Day 3 of filming for “The Candidate”

This means WAR

We filmed a guy willingly getting hit with a water balloon Thursday night. Steve, who is playing Matthew, was braced for it and took it like a champ. My brother got caught in the crossfire/aftermath but being the pro he is, he didn’t stop rolling despite the shock (or the droplets of water on the lens).

We had 11 people on set last night, and it was kind of crazy, including two extras, the talented Sean Eaton on Camera 2, our producer, assistant director, crew and actors. It started off on a frightening note when I realized I’d told Becca to be there at 7:45 instead of 7. Fortunately, we had a scene we could shoot while we waited for her and she got there as soon as she could. She was really nice about my mistake, too. We shot one interview scene in my office, a scene with Becca and Matt in Stacey’s office and the rest over on the other side of our building. The later scenes were the first ones actually in the campaign office. While Owen, Sean and Steve shot a quick scene outside before it got dark, everyone else teamed up and set up the office set in less than ten minutes. It was pretty impressive. The IKEA panel curtains we purchased last week seemed to suffice as a way to block off the long hallway we wanted to hide and Aryeh pointed out they could pass as window shades, merely covering a giant window in the office.

What the....?

The water balloon scene was tricky; we only had one chance to hit Steve with the balloon so it had to be good. To make things more complicated, it was dark by the time we got to that scene so we couldn’t show Steve entering the door as we’d planned. We worked around this by instead showing the office employees (Becca, Matt, extras Christine and Samantha) going nuts in all-out Nerf gun warfare before showing Steve step into the frame. So instead of him getting hit with the balloon the second he entered, he stood shocked for a few seconds watching the chaos and THEN getting pelted. I think the end result ended up being funnier than originally planned so it all worked out. Also we ended up having three cameras on Steve when the balloon hit. Action shot to the max.

I heart my actors

I love all the actors because they totally get their characters. I feel like the ones I wrote for this are more developed than ones I’ve written in the past and they seem more real. I am really happy with our casting and how everyone seems to be getting along.

Tomorrow the scariest scene of my life takes place, with every cast member on set and lots of craziness going on. It’s a good thing we now have three cameras, but we’re kind of going to need people behind them. Also, my dad will be there, yay! Hooray for the most supportive dad on the planet who randomly agreed to come to Columbus on a Monday night to be in a very silly production with me, my brother and our friends. It’s just like when we were kids, right?

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Building buzz for a web series

The other night before the photo shoot with Bill, Aryeh made the interesting suggestion that we do some fake campaign commercials. I’m pretty sure it was just because he wants more screen time beyond his face appearing on a giant sign in one scene, but it turned out to be a pretty good idea once we got rolling. As a result, we brainstormed most of our marketing strategy for the web series.

When Bill got to the shoot, we ran the idea of a campaign ad by him and he was down with it. We’ll do a positive one surrounding Aryeh’s character, Mike Mowry, and another one of Mowry in an attack ad against Cunningham. We’re not sure yet which Cunningham’s will be a response to but I’m going to do some writing soon. My friend Andrew has agreed to donate his son’s time so we have a baby for either Aryeh or Bill to kiss. So ridiculous. Have you seen any crazy ads for or against candidates? Do share. We’re shooting the ads the Wednesday and Thursday after Labor Day and we’re also looking for a guy to do a really dramatic voiceover or two.

We plan to air one of Mowry’s ads first, then Cunningham’s a couple days after, followed by Mowry’s second one. This will be followed by a two-minute trailer of the show itself. Hopefully by this point our friends, family and acquaintances will be more intrigued than annoyed by all this buzz.

On top of these fake ads and trailer giving the name of the series at the end (and hopefully a website/YouTube channel), we’re going to embellish the hideous site Stacey made for Cunningham. We’ll also create Facebook fan pages for each candidate and try to get our friends to join them. We can post funny status updates in character and stuff, that could be cool.

I started a gmail account under the name CandidateSeries (TheCandidate and TheCandidate2010 were taken, boooo). Stacey has agreed to create a site as part of her personal one to host the series, and she does spectacular work. I would have loved to have had a site just for “Paper Cuts” but I had no way of getting one at the time.

Anyway, so that’s the plan. I hope it works and doesn’t backfire. We’ll have to be careful not to overexpose the thing next month. After all the build up we’ll air episodes on Mondays and Fridays in October. If we have more than 8 episodes, we might air them Monday, Wednesday and Friday until they’re done. We’ll see.