Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Pre-Production: Entry #1

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And his name was Fernando…

No, I’m not referring to the ballad made famous by 4 feather-haired, bell bottom wearing Swedes, all of whom became members of one big orgy of divorce later on in life.  I’m talking about the subject of my first student film – a short documentary that’s supposed to be 3-5 minutes, but will (realistically) extend to become a longer piece.

I won’t say much about Fernando Castillo just yet, except to express that he is one extraordinary human being.  I just asked my instructor’s TA, Amie Morelli, to be my Assistant Director, as I’ve decided I want to Direct /Produce/Edit this piece myself.  (A 4th semester student scolded me when I told him I would take on both roles for D&P, but when I explained I had already secured the location, the talent (in this case, Fernando), and would be taking care of some of the other logistics, it made more sense.  It’s also a little different for documentaries, depending on what or who you are making your film about.  It makes it easier that I have a personal relationship with Fernando, having known him over the last few years.)

Back to developing the crew.  Amie is going to be fantastic.  She has been insightful, offering constant feedback during class, seems available when help is needed, and is invested in pursuing more experience on other students’ projects.  Excited to have her on board.  (It also helps that she’s a lawyer…never a bad idea to have a lawyer on your side, especially in the film business.)

Just got a response from Yusef Haroun, a music video director I asked to DP (Director of Photography) for the shoot.  He’s a 2nd semester student who came highly recommended by my screenwriting instructor and by Amie.  I had sent him a note last Thursday to see if he might have interest in getting involved with the project and lending his skills for cinematography.  He said Yes.  The fact that he’s in the middle of multiple projects led to me be concerned that he wouldn’t have time to participate in my project, but things are starting to fall into place.  Location and talent release forms have been signed.  I just need a few more positive responses for roles in lighting, sound, PA, what else?  Waiting to hear back from others in my class to see who’s available/interested.  What’s nice about this program is everyone wants to participate in everyone else’s projects.  It’s invaluable to take on various roles and have these experiences reflected on your reel at the end of the summer.  (Tonight, I was asked to be script supervisor on another 2nd semester student’s film.  I’ve heard it’s one of the more challenging roles on a set, especially with little to no experience, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.)

Meeting with Fernando again on the 20th.  This time, we’ll be looking at old photo albums, documents, and artwork from his past.  Planning to bring an audio recorder and the HVX to get some shots of the photos.  When I went over to his house this past Sunday, I had no idea I’d be staying for 4 hours.  After taking stills of the windows, hallways, rooms, doors in his house, the garden, natural lighting, we sat down for  a group dinner over wine and his homemade “dirty rice.”  I haven’t loaded up on that large of an amount of carbs since my first half marathon in ’08.  It was great.  Got to know his former lover/current housemate a little better, the housemate’s brother visiting from Minneapolis en route from a road trip through the US, their neighbor who was married to a woman for many years before recently coming out…what a gang.

I also dropped in for an extra 3 hr cinematography class after interning today.  The day program instructor, Mike Maley, was BRILLIANT.  Not only was he dynamic in the classroom, he gave us a wealth of information pertaining to correct lighting, tips & tricks, what NOT to do.  So crucial to making a scene or actor look good, let alone believable.  Plan to sit in on future classes if I can make it over in time.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Exhausted.

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Written by winniewongsf

July 14, 2010 at 1:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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