Production Diary #3 The Never-ending Puzzle
I wrote part of this update last week, but then kept holding off on posting it because we were SO CLOSE to locking a bunch of things down. But then everything changed again. And we came SO CLOSE to locking everything until, you guessed it, everything changed again. But here we are now, actually ONE WEEK from the start of production and things are HAPPENING. Since we last spoke, we’ve redid the schedule... again (shout out again to Wes for making it happen) and are now breaking up production into two (and a half) chunks.
Last week we went to scout a mountain town a little bit north of LA called Pine Mountain (not too far from an actual mine!) which will serve as the exterior of Connor Creek as well as a couple of the shop interiors. Ryan is working with the folks up there to help with locations and lodging. It’s going to be a tight squeeze for the ~20 member crew + actors, but we're going to pretend we’re at summer camp and just get real cozy!
We’ll shoot in Pine Mountain for a couple days before we come back to LA to shoot some interiors, including our big Town Hall scene which features most of the characters who live in Connor Creek. Then we’ll break for Thanksgiving, before we come back and shoot the remaining interior scenes. On the production front, we’ve added makeup artist Roxanne McDanel to the team, and she’s already hard at work collaborating with Paige to help define what our werewolves might look like.
Benji’s been working to finalize our camera equipment rental order, while Joey, Brian, Alexis are working non-stop through the never-ending list of logistics including (but not limited to): locking other locations, staffing up the crew, travel, and lodging. On the directorial/creative end, we sadly realized it was going to be absolutely impossible to get the whole cast together for a table read.
So instead we’re trying to schedule smaller one on one/group sessions so that we can talk through characters and moments with people before we get on set. They say 70% of directing is casting, so we're already off to an amazing start with our incredible actors. But it's good to get on the same page, especially since they'll probably bring new ideas to the table the Joey, Brian, and I haven't even thought of!
Benji and I have been carefully perusing the script to put together our shot list and plan of attack. So much of film production is careful planning and troubleshooting in advance so that when you’re shooting on location, with the crew and the actors, you can have a plan (that you can abandon when things completely change). A couple scenes are proving to be very complex/tricky with timeline and budget*. But at least we're working through these potential roadblocks now. On Flop Stoppers, we were flying by the seat of our pants and had to do this all on the spot!
Basically, we're all gassed up and ready to go now! Everyone is working double time to try to fit this crazy puzzle together and get this series made! Here we go!
*A $100K budget sounds like a lot until you actually break it down and department heads and producers are constantly telling you this is *insane* to try to pull off. But we're sure going to try! But I am considering making a hat to wear that just says "I Know We Don't Have Enough Money! :)"