The magic of filmmaking begins

Today, a lot of problems got solved. We have yet to have a director of photography commit (we have at least three noncommittals) but we found sound equipment and a lighting director. The Summit Workshop, the sweet local recording studio I’ve done a couple videos and a blog for, will be loaning our group a couple of mics and a world of expertise we didn’t have otherwise. As for lights, Stacey’s sweet flier caught the attention of an OSU theatre student who does lighting at school. Also, Stacey and I met with our Lauren and Alice and they are just as we had hoped they’d be in person. We couldn’t be happier.

We also scouted out our first filming location, Stacey’s street and front yard, which we’ll be using Monday night. We have a plan of action, so that makes me feel a whole lot better. We also checked out the backyard, where a photo session with our candidate will take place the following evening.

The only thing that didn’t happen today that was supposed to was the purchase of our lighting equipment, but maybe that will turn out to be for the best if our student has equipment of her own. Hopefully I’ll find out tomorrow and we can go from there. If it ends up being that we do have to get our own lighting, this is what I want:

Lots and lots of light

It’s a full lighting kit intended for filming, and it’s less than $250. That may sound like a lot, but it seems to be a good deal for this many pieces. Plus, it includes an instructional DVD. This kit would be ideal, but Aryeh has to agree. He did say he wanted better quality equipment for the long term rather than my ghetto flood light and white poster board options. Hopefully he still feels that way.

Read all about it

This weekend will be busy. Stacey has agreed to help me out and mount the giant Mowry sign onto some foam core and wooden posts while I’m in Caldwell. Then on Sunday, I’ll be driving to Cincinnati to go to IKEA, which has these panels we need as part of our set design. I’ll explain more about that in a future post.

I cannot wait to start filming. You have no idea.

Full cast at last

As of today, we have people committed to each role in “The Candidate”. Took long enough, sheesh. “Beacon Alley” and “Paper Cuts” spoiled me, I realize now. I am meeting with our Alice and Lauren actresses tomorrow at a coffeeshop near the photography supply store where Aryeh and I will be picking up equipment after work. He’s been in Chicago for the past few days but Stacey and I have been keeping things going with pre-production. I sent out a copy of the production schedule as well as wardrobe requirements to everyone and we got our VistaPrint materials ordered just in time.

Back when I was doing my other productions, I was only filming on weekends and maybe once during the week, but with this baby, we’ll be be shooting four nights in a row, twice. Previously, I was able to write epic blog posts like this one or this one, since I had time in between filming days. However, now that I only blog on weeknight evenings and that’s exactly when we’ll be filming, who knows? I’ll try my best because I love those posts and maybe someday they’ll be part of a book I’ll write about shoestring budget filmmaking for broke-ass college students or something. I don’t really need to sleep for two weeks, right? It was also nice having Brandon around to take all the awesome photos he did, but hopefully I’ll remember to ask someone to do that each night on set.

YouTube stripped a video I just posted of its audio and I’m pretty mad about it. I shot some footage of my dad’s friends and family annual softball game over the weekend and edited it tonight. I added a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song as the soundtrack and YouTube immediately deleted the audio track as a result. Whatever, YouTube. You and me, we used to be friends.

Incumbent Michael Mowry

Stacey designed this poster for our main character’s competition. We ordered this image on a 6 ft. x 2.5 ft. banner today. The guy on it is our executive producer Aryeh, whom we are pretty sure is excited about the prospect of hanging this on his wall after we wrap.

He loves America so you don't have to (thanks, Owen)

Owen’s suggestion is not really his campaign slogan but its ridiculousness makes me laugh anyway.

Production Schedule for “The Candidate”

All shooting will start no earlier than 6 p.m. and wrap no later than 9:30 p.m. each night.

Monday, Aug. 23:
6:30 p.m.: 20. EXT., Dennis, extras, Stacey’s street/yard
7:30 p.m.: 22. EXT., Brittany, Dennis, Stacey’s yard
Location: Italian Village

Tuesday, Aug. 24:
7:00 p.m.: Photo session with John Cunningham for fake campaign materials
Location: Italian Village

Wednesday, Aug. 25:
7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.:
1. INT. Matthew, interview room
8. INT., Matthew, interview room
13. INT., Matthew, interview room
24. INT., Matthew, interview room
26. INT., Matthew, Lauren, interview room
3. INT., Lauren, interview room
7. INT., Lauren, interview room
Location: Westerville, OH

Thursday, Aug. 26:
6:00 p.m.: 4. INT., Matthew, extras, Lauren, campaign office (setting up framed documents)
6:15 p.m.: Unscripted, INT., Matthew, looking at Cunningham’s site on laptop
6:30 p.m.: 5. INT., Alice, Dennis, extras, Lauren, campaign office (Alice speaking)
7:00 p.m.: 2. Ext. Matthew, outside campaign office
7:30 p.m.: 2A., INT. Matthew, Dennis, Lauren, 3 extras (water balloon fight), campaign office
8:00 p.m. – 9 p.m.:
16. INT., Dennis, interview room
11. INT., Alice, interview room
19. INT., Alice, interview room
Location: Westerville, OH

Monday, Aug. 30:
6:00 p.m.: 9. INT., John Cunningham, interview room
6:30 p.m.: 25. INT., Matthew, Dennis, Lauren, Alice, Brittany, Councilman Philips, Chad, John Cunningham, campaign office
8:00 p.m.: 6. INT., Matthew, Alice, Lauren, John Cunningham, campaign office
Location: Westerville, OH

Tuesday, Aug. 31:
6:00 p.m.: 11. INT., Alice, interview room
6:15 p.m.: 19. INT., Alice, interview room
6:45 p.m.: 10. INT., Alice, Lauren, Matthew, Chad, campaign office
Location: Westerville, OH

Wednesday, Sept. 1:
6:00 p.m.: 23. INT., Alice, Lauren, Dennis, Matthew, Brittany, Judy Cunningham
7:00 p.m.: 14. INT., Lauren, Matthew, Dennis, Brittany, campaign office
8:00 p.m.: 18. INT., Lauren, Dennis, Matthew, Brittany, Alice, campaign office
Location: Westerville, OH

Thursday, Sept. 2:
6:00 p.m.: 12. INT., Dennis, Matthew, Alice, Lauren, campaign office
7:00 p.m.: 15. INT., Lauren, Dennis, Lauren’s office
7:30 p.m.: 17. INT., Lauren, Dennis, Lauren’s office (15, cont’d)
8:00 p.m.: 21. INT., Matthew, Lauren, campaign office
Location: Westerville, OH

Who wants to come hold sound and lighting equipment any of these nights?

Set location coming along

As I mentioned, my friends and I are fortunate enough to be allowed to film at our work place as long as we aren’t bothering anyone or interrupting any previously scheduled events. Or tear the place apart. The area we’ll be filming the majority of our scenes in is free at least six out of the eight weeknights I want to film there between Monday, Aug. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 2. The other two nights we’ll use for our exterior shots and one interior shot that will be filmed in my own office.

In other words, we may actually be able to film this thing in under two weeks.

We’ve got a couple obstacles in terms of set, but I have Stacey helping me brainstorm ways to creatively solve problems as we come across them. It sure is nice having someone to worry and think fast along with you. Of course, with Paper Cuts, that role was filled by Brandon, who was incredibly supportive and a huge help. I guess what I mean to say is, as much as I’d like to claim I am a one-woman-show when it comes to filmmaking, it’s a largely collabortative process. And thank God for that.

I still need people to be willing to work as crew. Since it looks like we’ll be getting our own equipment after all, can I entice anyone to stand in to use it? I can’t stress enough that there is no experience necessary.

This could be your experience.

Paging Pam Beasley

Tonight I went to my first Mid Ohio Filmmakers Association monthly mixer to try to recruit our crew and our last cast members for The Candidate. There were definitely more writer/directors and tech folks there, but a few actors. We may have found some crew people and an Alice, but we still need a Lauren and Councilman Philips. Oh, and a director of photography. Eeek. I was hoping tonight’s event would have rounded out the cast and crew, but there’s still work to be done.

The thing about Lauren is that I have a pretty firm opinion on who this actress should be. I need her to be down to earth, but confident and cute. I need her to be the Pam to our Jim (aka Matthew). Pam just lights up a room and that’s kind of hard to do. But anyway. I know she’s out there, somewhere in the Columbus area.

Stacey made a prettttty awesome piece for our candidate John Cunningham, complete with The Sleeper Hit-voter-approved fake campaign slogan. How cheesy is this:

Holy crap that's gonna look good on a hat

I hope Aryeh liked the one she made for the incumbent and Cunningham’s opponent. Because it was hilarious.

Ben Folds, “The Luckiest”

When Christina was getting ready for her wedding with all of us, one of the bridesmaids was playing DJ with the iPhones in the room, of which there were three. Christina said she wanted to hear Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest,” but no one had it. I asked the bridesmaid, Mary, to swap out my ipod for hers and while a patient woman did my make up I downloaded the song on iTunes. Mary came back over for it and played the song.

“You found it,” said Christina, happily. I smiled.

I knew I’d heard it before, probably in college or on Pandora, and I didn’t really listen to it then when we were getting ready, but I recognized it when I heard it again that night; it was Christina and B.C.’s first dance as a couple at the reception. I knew then why she had wanted to hear it.

I’ve listened to it several times since then and I seriously have a hard time hearing it without tearing up. It’s perfect. It’s their song.

I don’t get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I’d been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away

I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

Stronger every day

Christina and B.C.’s wedding was amazing. Anyone’ll tell you. Nothing terrible happened, the weather was absolutely perfect and everyone was pretty chill all day. And everything I ate was awesome, which is always an added bonus with these kind of special occasions.

Me with the bride (like our shirts?)

B.C. just looked so happy Friday night at the rehearsal, preparing to marry his best friend, and that smile stayed on his face all weekend. Christina was gorgeous and glowy, like it was the best day of her life. I know this is getting cheesy, but I’ve realized I am a sucker for weddings. Or at least ones where you can feel the love two people have for each other. It’s amazing.

Walking (back) down the isle

The guy I was not looking forward to seeing all weekend seemed to respect my wish to not speak and he left me alone. I felt sick to my stomach driving my car to the rehearsal, knowing I was about to see him, but once that initial shock passed I knew the hard part was over. He seemed normal, like nothing had changed. And for some reason, just seeing him made it a little hard to stay mad at him. But at the same time, I think it’s best for everyone if I just stay mad. It hurts less that way.

I met Brandon’s girlfriend Sunday, as I knew I was going to. She introduced herself pleasantly right off the bat, which made me feel immediately at ease. I guess I expected her to not want anything to do with me, and I knew I couldn’t blame her if that was the case. She could have definitely been like, eff you, I’ve heard all about how crazy you is. But she wasn’t.

My lovely bouquet

Seeing Doug and Chandra was the cherry on top. I’ve missed them like crazy, and once a year is far too seldom to be in their company. Luckily I get to see them again Thursday. Can’t wait.

Me with Chandra and Doug of Colorado

Me and Jessi D. at the reception

Wedding hair

Wedding hair, post-bobby pin removal procedure (Medusa?)