After an amazing location scout to Leo Carillo Beach in Malibu, our fearless director, Ruben O'Malley, visited the permit office to inquire about shooting there. What we discovered was the following:
1. In order to shoot at Leo Carillo Beach without getting kicked off or out, we would need a permit.
2. A permit might cost us $800
3. A student project costs us $0
Cut to: Find film student...STAT.
Ash and I reached out to a select group of film students who we knew and respected. We awaited responses and time started to tick. As we got closer to our initial shoot date we knew we had to push it back 1 week. This involved re-coordinating travel plans and clearing schedule of our co-star, the charming, dashing, Jonathan Chase. You see, Jonathan is a BUSY working actor! He so generously offered to join our project provided that we could work around his work. Understandably so--we've all got bills to pay!
Once we pushed back our shoot and took a deep breath, we got confirmation from a student DP who was recommended to us.
However...we wouldn't be able to file for insurance in time, as his school would take a few days to process our request.
As we put one foot in front of the other, Ruben visited the permit office once again to see how we might move forward. The news he received was that despite our initial application, Leo Carillo Beach was no longer available. (Insert sad face here) HOWEVER, the folks at the office recommended he check out El Matador Beach, a STATE run beach with much less strict/much less expensive permit requirements. Plus, it was avail on our requested date.
Ruben went on a location scout to El Matador and reported its magnificence to Ash and I. Everything was going swimmingly....
Ruben got a message from the office on a Friday that his permit had not gone through. We were planning on shooting Wednesday. By the time Ruben received the message, it was too late to call.
I suggested we think of a plan B. I would be traveling back to LA in a week, which left the following Wednesday free. Ruben and Ash were also avail. Jonathan would be finishing his tv shoot the day prior, so it looked good.
Cut to: JK! There was a mistake from the permit office. We were clear to shoot on our first choice date.
Cut to: We have no confirmation from our makeup girl.
Cut to: We have no makeup girl.
Cut to: This Wednesday. Ash and I meet at Ruben's apt at 6 am to do our own makeup. We drive to our location where Jonathan, our DP Matt, and our sound guy Caleb await us. It is now 7:45 am. We have 1 hour tops to shoot Jonathan's scene before he has to run to the other side of the universe (Downtown LA) for a tv table read at 10:45 am. Heart racing, palms sweating, SOMEHOW we manage to shoot Jonathan's footage in time for him to drive (probably in lots of traffic) to the other side of the universe and make it in time to his important job.
Once we sent Jonathan on his way, we had the rest of the day to make our film. However, Ash had a last minute commercial audition at 6:15 pm. Sheesh!
The day was spectacular. Shooting at El Matador Beach with this amazing team felt like such a gift. I'm confident we captured the heart of our film on Wednesday.
As the sun started to set, we realized the time. It was approaching 6pm and Ash was supposed to be at her audition.
We decided due to the setting of the light and the need to get Ash to her audition, that it would be best to shoot our last segment the same day we're planning to shoot our 1 interior scene. Totally feasible.
With terrible reception, somehow Ash managed to get through to the casting office, who informed her that auditions were going until 7:30pm. Strange how late they were seeing people, but great for Ash's needs!
We gathered our equipment and props, hightailed it back to Ruben's apt, and sent Ash on her way to her appointment (in lots of traffic). SOMEHOW, she managed to get to the audition just in the knick of time.
It was a crazy, long, intense day, but we did it. Aside from the stressors of ensuring everyone could fulfill their outside responsibilities, day 1 couldn't have gone better. Did I mention that at day's end I got a call from my agent with a 'straight to tape for producers' audition for a TV show?!
All in all, though our journey with this project is nowhere near complete, I know we are on course. Magical things have happened since we decided to begin and will continue. I'm sure of it. In the meanwhile, here are some photos from our beautiful day at El Matador Beach. Stay tuned for more updates soon...
Ruben O'Malley, Director
El Matador Beach
Matt Dennie, DP
El Matador Beach