Sunday, May 01, 2005

I'm Getting There...

When I got on the set I realized, with the help of some very astute teammates, that the script was long… damn long. If you subscribe to the ‘one page, one minute’ theory, I had a thirteen minute script for a movie that at maximum could be 7 minutes. The people in charge of the project stressed that shorter is better and by no measure was the script I wrote short. This led to a meeting of knowledgeable teammates that eventually inspired wholesale cuts in the script. Funny little aside jokes were cut. Redundant explanations were removed. Ideas that I wanted to add as we filmed were discouraged. This was painful. Unfortunately we only whittled the script down by a few pages and it was still a long movie when it went before the camera. More pain would follow in editing.

As the noon call time arrived, everyone I invited (or asked, or begged) to show up, did. It was thrilling to see people gathering around to create something. It was some time, possibly two hours, before we rolled on our first take. The energy was still there when we finally got a good take (after about 3) in the can, and surprisingly it was still there about 10 hours later.

One thing I learned about not being the sole producer while trying to direct: I found myself answering my cell phone while I was trying to make creative decisions. As the only real contact person, I handled just about every question about just about everything. Not a good plan. Next year someone else will know the answers and will be holding my cell phone.

The closest thing I had to another producer was my darling wife. She not only allowed me to use our family savings account to pay for the film, she also assisted at every turn when asked or when not asked. She seemed to enjoy herself and we’re still married, which is impressive by Hollywood standards.

I’ve decided shorter posts might help me post more, so more on this subject later… maybe tomorrow.

No comments: