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.
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!