Another weekend passes and I’ve spent the majority of it holed up working on the new film. The only time I stepped out really was to go be an extra and support Nicole’s film, which Marie is acting in, entitled “Sitting Room”. I agreed to come be an extra because the scene was in a coffee shop and it meant my character could be hammering away at business planning on his laptop. So when you see the film, I was doing the pre-production on my own film. All extra acting credit goes to the frustration of never ending paperwork and financial planning. It’s growing deep lines on my face.
I don’t much mind giving up weekends. My life, be it weekday, holiday, or any other sorta days (Birthday included) usually involves the majority of it being taken up by editing, writing, planning, meetings, calls, and such revolving around the pursuit of various film and music video projects. It’s just become the way of things. As I get older, less and less friends have free time anyhow. Kids, spouses, in-laws, family vacations, work, renovations… it’s endless the things that fill people’s lives so most of the time I’m not missing out on much. My best friends are the ones that when time passes and we get together it’s as if no time has passed at all. Plus I can get good and drunk at home… and have this weekend while working away. Fear not, I was not drinking alone! Plus I get to catch up on movies – something I never find time to watch anymore. This weekend I tried to watch some fodder films as background while working: Land Of The Lost (turned it off 20 minutes in), Cop Out (sorry Kevin, turned it off 15 minutes in – Tracey Morgan is the most annoying person in cinema despite my love for him on 30 Rock), Jackass: The Movie (having seen the trailer for Jackass 3D and already setting a date to go see it with Steph and Marty I had to make Marie watch it having never indulged in the Steve-O before!), and then Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (which was fantastically entertaining!). I also finished rewatching Season One of Heroes. What a fantastic show in that first season. A great superhero tale. I think part of my couch potato ways this weekend are due to the fact that after two weeks of training with Hurricane Training I needed a serious rest! I start going five days a week this week so these two days have been glorious!
We finally settled on a name for the film… to be revealed soon. It’s a horror film and I’ve never had to name a horror film before. Titling a film in general for me tends to be painstaking. I always seem to be unable to find a name for a project until well after it was written. Even when I do I hum and haw over if it’s the best choice I could have made. In this case, it’s nice to have other producers to bounce it off and discuss title options.
So we’re moving into pre-production. What’s pre-production? For you non-filmmakers out there reading out there (all twenty-two of you including the filmmakers) Pre-production is simply:
“In digital video, photography, television and film, pre-production refers to the tasks that must be completed or executed before filming or shooting begins. This includes tasks such as hiring actors or models, building sets, budgeting, planning, scheduling, renting equipment and tests, to name a few of the many pre-production tasks.”
It is everything that has to be done on a film before the camera rolls. We’re a ways away from filming but there is a lengthy pre-production on this film as it will be my first foray into special effects. Utilizing both practical and digital effects adds a longer process by which to plan said complicated shots into the production. There is a definite learning curve for me and though as the director I don’t need to understand completely I am fascinated by all things movie-making and want to learn as we move along.
One of the first pre-production tasks already completed was a photo shoot this week. Greg Aldous of Photoworx / Printworx in Lasalle opened up his studio for us. We had some lovely and talented ladies modelling for the shots.
The shots were done against a green-screen so the girls can be cropped out. These shots are to make up a squad of Cheerleaders for a teaser poster. As you can probably guess, there might be cheerleaders that have something to do with this new horror film. I mean, how can you have a good horror romp with aliens or whatnot without a bitchy cheerleader or two? The marketing of this film, in true Hollywood style, will begin as the production begins. Scary to think we could have a trailer in theaters all over the place before we’re done shooting the movie! Talk about pressure! The shoot was a riot. Lots of old crew faces working behind the scenes and some terrific new ones. If you didn’t catch it and care to, there’s a video blurb about it all right here:
So much work just to get a few shots for a poster but it’s all part of the seemingly neverending preproduction process. I love it. It’s like building your film from lego bricks. One brick at a time until it’s all there for you to then play inside your imaginary house or building or post-office or space-station or whatever it is you are building. I’ve always thought that development and pre-production were the hardest parts of film-making. It takes the most time, it needs the most attention to detail. If done right, then your shooting is a breeze because everything is correctly planned for and errors are at a minimal.
“You get three hours’ sleep and then you start all over again. Relentless. Pre-production was almost harder than filming. I was all over the city every day. It was really exhausting. ”
– Ed Harris
Well, I have to get back to finishing touches on a financial plan for a few presentations I have to make this week so I shall take my leave of you once again. Sleep should follow. I can’t survive without it now that I have the gym every weekday. I used to ward off sleep like a monster from the closet. Happy lives to everyone as the weekend wraps up. Hope you are well.
A dragon’s touch,