The creative fires are smoldering, getting ready to go full blast for our next film production. Currently I am working with a casting director to put together the very best cast we can possibly find for this project. It’s never easy, because all types of demands on both sides need to met, but things are rolling along very nicely. Yes, dealing with agents and managers, talking to actors and putting together the deals. Oiling the machine to start grinding it out and build momentum towards that magical first day of production.
Myself, I am also having to reorient what I am doing. I’ve already moved from screenwriter mode to producer mode, and most certainly am partially going from that to director mode. So I am straddling the fence a bit. Once we get into prep I will be in full director mode and the producing will be handed off to others. It’s almost as if my producer mode is mainly a transitional mode from one of a screenwriter to one of a director.
We currently have a Texas producer I’m working with to help get things rolling there. Schedules and budgets are being tweaked, and people will start coming aboard soon. In fact, we will be adding a couple who worked with us on “Dreams Awake.” In a month I will be in Austin to help keep all that on track. And all this before we actually get into real prep, which officially begins on March 10. Plans are to start actual production on March 31, which gives us three weeks to get ourselves all prepared to start shooting.
A few people have asked me why we are shooting when we are. As if maybe there was some reason we should do it some other time of the year? Well, actually there are a couple reasons we’re shooting it in the spring. First, if you been in Texas in the heart of summer it is sweltering and humid as it can be. Second, the story actually takes place in the spring, and takes advantage of the lushness of that time of year, green meadows and blooming bluebonnets along with all types of wild flowers covering the Central Texas countryside. There is a link to the story here, thematically speaking.
The downside of this time of year, casting-wise, is that during this time of year is what’s called ‘pilot season’. January through May is when show producers develop and create a pilot TV show that they hope to sell to a TV or cable network as a series. Lots of them are produced, but few are picked up. But these standalone shows are aggressively cast and shot during this period, possibly making it harder for indie films such as ours to get cast during this period. Obviously this can be a gold mine for actors if they are cast in a recurring series, so they don’t want to pass up that opportunity. We are currently working around this as best we can.
But all this is just on the surface of what’s going on around me, as I move from storytelling (as a screenwriter) to storyshowing (as a director) mode. Yes, I need to remind myself why I put myself through all this. The creative impulse, drive, and potentials are only a part of the whole picture. I believe in contributing to the world in a positive way, in my own small way. Whether cracking a smile, offering words of encouragement, or making a little transformational indie film, I hope that when I leave this world it is a better place for me having been in it. And I hope others will agree. It’s the least any of us can do. Hope to see you there, too!