here on tuesday and I will have a posting to announce the cast!

If anyone has experience in makeup/hair for film let me know....I am clueless beyond the usual 'shine reduction'

Friday, October 06, 2006

Audition Information & Forms

So we have a location set, and you should have your times set up already. Please check below and if there are any problems, contact me and we will fix the problem.

You can download the forms you will need for the audition at the following links. If you can't open the first one, then use the second link and it should work (one is in microsoft works format, the other is HTML format) (first link) (second link)

Print a form out, fill it out and bring it in. If you forget, I will have extras on hand, but that will cut into your audition time.

The location is room 158 in the proffessional studies building on the UAA campus. If you are traveling southbound on Lake Otis, you would turn left on Providence Dr. (36th) and take your first left. It is in the building just west of the Wendy Williams. If you have any problems I will be availible by phone to give directions

Audition Times:

12:20-12:40 Tina Loyd
12:40-1:00 Tom Jacobs
1:00-1:20 Heather Rosborough
1:20-1:40 Jeff Fenn
1:40-2:00 Sheri Lsenbee
3:20-3:40 Vanya marinkovic
4:00-4:20 Tamar
5:40-6:00 Michelle Beakler
6:40-7:00 Renee Daw
7:00-7:20 Brett Rawalt

Let me know if I missed anyone or messed up their times. If you would like to read off of a friend, you are more than welcome to invite them to come with you. If not we will have people on hand that can read with you. Please show up a bit early so you can find your way to room 158. If you miss your audition time, give me a call and we will schedule a make up time (it would still have to be on the same day however)


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Open Casting Call - Location

We are waiting to hear confirmation from the University, but it is looking like that is where the casting call will be. If you want to sign up for a spot, go ahead an leave a reply in this forum (leave it here, not my email, so others can see what times have been taken already.) I didn't realize I had comments set to registered users only, but I have opened that up to allow non-registered users to comment.

The date will be the 7th of October. Directions will be posted here as soon as I have confirmation from the school. (check back Thursday for that)

The first availible time 12:20. Each casting session will last aproxamatley 20 minutes, so sign up in 20 minute blocks starting on the hour, 20 after or 40 after. Also leave your name next to your sign up so I know who to expect when.

1. 12:20p
2. 12:40p
3: 1:00p
4: 1:20p
5: 1:40p
6. 2:00p

We will probably go as late as needed (or until 7 or 8, at which point we will set up a second day of casting if needed.) A few people have sent me emails saying they are unavailible except before 2pm, so if you are availible later in the day, sign up for those times, so we can accomodate everyone. I may end up emailing people or calling people to see if they can change their time if we need to accomodate schedules.

Walkins will be accomodated, but I would prefer people sign up. If you walk in and we have a block of time that is already called, you may be asked to return later in the day when we have an open spot.

Once you sign up for a spot, I will email out a standard audition form I would like people to bring with them. If you forget it or don't get it, we will have extras, but this will save time once you arrive.

Good Luck and see you there!

(email me if you need a script or have any questions.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Scripts are out

I have sent scripts out to all who are wanting to audition for the film. We are still pretty set on the 7th for casting. I am trying to figure out how many people are going to audition, its looking like we may need a second day for casting. Be ready with lines memorized. I will send out a list of scenes we will read during the audition for each scene. I am thinking we will probably have the cafe scene and maybe one of the scenes between Karen and the Detective.

We will bring you in, have you read and if the casting director has any notes, we may have you try it a few different ways. We will have a camera there so we can review performances later, and should have a decision on cast by the 1oth of October.

If I missed anyone in my emails of the script, let me know by email, and I will send it out to you. (include a line about how you heard about the film in your email.)

I will have costume availible only for extra roles like doctors and nurses, but all the other roles will be clothing specific to the age range, so I assume everyone should be ok with wearing their normal clothes. Karen should wear light clothing, slightly loose, and seem a bit under the weather. Rachel should be very bright and cheery, and wear clothing with vibrant colors to reflect that. She is the bright point in the film, so think smiles and laughing (not too ditzy, just kind and happy).

Let me know if you have any questions. I should have a definate location to do auditions around tuesday or wednesday, and then I will start letting people sign up for times (I plan to have everyone sign up for a 20 minute block of time, so people don't have to wait around all day to audition.).