Category Archives: Director Rant

For Every Beginning There Should Be An End

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The end came suddenly and without ceremony, much like it all began June 28th, 2008. On that date we got together for the first time. Maybe a little less jaded, a little more optimistic, and a bit more naive.

We dragged Vaughn and Dean to a building full of every lost item you can imagine. It was hot as hell, there were mosquitoes biting us and we had no idea what we were getting into. Aaron took an incredible amount of time lighting the room, and for his efforts I think he did a great job. Vaughn, who didn’t smoke at the time, was forced to smoke a pack of herbal cigarettes. They were disgusting and smelled like pot. The DAT recorder failed us. Can’t really remember what went wrong but I know we were having problems. Vaughn saved the day by having the exact model in his office. So Allan and Vaughn took off to retrieve it. The rest of us went to Markey’s for lunch and beer. It rained. It rained hard. If I remember correctly we ended up trapped there for a bit. Eventually we got back and finished the first scene of the movie. We didn’t slate a thing and had about a hundred takes of everything. Maybe it wasn’t great, maybe it was, but the one thing we did know was that it had begun.

I don’t know if any of us thought it would take this long to film everything. I think it was Lefty who first suggested it would take longer than we expected, much longer. At the time I thought he was crazy. I don’t recall what his estimate was, but I hope we beat it.

In that time since late June there have been loss of jobs, divorces, break ups, loss of family, loss of friends, and loss of homes. If it was unexpected it probably happened. Not to say that it was a series of disasters, there were good things. I believe there was a baby born, and a marriage or two in the mix. Through out it all though, we stuck it out. Our crew stayed together and we only really lost one actor in the whole thing. Not bad.

We’ve been incredibly lucky in the people we’ve met. They’ve made wonderful donations of time, money, and property. Things we never imagined when we wrote this came to be because of them. That’s probably been the most amazing part of it all.

On that last day we stood in The Saint. A bar donated to us for the day, by an owner that couldn’t show up. I don’t know if he intended to leave us in the bar unsupervised all day, but that’s the way it went. We didn’t take advantage of the situation, and hopefully left the place somewhat respectful. I think we had about 30 people that showed up to be extras, some friends, some strangers. They stayed patient through all the mess that the day was. Those are details that I’d rather not get into. In the end when it was over, everyone left. There were a few hugs and handshakes, but really it was all about getting out. It was nothing as I had imagined.

Later I found myself in another bar, alone. There was no crew get together, there were no actors celebrating. It was me, in a bar, in a stool, with a beer. I felt no relief or reason to celebrate. I was angry about all the problems we had that day, I thought of the long road ahead. Maybe I was right that night.

Now with a few days to look back on it all, I really think there is much to celebrate. Regardless if we’re done with every aspect of the film, what we did do was a major one, and one that I had my doubts about at times. Even on that last day.

Thanks everyone that has stuck with us, everyone that has stuck with me, because even though there is much work still to do, there is also much to celebrate for what we’ve done.

48 Hour Film Fest And Some Stuff About Our Last Shoot

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The 48 Hour Film Festival didn’t work out like we hoped.  Well we’ll start with the part where we didn’t turn it in on time.  What we did turn in was an unfinished roughly edited product that shouldn’t have taken us as long as it did to put together.  It’s beyond me on why it took as long as it did, but it did.  I blame no one but myself.

It wasn’t from lack of effort, because everyone did a great job and worked really hard to get things done.  Jac Currie came through again and let us borrow The Saint for the day, and our actors rarely bitched.  We finished shooting with plenty of time to get things done.  Then somehow, post production kicked our asses.  We have been humbled.

After that humbling experience we went back to what we’ve been doing for the past year, and that is making The Local 504.  We learned some lessons and will hopefully do a good job of applying them to what we are doing now.  We went back to our KGB office scenes and have finished them out.  Carrollton Technology came through again with letting us use their spaces.

Vlad was dead hungover and Mihail had a time line that he was working under.  Somehow Vlad pulled his shit together and everything went off with little to no problems.  Carlos stayed quietly in the background and Margaret got to learn some more Russian.  We had some no shows on the crew side of things but were able to move forward without them.

Don’t really know what else to write right now.  I can say that we’re approaching the end of this part of the adventure.  Hopefully soon we can all have a drink together and know that we are finished shooting, for now.  Then we can lock Jonathan in a room until he finishes editing.  We’ll slide pizzas under the door for him to eat.

As usual, new photos in the photo section.

One Year Ago

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It was a year ago that we started filming.  At the time I was a little naive.  I actually thought that we’d be finished by the end of the 2008, even though I was advised by others that it wouldn’t happen.  I figured I’d just prove them all wrong.  I guess I was the one that was wrong.
Through the course of this year I’ve been amazed by the level of support, and what we’ve been able to get away with.  Early on we didn’t really know how we were going to pull off all our scenes.  My idea was that we’d do what we could, and as momentum built the rest would just work itself out.  These are some of the highlights that I can remember right now.

  • When we needed money for a HDV deck, we asked and we received from our fans and supporters
  • Jac let us use the Saint to film
  • We had no idea how we were going to do our special effects and Pat showed up to do all our blood work
  • CANO let us use their roof top
  • Bill was able to secure a barge on the Mississippi through Biso
  • Lefty got us a great location for our pirate radio station
  • George let us use his warehouse
  • Tamme letting us use her apartment all weekend
  • We were interviewed on television
  • Sean has been awesome in letting us use his shop
  • Tim letting us use his car, and even volunteered his home
  • Ben let us use his car
  • Terror Optics played one of our trailers ahead of when of their film premieres
  • Delilah sitting in a tub for like six hours without complaint, at least none that I heard
  • All the patient actors that we still haven’t shot
  • All the patient actors we have shot

That’s just what I can remember right now.  I’m sure there are more things that have amazed me.  In the year we’ve had everyone stick by us that was there at the beginning.  That’s a lot of people actually to keep in this thing.  So I just want to say thanks to everyone that’s been with us this past year.  We’ve had our best month so far in June and are starting to see the end.  We still are going to need help, so don’t be surprised if we come knocking.

There are all sorts of new pictures, so you can see that we actually do stuff.  And if you’re reading this from Facebook know that there are more pictures on our main website than on Facebook.  We hope to have the interview on the website one day, but they still have not given us a copy of the interview so…maybe one day.  More updates to come.

Broken Sticks

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Today took a strange toll on me.  It was a “cursed” scene that we’ve tried to film 3 or 4 times already.  I was nervous that someone would miss the shoot.  It had been a while since we’ve shot and I was nervous about that.  The growing number of eyes watching us, well maybe that’s made me a little nervous.

Some other things make me nervous.

It’s actually a little tough organizing 50+ people on a weekly basis.  Granted I never deal with them all at the same time, but I do deal with all their schedules.  It’s even harder when you’re not paying them and they’re doing it for the love of the project, or for whatever reason they may have.  It’s tough because I owe all of them.  I owe them a project they can be proud to be in, and sometimes I don’t feel that I’m the guy that can deliver that.  I want to be, I try to be, and in the end I may be, but I won’t deny that sometimes I doubt myself.

That makes me nervous.

We started this project over a year ago, and we’re about to hit a year since we’ve started filming.  Out of all the drunken ideas I’ve had this is the one that’s had the most life.  Today I looked at the script and saw what we’ve done, and what’s left.  It’s a lot on both ends, but getting this far fuels a belief that we can get further.

If you’re in the movie, thanks.  If you’re behind the scenes, thanks.  If you’ve donated money, thanks.  If you’ve donated a space, or vehicle, or anything, thanks.  I’ll do my best to not let you down.  Just bare with me if I freak out sometimes.