I will be going home this weekend to visit my dad as well as my best friend to celebrate her birthday (and her daughter’s first birthday). I’m taking the weekend off from Plum St., but I will be back for the third and final weekend of shooting – unless there are re-shoots needed Halloween weekend. I’m not sure what my involvement will for any re-shoots. The script runs 15 pages/15 minutes and is cleverly written, and I look forward to sharing it with you once it’s complete later this year.
Last Saturday was a crazy day. I woke up late and may or not have sped the whole way to Cincinnati. When I called Brian from outside his apartment, he told me they were filming in a neighboring city in Kentucky. I had to wake up Brandon and have him direct me over the phone to the set location, and I was very, very late as a result. Don’t even get me started on the Plum St. parking garage I got stuck inside of.
We filmed one scene outside the house in Kentucky, and then one inside. Like many days on the set of “Beacon Alley,” we wrapped early for the day. Afterward, we went to the Plum St. Cafe, which was one of the settings for the 48 hour film project. We had an informal meeting, one in which I was barely a participant of, since I don’t live in their city and am more or less a guest of Plum St. However, in this meeting, I stated that, because the production company is growing so quickly so fast, I would be more than happy to be a contributing writer from afar. To this, Kevin said if I wanted, I could come down and direct. I was floored. Big things are happening on Plum St.
When I last checked in with Plum St. Productions in August, there were plans in motion for the short film, “Gnomewhere to Hide.” The guys were taking it slow, making sure they had enough time to get the script just right, and prepare for everything they would need. As a result, the timing of production got pushed back once or twice, but they used their time well. In August, they had just become an LLC, officially, for the going rate of $125 in paperwork and signatures. Then along came a certain barbecue joint with a notorious, scantily-clad mannequin. Plum St. Productions was commissioned in September to make their first-ever commercial. It was big. Also big for me, because I had lent them my camera for the month of October, for the short film. When I asked how they were going to shoot the commercial, Brian said, we’ll have your camera by then, won’t we? They did. The commercial was shot shortly before production on “Gnomewhere” began. I haven’t seen it yet, but it airs in Cincinnati tonight between 9 and 10 p.m. on the Food Network. They are slated to film a second spot for the restaurant before the end of the month. Technically, this is all taking place in the month of October, the time during which I agreed to part with my camera, but I can’t help but worry that Plum St.’s workload is growing outside the realm of their time and resources.
Additionally, a very exciting but potentially troubling element is about to get involved: money. Plum St. produced the first commercial free of charge, in order to begin a portfolio of commercial work. Now, they are drafting a one-time contract for the second commercial and hope to get a flat rate out of it. Any future commercials, if requested, will be under a second contract. This is the point where I would begin to wonder how worthwhile it is to turn your hobby into your business. For some people, this jump is a natural one. For lazy people like me, it’s terrifying. I am watching the goings-on at Plum St. with an anxious eye as I hope they will be able to safely navigate this new territory without losing money or friendships. One thing I will say to this is that you can’t beat the feeling of solidarity and camaraderie on set. All people involved cares so much about the filmmaking process and are happy to spend their weeknights and weekends doing it.
On Sunday, we shot at a third location, and the main set of the film. We wrapped early, although we were unable to complete all the shots scheduled due to loss of natural lighting in the afternoon. I left Cincinnati around 5 and headed back to Columbus.