Last weekend I shot my short film BENJAMIN & SHOOPS. It’s a spinoff of the READY, SET, BAD! feature script I’ve been putting together this year. It’s set in the world of RSB and follows the exploits of the homeschooled Benjamin and his crush on his fellow homeschooled neighbor, Shoops.
The shoot went extremely well, and was beautifully shot. I was very happy to get my AFI classmate Matthew Nauser to shoot it for me. I worked with him a number of times while at AFI, and he was always one of my favorite cinematographers. We shot on his Sony FS-100 with a crew of 2-3 (depending on the time of day), and easily made our $500 budget look like $5,000 with his talents.
I haven’t been on my own set since Into The Cold and I missed it so much. That was last August. Nine months is too long. I need to make something at least every three months, how about that? At least until this RSB feature gets going, then I’ll gladly spend the year of my life making that thang.
Post-production began today – this morning, actually. I got up early and Assistant Editor’ed, organizing the footage in the Avid for my editor, Juliette, aka, my WIFE. I can’t wait to get a rough assembly going soon. We should have something proper for my award-winning master of music, Mike, aka my BRO, to have a look and get started in early June. Music is a big part of this piece and will really nail the tone and make this a festival-audience pleaser!
Meanwhile, Juliette and I are headed to Cannes Film Festival next week and I couldn’t be more excited!
Well that was a nice little break from this ol’ soapbox. Glady I can say that it was because I was swamped with my own work, my own development, my own betterment. Seems every free moment I’ve had the past month has been pushing Ready, Set, Bad! to that seemingly unreachable next step: financing.
I spent a few weeks polishing the script, and by polish I mean more rewriting every single scene from head to toe. Some scenes and characters were lost, some new scenes and characters added, and by and large I feel it’s as good as it is going to get at this stage before actors would come on board and make it their own.
After I wrapped that up, I sent it out to a bunch of competitions and a few festivals in a flurry (they all seem to be due in April), and then wrote a spin-off/episode/origin story on a couple of the homeschooled runners. And THAT, my friends, will bring us up to date.
The spin-off is called The Benjamin & Shoops Saga and gives the backstory on his super-weirdo crush on his homeschooled neighbor and how they ended up joining the cross country team, or, rather, how Benjamin stalked his way onto the team because she was running and it turned out they needed more boy runners so he stuck around.
We are set to shoot on May the 4th, so we should have just enough time to pull together crew, locations, costumes, and props, what little of it there is. It was by design written with a zero budget in mind, shooting with natural light during the day in just a couple locations. Keep it simple when you have no money! I should come out of this one with just buying lunch and tossing a few bones to the cast and crew for their one day’s work.
What else? Juliette and I are going to France next month for Cannes Film Festival, that’s what! We got passes as “professional filmmakers” and will be taking in the glorious coast of the French Riviera with all the other millionaires premiering their latest works of art. Spectacular!
See you around.
Kept busy the past couple weeks getting together an impressive application for Film Independent’s Fast Track. Also, been frustrated with Ye Olde Blogg here after an update scrapped my stylesheet and set my design work here back to zero.
Anyway, I feel great about my Fast Track app, but I also have tempered expectations with anything involving people’s subjective taste in reading screenplays/pitches.
I’m using an updated version of Ready, Set, Bad!, the feature project I have that is most ready to go for the cheapest production price tag. My go-for-it, hiring professionals, legit union, cheapie budget?
And somehow in the movies, that’s nothing. That’s with cast and crew working for minimums, and a bare-bones 18-day shooting schedule with 8 weeks before to get ready, and 8 weeks after to edit and deliver.
I’ve gone all in now with RSB. I’m obsessed with finding a million dollars this year to go make it. I haven’t the faintest clue how that could happen. To quote my application letter, “We are fresh out of Rich Uncles or Well-Connected Second Cousins Twice Removed.”
I’ve signed up good ol’ standby Leslie Andrew Ridings and his Black Noise Industries to produce it with me. I think after dozens of collaborations the past couple of years, it’s time we took that big step and made a feature.
Of course, we need to find a million dollars first. Stay tuned!
Not much new to report lately – been working on my Loney character drawings and in the midst of rewrites on my Old Souls script, if anyone cared. I got some good feedback on my first draft of Old Souls and definitely feel I got a better grip on the characters this time around. I’ll go out to actors with the next draft and hope to collaborate with them on finding their voices in it.
Meanwhile, I’ve been steadily applying to a dozen or so jobs per week. I am very grateful for my job and that I can afford to live in LA and pay my bills, but I still would love to find something with some creativity involved.
In light of this search, there is another option to me that I am exploring in earnest: spending the summer in France and taking an immersion course in French for 2-3 months.
Crazy? Crazy awesome!
Hilariously enough, there are programs that allow FAFSA student loan use. As far deep in student loan debt I already am, what’s another $4,000 to spend a summer in Paris and get a much better grasp on my wife’s language? That would be a fraction of a percent, a drop in a bucket, a pebble from a mountain of what I’m already facing. AFI takes a lifetime to payoff.
If I don’t find a better gig here by this spring, I’d be glad to shoot over there. Plus, I might even be able to hang on to my current job (if I still have it then), as they are big pseudojustin fans and could just find a temp for me while I’m gone.
I guess that’s pretty cool. But first, let’s just find a real job, and make my movies.