Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hairy Terrors and Location Updates

There is a fear that producers have once a role has been cast. It's a worry that during the weeks of pre-production something will happen to prevent the actor from working on the project or that they won't be the same as when you cast them. For example, the rail thin starlet you've cast as a femme fatale turns up for rehearsals visibly pregnant. Or your pretty boy lead gets his face shredded in a motorcycle accident. It's terrifying. Even with insurance covering the loss and the cost of re-casting, it's a nightmare. When it's a low budget production, producers have no say over what an actor does to his person or what they may be doing in their personal life that could impact a shoot. Heck, the big budget shoots have problems dealing with that. Of course, we always ask if an actor is planning on remaining in the state we found him for the duration of the time we're filming. And we ask that they give a really good effort at trying to remain the same as when we cast them. Our experiences have been good as far as that is concerned. However, there are times when things happen. Jon was filming his thesis film over two weekends. The first weekend, the lead was clean shaven. The second weekend, he showed up with a fabulous moustache he needed to have for a play. Jon had to wait 8 weeks to finish his shoot so that the shots would match.

This brings me to the scare with our vampire. He has lovely, shoulder length hair that makes him look like a romantic figure in caught in the wrong time. The hair certainly work for the flashback scenes to other time. Imagine my surprise when I looked on Facebook and found a lovely photo of our Simon with very short hair. I swallowed hard, thinking about when I would begin a search for a wig that might work while I complimented the photo. I wasn't fibbing. He looked good in the haircut. I thought for a moment that an acting job had come up that required him to cut his hair. After putting on a brave face, I was about to ask if a cool part had come up. Then, I got word on my Facebook page that the photo was a prank on his friends! My heart stopped racing frantically and I got on with my day. We would have been fine as your vampire would be adorable with a green mohawk. I'm just glad that he doesn't have one.

However, we have had to make some adjustments to accommodate our casts. It is pilot season, and to give our guys the best chance at landing one, we're going to hold off on everything until about mid-March. One actor is already in a different part of the country perusing a gig. The others are going out and having call backs. This new start date makes allowances for any pilot shoot that may occur. We figure that it just makes our cast more famous when we get to the web series.

Location Updates
Jon and I have been doing experiments with green screens and footage of street scenes. They worked very well. No one could tell that we weren't live. This will solve a huge location issue and save us hundreds of dollars! We will not reveal those tests right now. If no one knows what scenes are a special effect, no one may even notice. And I have negotiated the use of two excellent locations for the price of some appetizers and baked goods. I feel like a dragon hoarding the gold that is our budget. I will not let a coin go unless I absolutely must!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dance Moves, Vampire Noir and Updates

Yes, that was our very own Jack Donner aka Dr. Richard Bassett in that hilarious Taco Bell ad during the Super Bowl. He's been holding out on us, it seems. We did not know he had any dance moves! We're now trying to figure out how to incorporate this knowledge into something fun for the web series. For those of you who missed it, here it is:

Naturally, we got very little done because it was Super Bowl weekend. That is, we didn't get together with the actors. Jon and I were working even during that Sunday. We're at the stage in the re-write where we talk through dialog to each other. The new treatment is done. Next we go episode by episode and scene by scene constructing the dialog between the characters. We're having a bit of a squabble over a new character and how far to take him during the story arc. Jon has a tendency to go over the top where I tend to like my drama to be more subtle. In this case, it's a dispute over whether a new character should be as powerful as the Terminator in Terminator 2 or he should be more like Jason Bourne – dangerous but killable. I'm getting ahead of myself though. I have to set up a little background for the new script. Don't worry. There are no spoilers. Those were just metaphorical examples.

Some of the great things that have happened as a result of the fund raiser is that we had to come up with script solutions for the budget that resulted in a longer web series by a few episodes. We also created a new character that has long been desired by those who followed Demon Under Glass. The drama had to be more character driven than action driven. We needed to cut down on the number of smaller parts. This solution is really logical and it is a great source of humor and terror. I love writing parallel characters to show how one decision can dramatically alter the course of a life. We have two sets of parallel lives in this web series. I really loved what we had originally planned for a young woman we called 'the Twilight girl.' We are keeping some of those scenes, but I'm really enjoying what we've come up with in its stead. It is very easy to mock the romance in the Twilight Series. We still plan to do that. This girl's timing is almost tragically comedic at times. However, rather than just going for the laugh, we want to hold a mirror up to this poor girl and how terribly sad and dangerous her life choices have become. The Company Man and the Twilight Girl are completely new characters to the Demon Under Glass universe. Casting them will be an interesting process. We do plan to publish a character breakdown on this blog. Please, feel free to make suggestions.

Practical Updates
Since we have a new treatment and a firm idea of our locations, I'm going to make appointments to discuss the permit and insurance costs and application process with the proper authorities. Our budget is so low, that there aren't actual cost categories that cover our web series. It looks like everything will have to be a custom deal.

Donor Bonus
If any donor wishes, we are willing to share the scripts once they are written. We will require that a the signing of a non-dislcosure agreement before sending it.