February 12, 2002

Had the first reading of

Had the first reading of the script with the main actors (more about them later) to see how they fit/relate to the parts. It was unexpectedly nervewracking to hear the words I wrote being read by someone else as their own words. Would it suck? Would it sound likeme talking to myself?


Turns out, it felt and sounded good. As they settled into the roles, and we talked about the characters between readings, they kept getting better and better. By building familiarity with the characters, not just the words, the actors started getting into the roles. Interesting process. And the presence of outsiders (i.e., people other than me) who didn't cringe or seem to struggle for something to say was also encouraging.


On another front: I put together a detailed list of locations and corresponding shots. It included time estimates for each setting and getting each shot. THIS then rolled up into a shooting schedule, which is D*#M tight! We're looking at shoehorning 30.5 hours of shooting (including setup) into 4 days. Given the sunrise/sunset in France in February, and the difficulty shooting outdoors when the sun's at strong angles (early and late), there's not really 7.5 hours/day available. It'll be close. stay tuned. Fortunately, we don't have any Project Greenlight-style swimming scenes.

February 7, 2002

My daily Baz Lurhman and

My daily Baz Lurhman and Martin Scorcese encounter: They're both in this NYTimes article about rampant botox injections "playing havoc with facial expressions."


One of many priceless quotes, this one about the only-temporary effects of treatment:

"You could marry a woman with a flawlessly even face," one doctor said, "and wind up with someone who four months later looked like a Shar-Pei."


The writer, Alex Kuczynski, formerly of the Times' business beat and the NY Observer, which first broke the Botox story (to me) five or so years ago. She's turning back the clock on her writing subjects, and she's never looked better!

February 7, 2002

Update: Met with DP two

Update: Met with DP two nights in a row, discussing casting, scheduling, the script (which may go through another revision very soon), and some ideas for adding a shoot day in NYC. We're also going to do some readings/camera tests to help finalize casting. Alice, friend of Jonah's was along tonight; look forward to her joining. She's got some good experience, connections, and her french is excellent. The script's been downloaded far more than I expected (I never download pdf's).


Other: DV audio tips search turned up another film weblog, this one from Dallas-based Bare Ruined Films.
And it turns out the master of the no-budget blockbuster, Robert "El Mariachi" Rodriquez, beat us all to it with his book, Rebel Without a Crew, which includes his daily production journal as well. There's a webring around here somewhere, I can feel it...

February 5, 2002

10 downloads (and a few

10 downloads (and a few failed attempts. the link should work now.) And I just broke out a separate index for highlights from the short. New visitors, thank you for your confusion and comments.

YIKES. Within five minutes of posting the script, I see the opening scene of IFC's With the Filmmaker: Martin Scorcese by Albert Maysles, where The Man says:

The worst thing when you're preparing a film, is the endless stream of opinions and suggestions you get; people talking and talking. You can't concentrate and hear the one voice you need to focus on--your own.

My automatic (deadpan) reply: "Are you talkin' to me? Are you talkin' to ME??"

Considerations made in posting the script for this short, called (for the moment) Souvenir:


  • Adequately guarding intellectual property (Joe Eszterhas' Souvenir, rated NC-17, opening May 15")
  • Having to deal with a wave of comments and suggestions ("Loved your script. I've got a few notes...")
  • Having to deal with deafening silence & lack of reaction ("monthly traffic report: 2mb/ monthly allowed: 10000mb")
  • This script under construction (it's currently v1.5.1, sure to change many more times within the two weeks remaining before shooting)
  • FID (the writer's version of FUD, swapping insecurity for uncertainty)
  • Not really knowing what the impact on the viewing experience will be of disseminating the script (at least) months before the film is available.


    Anyway, here is the first complete shooting script in pdf format. [note: I fixed the link; ome people with old skool browsers reported problems. Also, I noticed that the title shows v1.4, not 1.5.1, and the footer is screwed up. OTOH, I converted this .doc to .pdf for free on Adobe's site. Thanks, Adobe.] Do with it what you will (as long as it isn't appropriation, unauthorized publication or use, outright mockery, or plagiarism).

  • Making this film means keeping "artist hours," means watching the Australian Open semis live on ESPN2 while storyboarding.

    Updating the storyboard means ftp'ing on the site, means checking my logs. it's been a while.

    Favorite search engine query bringing me a visitor (from google): "I went to high school with Ben Affleck"

    January 24, 2002

    I've found a DP (director

    I've found a DP (director of photography, or cinematographer, variously), Jonah Freeman, a brilliant artist who works in video and installation. Very excited.

    The last week has been spent rewriting and looking for a lead actor, who'll have to carry the whole thing, basically. The actor I wanted first, Ed Norton, just started shooting a new Hannibal Lecter film two weeks ago, so he's out. Jonah and I are meeting with some people today who he's worked with before. Stay tuned.


    FWIW, I started a storyboard based on the latest version of the reading script. (See a brief discussion of shooting and reading scripts here,) As we start blocking out the scenes and building the shooting schedule, detail will increase. I'm using Google Images Search to approximate the composition of shots I have in mind. Never seen this done before; if you have, please let me know where.

    Details about the short:


    Cast:
    New Yorker, 30, m
    His Wife, 16 (just kidding. 30), f [phone voice only]
    Mechanic, 22, m [french]
    Cafe Owner, 50, f [french]
    Farmer, 85, m [french]


    Locations:
    CDG/Roissy
    Albert, France & surrounding region

    Saturation Blogging:


    While I've liked Tim Cavanaugh's [note: courtesy link] work for years, I can't believe I dare link to his article, "Let Slip the Blogs of War," an insightful-and-meticulously-linked-up-yet-looong article about the weblogworld's echo chamber. It's a cogent examination of how easy-to-use weblog technology has creates a "million cable news war pundits on a million typewriters" effect on reporting.


    Written in devastatingly accurate blogstyle, it (inadvertently?) shows the pressing need for easy-to-use tools for blog editing.

    Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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