My first major short film is getting underway, "Odyssey of the Soul". The script was a collaboration between myself and a good friend of mine, Rich Harrah. I'd link it here, but it's just a first draft and there's a couple parts I wanna rework before I start linking it places. On my director's notes copy, there are entire sections of the exposition that are just x'd out to rework completely.
Next week, on Thursday, I'm actually doing auditions for the female lead. The male lead has been set in stone from the beginning, I honestly couldn't imagine anyone else playing this part. Rich and I actually specifically wrote the female part for one of the actresses auditioning, but there's so much depth to the character we wanted other people to give it a try as well.
We're building a mini-soundstage for it, actually, and I'm extremely excited about it. It's going to be 32' x 20' if I recall, so it's pretty sizeable. I'm gonna be working with a full crew of almost 15-17 people, so I'm really excited about that. It's coming together so much better than I expected. My first film project earlier in the year was a failure, because I put to much trust in someone who just didn't pull through. I learned from that, and there are actually a lot of redundancies in the crew list. If one person doesn't pull their weight, I can cut em loose and still have a backup, which I think is extremely important.
Set construction will start in a couple weeks, after my concept art comes in on Thursday. Anyway, like I said, I'm really excited.
The goal of this short film is very high. I already know it's a long shot, so to quote a great man "Don't tell me the odds." I want to get the film into the Nashville Film Festival. Not too bad yet, that doesn't sound to far-fetched, right? Here's the citch. If a film wins in the short film category at Nashville, it goes up for consideration at the Academy Awards. (perhaps better known as the Oscars).
Now, I know that its a long shot, but I embrace the possibility. I also want to enter it in the CineVegas film festival. Why? What more could I gain other than the Oscars? Well, here's the thing. If your film is granted access to the CineVegas festival, you get FREE round trip travel to the festival as well as being put up in a hotel for your stay. And, it gets better. The grand prize is $10,000 Dollars, which is pretty darn sizeable.
I'm extremely excited about this film. I know it's not likely that I'll achieve the things I mentioned above, but the experience of making this film is one that I will surely treasure as my first true filmmaking experience.
The Road to the Red Carpet is going to be my blog for the forseeable future. I've got a lot of scheduling and shooting and casting going on the next few weeks, followed by an extreme period of two years of extreme extremeness my schedule is going to be so tight i don't really know how I'm going to breathe. I'm going to be posting regularly form now on to update anyone interested in my doings.
So for my first post, I'll hit you guys up with what my schedule looks like now:
I'm playing the major villain in my school's musical, and we're opening tomorrow so I'll be booked from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day for the rest of this week.
I'm doing blocking for my collaborative short film "Odyssey of the Soul" next week, thursday maybe.
I'm doing casting for my short film "The Man in Black" next weekend.
I'm doing a studio recording for Daniel Clark and Rasta Miles that same weekend, so I can get started on music videos for each of them.
I'm starting in a few days a feature film script entitled "The Clan" that needs to be done in a month and a half.
Basically, it's just extremely hectic. And it only gets worse, of course, when the school year starts up again next year. I'm going to be fundraising for The Clan for the first half of the year, then shooting for the second half. Also for the first semester, I'm enrolling in a Hampton Roads Film and Television Program, where apparently we'll be making a feature film from pre to post production, which is cool. Then god willing The Clan will get into CineVegas or some sort of major film festival (fingers crossed) and grant me a little notoriety we'll just have to see.
As soon as makeup tests for Man in Black start, I'll also be uploading production vlogs so keep an eye open for those.
I'll try and update the blog here regularly with stuff like casting information and just all around updates... keep your eyes peeled! It's gonna be a fun next couple of years!
In what I consider to be a large step in my filming career, I'm doing a music video and some recording work for a local Reggae band. They're called Rasta Miles, they're pretty talented. It's a three man band for the most part, but they have a bassist for some live shows. I just put up a youtube channel and uploaded some mp3s for em. I'm doing the video for free, but I'm excited because if I do a good job on it I can charge other bands for videos in the future. Anyway, this is the song I'm doing the video for.
I really like it, I helped pick it out of their list of songs.
After I finish with this music video, I have a short film I'm working on. The schedule right now is so tight I'll literally be getting a ride from the set of the music video to the set of the short, as it stands at the moment. It's a sci-fi/thriller, it's about 14 pages. You can comment your email if you're interested at all in the script.
Then after that I'm doing two more short films and two more music videos over the summer, then I'm going to start fundraising for a trip to Europe with People to People I'm excited, I want to film the Irish countryside more than anything. It involves a two-day homestay, and I get to rappel down a castle wall in Wales. Rappel down a castle wall! How awesome is that!?
Then my film instructor and I are going to start fundraising to rent a RED One camera, a professional digital camera, to shoot a feature length film. The RED One is currently being used to shoot The Hobbit Part One and Part Two, and it was also used to film The Social Network, as well as upcoming indie film by Kurt Schneider "College Musical" (it's a parody of High School Musical) Anyway, we'll be renting that to shoot my film which we'll be entering in the CineVegas film festival, Nashville Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival. We might not make it into any of them, but here's hoping we do!
I'd just like to give a shout out to some people I may have posted or reviewed upon that may have close their computer feeling a little scorned. I can be a jerk, and I have a serious tendency to be obscenely rude on occasion. However, I don't post just to kick you. If you look at what I post, you'll see that I give more advice than you may readily realize. In my experience throughout my writing and filming career, I've found that people often will not take you seriously unless they are made to. As a director, this is something I take to heart when working. People are often tied to these small details, little pieces of their story that they refuse to part with, because they feel tied to them in one way or another. In order to mold clay, you must first pull out the hardened lumps in the middle, the little pieces that the clay seems loathe to be rid of. That is how art is made. You might hate me for it, but I promise that its all for the best. I'm actually a really cool guy, if you ever see me posting in the lounge or in some of the discussion forums. However, I take writing seriously, as you should. And I review only as hard as I expect to be reviewed in turn. I don't give anything that I can't take. And remember, its all in love
School's started. We're now in our fourth or fifth week, I'm tired of it already. The weekend school started, I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. At the time that I ran it, all I felt was pain- excrutiating, unbearable pain. My legs felt like they could pop out of their sockets, my hips felt like they were cracking with each step I took. I finished that half marathon. I've never felt better about anything I've ever done. It's amazing what your body can accomplish when you refuse to set yourself limits; when you break through the pain barrier. On the second day of school, my body still aching everywhere its not supposed to, I joined my school's film club. There were alot of people on that first day, though many of them have left now. It was apparent immediately that I was apart from everyone else- most of these kids are seniors, juniors. masters of their craft, people who can do things with cameras and computers I could never hope to accomplish. It was also disheartening that almost everyone claimed to be able to write screenplays, not a menial task; along with whatever film talents they had, often acting or editing. I knew that I had to present myself in the best light i could; writing was the only trick I had up my sleeve. When it came time to introduce myself, I stated that I was a writer. But I wasn't just any writer. I was the best. The film club teacher, who also happened to be my english teacher, backed me up. On the first day of school, we had to write free writing journals in english. After looking through the entries to find one to read aloud, he picked mine first; and read it to all of his subsequent classes after. The first thing he said about my work was "Wow. This kid can write." And he didn't hesitate to tell the same to the rest of the film club. I read to them my synopsis for the idea I wanted filmed in the club, noticing quickly I had been the only one to have an idea ready, much less a synopsis written. I was ecstatic when I learned that I was going to be a team leader, and my film was going to be made. I'm the youngest team leader in the history of the film club. Normally only the seniors; the kids who have been tried and true in the club, are team leaders. A good man knows his limits. A great man breaks them.
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