Sunday, October 21, 2012

Snowballing On The Beach

A massive growth spurt has occurred in our baby.  We're so proud/excited/ready to share/have new pictures.

We have a FANTASTIC director (and human!) leading the charge. With his expertise and major steam we've created a genuine snowballing effect with the evolution of our story.

Let's take it back a few weeks, shall we?

(Light snowfall) Melissa and I meet at the general store on Laurel Canyon to be inspired to really clean up our script (creating our third edit). We are completely inspired and enjoy vegan peanut butter carob cookies. We think everyone walking in the cafe-esque store front is unbelievably fascinating. We are left feeling full, though curious as to how our next step would play out-- Would we just hire a DP we knew and self direct? When would we location scout? All the technicals basically were completely up in the air. A genuine two man show.

(Snow storm) :(I'm switching tenses now for some reason...)  Melissa had a brilliant idea and as described in her post just reached out! (Not just-- she made it happen!) She got a BIG BITE. We had a potential director who happened to be a professional cinematographer as well. BONUS, he clearly expressed his love for Lisa and said his wife had worked with her on LAUREL CANYON. :) :) :)

(Snowed in!) We all met. It was a love affair. Ruben is his name and not only did we have a fantastic discussion of the script, characters, and ideas for shooting- he stepped up as Mister Producer and we all went location scouting the next day.

(We make a snow fort with all the snow we have) We found a beautiful spot on the beach that we again, all fell in love with.  After two washings and a two hose downs I'm still trying to get sand out of my Tom's. So worth it.

(We crunch on delicious snow cones)  Melissa and I met at TRAILS in Griffith Park to adjust our script after talking further with Ruben and seeing our location. What a beautiful afternoon under the trees. We discussed our main message now very clearly, and not only felt our script reflected Lisa, but us as well.

We are very excited about the message we are envisioning with this piece.

 (Roads are cleared and we are making snow balls for the big fight!) We've all been emailing like little bunnies (admittedly Ruben and Melissa took the major reigns coordinating people and information-- so grateful) and today we all met up again. (Everyone came to my house and I thrust upon them a Sunset Magazine recipe of roasted grapes and yummy snobby goat cheese...good gracious I love having company).  We went shot by shot. Chose our shoot dates for October 30th and 31st. Worked on nailing down our players. We will have two locations, three actors (including Melissa and I) and a skeleton crew.

 Less than 3 weeks ago Melissa and I were going to be producer, writer, director, actor, make up, hair, wardrobe, props, location scout, permit wrangler, etc. and NOW a strong leader is making it all a reality (plus people waiting in the wings enabling us to be ACTORS on a professional set). What a gift. Christmas has come way earlier than we expected AND we're on the beach enjoying it :)

Enjoy the view... :)

In anticipation of Christmas morning,

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Pursuit of Truth & Authenticity

I am committed to the pursuit of truth and authenticity in my work.  Isn't that what we strive for as artists?  I've also been putting a lot of thought into the types of people I want to collaborate with.  Isn't it so much better when you share artistic sensibilities and a common vision?

Though it is still early in the process of The Indie Crush Project, I am finding that when you put energy into something that rings true to who you are, those special people inevitably come into your world.

It goes without saying that my writing partner and co-star to be, Ash Archambeau and I, stumbled upon each other because of these commonalities.  If you haven't already, you can read about the fortuitous events that led to this collaboration here.  Well, in our joint pursuit of truth and authenticity, we have joined forces with another like-minded soul.  Again, the connection seemed effortless and inevitable!

In pursuit of a director, I reached out to a network of actors, writers, directors, etc. I'm a part of called Squalor Los Angeles.  What Ash & I were seeking was a director who shared our respect for Lisa Cholodenko and understood her sensibilities.  I got 2 responses: One from a producer/composer who expressed interest in potentially scoring our film, and one from a filmmaker who primarily works as a D.P., but again, seemed interested.  After giving him a little background about our project and sending him to this blog, he was on board!  I spoke with him on the phone and we discussed the impetus for the project, our backgrounds, etc.  Before reading our script he was already enthusiastic about joining the team and being a part of this project.

"Too good to be true," I asked myself?  "What if he thinks our script is shit?" When all three of us met for the first time this afternoon at Commissary in West Hollywood, the answer proved to be "no"  it was/isn't too good to be true, and "no" he doesn't think our script is shit.  Kind, generous, engaged, & asking all the right questions about the script, the characters, the story we want to tell, and the lasting impact we seek to have on our audience, Ash & I couldn't believe another kindred spirit fell into our laps.

"Who is this mysterious director extraordinaire?"  You might be asking...Well, I'll leave you in suspense until the next blog post.  In the meanwhile, I can't believe how effortlessly Ash and Mystery Director Man have flowed into my world.  I guess there's something to this pursuit of truth & authenticity thing after all...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

If we were actually writing on paper....imagine.

It's been a bit of time since I posted, though on the flip side we have made some big writing strides!

Melissa and I have met five times and every time we seem to carve something that resembles 'Lisa' a bit more clearly.

Simply our process has been thus far:

Pre-Pro: watching, reading, learning, loving Lisa Cholodenko

1- Choosing a location, character ideas, themes, and stylistic elements that a) were Lisa enduced b) were accessible for us as actors and filmmakers

2- Character descriptions, creating a world, creating a log line, crafting a title.

3- Outlining the events of our story (our poor man's version of Celtx storyboarding-- I'd like to call it snap shots )

4-  Purging a first rough draft

5- Refining our story by streamlining the style and language-- really boiling down what we need.

Melissa was far better off the bat at writing subtext than I. I know what the subtext is, however my tendency is to want to write some of it too-- sometimes my brain still defaults to think in theatre where  action is written as word.  Working on that...Melissa snaps me back out of it. She's feisty when she writes ;)

This last go-round was our fifth visit which paled in culinary comparison to our previous meet up (over pumpkin, arugula, brazil nut, and sheep's cheese pizza mind you- yummmm I love cooking for nice people who appreciate food).

Our goal this last time around was to strip as much away as we could. One of our earliest notes about Lisa's style was the idea that life is messy-- and translating that idea through language was what we needed to focus on. Our writing was not to be messy, rather our writing had to reflect the immediate P.O.V. of characters who didn't necessarily know what to say eloquently through out. Ultimately we yet again were reminded that less is more in dialogue when it comes to visual storytelling.

We got about two-thirds of the way through before Melissa had to run to see THE MASTER and I ran to see LOOPER. I'm looking forward to our next writing sesh where we'll inevitably digress about actor shop talk, the films we've seen, and forever sharing strange coincidences that only make our partnership seem like a fateful gift.

Happy creating everyone.