Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The music vid was supposed to direct got pushed back until further notice, which is cool with me considering I have a bunch of other shit on my plate.

I've recently been hired--which is a gigantic weight off of my mind. Everyone know appears to eitehr be broke, searching for a job, or working earnestly just to keep the one that they have. It's a rough economy.

Still, even with that aside, I've got to get over the massive hurdle of shooting my bloody thesis film, which I was supposed to do in April but had to push back to September as a result of my failing to get the money necessary for production.

The only expenses I really need to make?

Food -- I'm thinking a crew of 15-18 - $100/day?
Car -- a Black Ford Crown Vic - about $120/day

The bulk of the budget will likely be in--

Camera Stuff --depends on what I can swing for free


Grip & Electric - The bane of the producer's existence on a night exterior shoot. Why? 'Cause it's dark as hell and if you've got wide shots, you have to be concerned with how much depth there is in your image. So how much will I be spending? Who the hell knows? To be honest, I'm really down to make this shit look gritty (I think it'll really sell edgy-noir-cop drama) even if that means just working with what street light affords us in the wides, amping up the gain and shooting on a camera like the Sony EX-1, which apparently has a sensor that performs really well in low-light.

But jeah. Can't afford to be spending all that damn money on stadium quality HMI's to light the wides, but might get a few for close-ups, etc.

For production--
On the low end, I'm estimating - $5-7K
On the high, hopefully no more than $7-10, which is quite a bit of $$.

Revisited my site the other night just to check it hadn't usurped by some faceless corporation and made into a factory, although it might in a couple of weeks-months. But so far, I think it's perfect. Quiet as hell, not a lot of traffic and really creepy. Check the pic for a possible reference -- (was dickin around in photoshop for a monochromatic noir style treatment I'm thinking about going with in color correction)

My biggest fears--

- Rain on a Night Exteror Shoot. If I get rained out, I just might be fucked and might possibly have to do a reshoot. There is nothing worse than having to do a reshoot because of weather when you are broke and are getting virtually everyone to work for free. Nothing. It's like 1.5-2x the cost of your estimated budget.

I've had to do it before on "The Learning Curve," the first film I ever attempted and never quite finished--a massive failure which has borne down on my consciousness like a celluloid tumor since the fall of 2007, my intermediate film, one which I've incidentally had to revisit in an effort to get grant $$ for "A Reasonable Doubt."

It's a fish out of water story about a guy trying to connect with a girl from the other side of the tracks and finding that his own class prejudices and elevated sense of self is more of a barrier to their getting together than anything else--oh yeah, those things and the fact that she happens to have a boyfriend.

It's an autobiographical piece that I'm pretty sure had a lot to do with my own feelings of alienation from a lot of other people in the Black community I'd come into contact with since having moved to New York, a general sense of alienation from the Big Apple itself and a satirical treatment of my own sometimes sense of elitism. I don't think I fully understood this when doing the piece, but I think if I had, I might have done a lot of things differently.

But, excuses, excuses, excuses. It was the biggest crew of people I'd ever worked with (18), really my first time crewing and I was way in over my head. But since then, I've worked on a lot more shoots, seen other people fuck up and feel confident that my new film will kick ass.

If it doesn't, I'll be out about 10-15G's. But that's fine. I'm already in debt. I'm pumping everything I can muster--time, $$, etc. into this thing because I believe in it and you've gotta take some risks in this business to get anywhere. Otherwise, I'm just working a day job, something I'll have the rest of my life to do.

So as soon as I get these production dates from my professor, I'm confirming the cast--the majority of which I auditioned back in the Spring (thank God), sending out new prospectuses and trying to weasel as much $$ out of people as I can. I've still got time. The worst thing anyone can say is "no" and after months of fundraising, I've become all but immune to hearing that now.

I've got to get this thing done and I will. It might just be great. It might not, either, but scared money don't make none.

More forthcoming.

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