casting over the phone

for the upcoming dc shorts film festival, i have to direct a staged reading of my script Camera Obscura. there are 7 finalists, and after all the scripts are performed, the audience votes and the winner (if i remember correctly) wins $1500 plus a $2000 completion bond after they finish making the film.

i live in LA so i have to cast actors from DC over the phone. i’ve never done that before so it’ll be interesting. i received some headshots and all of the actors have a lot of theater experience which is great, because they’re going to have to act differently than they would for film. the performances will have to be bigger so the people in the audience can see it. they won’t have the benefit of the close up.

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my next film project

the closer i get to finishing up my project, the more i’ve thinking about what i want to work on next.

there are a lot of different things i’ve been wanting to experiment with.

  • after making a dialogue heavy comedy, i’m itching to make something more visually exciting. i still want to tell a story, but comedies aren’t really a great way to showcase an exciting visual style.
  • i want to incorporate more visual effects. this will involve shooting green screen and compositing. i have some friends that know how to do this so hopefully they can help me.
  • after Martial Artsy, i want to try my hand at directing action again. i think i learned a lot from making that short and want to push things further.
  • i want to operate the camera myself. i want a minimal crew where i can move quickly and frame things exactly how i want.
  • (more…)

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    buying vs renting a video camera / director operating the camera / some camera comparisons


    i’ve always been a big proponent of renting a camera vs buying one. there are many benefits to renting. you can rent a camera for a fraction of the price of buying one. with that extra money, you can pay a DP to operate the camera. ideally you could find a DP that owns his own camera and pay a cheaper rate for both. with the rest of the money, you can hire other crew, rent other equipment, feed your cast and crew, etc.

    also, the general consensus is that the director shouldn’t operate the camera. the director should focus on the actor’s performance and trust the DP and the rest of the camera department to operate the camera. the director would discuss the look he wanted beforehand, and hopefully provide floorplans and storyboards to comunicate his vision to the DP.

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    last minute rush to finish post production

    i pulled an all nighter to finish editing on tuesday for the wednesday contest deadline. i don’t remember the last time i stayed up all night working on project. even in college i’d go to bed for at least a couple hours. but not this time. i didn’t get tired or sleepy, but i knew my mental faculties would slip as the night wore on. i tried to do all the creative decision making early in the night while i was still fresh, and leave the more mundane repetitive things for later if and when i went into zombie mode.

    the composer had issues with his computer so he couldn’t finish the score, but luckily he had older songs that were already recorded and so i got to use that instead of having to find and buy royalty free music. i listened to the songs over and over while watching different parts of the movie until i could decide which songs to use where. i think the songs fit nicely with the visuals, and the timing of the songs happened to fit where there would be transitions in the music to match what’s was going on on screen. i’m very happy with how the music came out.

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