waning days of august

assembly cut of the film exists. flying to LA over labor day wknd to put in labor on getting to rough cut. looks like we have a composer as well as a compositor to help w/ some of the visuals. our kickstarter failed but it toughened our resolve. closer closer

april update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hello all. long time, no updating. you can rest assured that it’s attributable to a volatile admixture of hard work, low-grade malaise, and paying a series of crushing bills come due from the shoot. Fear not, we will be kicking things into high gear soon and the updates and embellishments will be coming at a furious clip. You may freak out. In the interim, to sate your diminished interest and desperate craving/s for news and information,  here’s a low-resolution screen grab of the great Matt Sipes driving. His beard is magnificent and he thinks so too. We shot this on Night One of production using, among other items,  some LED lights and ratchet straps on the hood of a truck.  enjoy it. and please stay tuned!

production wrapped!

 

Greetings friends!  on Monday 2/4 we officially wrapped principal photography on our film.  Whoo-hoo! It was an all-consuming, time-eating enterprise with highs and lows and a couple twists and turns but overall it was a generally glorious experience. I’m planning to  do a day by day recap of shooting in the coming days – memory, energy and day job interference notwithstanding.

some stats: 37 400 ft rolls of exposed film; 16 shoot days; budget roughly 25K, give or take here or there (final budget pending); crew of roughly 10-12 every day; cast of zero-6 depending on the day.

more coming as time allows. please stand by.

Meet the Cast – Cora Benesh

Very thrilled to announce Cora Benesh has been cast in our film as Lainie. You’ve seen Cora on Portlandia, and in feature films like Rid of Me and Some Days Are Better Than Others. In addition to her day gig as an actress and a fashion, runway, and commercial model, Cora stays busy as a filmmaker: she starred in, co-wrote and co-produced the film City Baby which I have a hunch you’ll be hearing more about in the coming days.  You can learn more about Cora at her website, found here. She brings a vibrant timbre to the film and her considerable talent will elevate our entire enterprise. Welcome Cora!!

Meet the Crew – Jordan Eusebio

Ladies and Gents, allow me to introduce our esteemed and multi-talented sound guru, Jordan Eusebio. A graduate of Chapman University (Film Production, emphasis Sound Design), Jordan currently resides in Denton Texas where he consumes rap music and reads about US History. He’s also a considerable crustacean aficionado which is easily verified by glancing at the photograph just to the north of this text. Jordan will not only be on set gathering production sound, but also in post doing the sound design for the film. Please check out his site here and remember him when you marvel at the sonic quality of this film. Welcome Jordan!

Meet the Cast – Bill Sebastian

 

I am happy to announce Bill Sebastian has been cast as the role of Paul. In addition to new fatherhood and running, Bill spends his time in Los Angeles as an actor and filmmaker. His movie QWERTY is out on the festival circuit currently, earning kudos from small-time reviewers like Roger Ebert. Please read about Bill’s life/projects and begin tracking his movements along with me on his eponymous website.  He brings the exact vibe I’ve been looking for to the film and I am psyched to work with him. I am pumping my fists in the air furiously. Welcome Bill!!

Meet the Cast – Matthew Sipes

Very excited to announce: Matthew Sipes has been cast in the role of Eli. Matthew has appeared in two of my short films, Good Food and The Big Black Dark. (note: Matthew usually goes by Matt but I’m formal-izing his name for this announcement. I’ll probably hear about it later.) In addition to his handsomeness and beard, Matthew brings a calm demeanor and dedicated approach to his film work. He is an asset on any film and I am thrilled to work with him again. Among his interests: home energy audits, mycology, Ween. Welcome aboard Matthew!

(photo: Jessica Carlin. I think. I grabbed it off FB)

location scout/s

early AM Friday, picked up Scott B and 2 of the actors who have been cast and drove to the location in Arch Cape where we’ll be shooting a large part of the film. Being in the space w/ the actors brought a whole new sensation to the enterprise, a whole new sense of reality. We walked through the space, around the exterior, onto the beach, absorbing the details to both artistic and technical purpose.  After, we drove back to Portland. Scott and I continued on to a possible location for the art gallery scene.  a good day.

auditions, etc

It takes enormous drive and courage to be an actor in general, but specifically to audition, to walk into a room on a random day and inhabit a page or two of a role that you have no context for and hope that whatever you’re doing lands near what the filmmaker/s are going for, knowing dozens of other actors are there to do the same?  Man, I could not do it. My internal critic would be unbearably brutal.

We are casting for 4 roles at present, 2 male, 2 female. Saturday we saw people for all 4 roles. Some actors read for both parts, some read only for one (divided by gender I mean). Typically I’d have the actor read with no guidance, just so I could see how they interpreted the side they were assigned. There was no right or wrong to this per se but it definitely clues you in to a) actor’s sensibility b) how well/poorly the scene is written and conveying information. After reading it through once I’d provide a little background for the scene and character and have them do it again.  Because this script has lived inside me for so long I have very specific ideas about each character – some quantifiable, most nebulous – but it was fantastic to see so many different people reading. It opened me up, my concept of the film that is,  in ways I hadn’t anticipated. And that’s the strange alchemy in this, I’m looking for a very specific person but if you’re able to show me something I didn’t know was there then that could work too. I have to be rigidly flexible.  In any event, the biggest problem is finding the right person. If  you have 2 people nail the same role in an audition but one brings a lighter sensibility than the other which one do you go with? Which factor will enhance the film best? It’s unanswerable really. And so you have to do a lot of going w/ the gut reaction and hoping months from now when you’re shooting and months beyond that when you’re watching the finished film, that you picked correctly.The second hardest part will be not being able to use everyone, b/c the amount of talent we saw was very impressive. Some people we saw were so so good but simply not right for the part. I left the auditions in a bit of a daze. Going to review and muse and make some decisions about callbacks very soon.

Today is the deadline for the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship via the OAC. I’ve been working around the clock to get my submission in shape.  To that degree it’s the same equation as the actor: I’m sending them my best take on what I think they’re looking for, knowing full well that there are myriad talented filmmakers pursuing the same grant, and that the odds are very much not in my favor. Living the dream! Onward!

wednesday am

Been reading a bevy of film and production related items. I do this generally anyway but all is refracted now by the prism of our production, just a few months away. Of great value to me at this juncture is John Sayle’s ‘Thinking in Pictures’ which is a document of sorts of his conception and production of Matewan. I’ve always admired Sayles approach and work ethic more than been passionate about his films, but Matewan is top-shelf.

Sunday we went to Living Room Theatres to see “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. I had varying reactions to the movie as I was watching, transported at times and nonplussed at others. Ultimately I found it moving debut feature with an impressive and unique visual style. You can do a lot worse.