Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nine Days of Christmas... the good, the bad, and the ugly

Today is Tuesday, Dec 15. A lot has happened in the last nine days. Let's start with rehearsal. On Sunday, Dec 13, our entire cast, the DP, Art Director, Storyboard Artist and Makeup/Hair crew all came to the Flux53 Theater in Oakland to work on character development, rehearse the lines, block the scenes, and prep for the shoot.

We launched the day by sharing with the cast the story behind the story, what each character represents, and the journey each character makes in the arc of the film.

While small groups went to hair/makeup/wardrobe, the rest of us went through the script to work out movements and interactions for each scene. It worked out perfectly, and I have to thank my DP Mike Epple and Art Director for making it seamless and smooth. Most importantly, big kudos go to my brother, who whipped up two fritatas and a big bowl of pasta, and brought it over for everyone.

We laughed and ate and joked around all day. Everyone was just great, and we got to hear the story unfold. It is really funny... even the cast was laughing out loud and hamming it up. The best part is that we have actors with the chops to carry it off.

On Sunday Dec 6, AD Wyatt Norton and I celebrated the end of casting by hitting the local pub for a celebration beer. Our lovely casting director Emmanuelle should have been there, so we toasted in her honor. It's thanks to her we got actors that rock.

Throughout all this, while in pre-production, I'm still in the middle of that insane IRS audit, and spent the last few days crunching two years worth of deposits and receipts. Today, two of my potential donors declined, while a potential third said he's leaving town until early January, all of which leaves the film high and dry for now.

But we plow onward. I have a few final presentations up my sleeve. At the moment, however, I'm a little disheartened. This film has been more than a labor of love, and up to now it has been relatively smooth. My birthday is Friday. I'll have to sleep on it and figure out my next move.

And I dedicate this posting to the memory and soul of Ted Beason, my cousin, who was killed last Tuesday when he was hit by a car while walking his dog in Malibu. I'm still in shock. Ted was full of life and positivity. His spirit will stay with this film ... he was the kind of guy who lived to have fun and didn't let any of it get too serious. Bless Ted's soul. May he rest in peace.

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