Posted tagged ‘producing’

The life of a producer…

June 9, 2009

For the senior projects, some of the other classes are collaborating with the upperclassman on their film teams. As a freshman, I’ve been fortunate to be a producer for one of these seniors. It’s funny that this opportunity opened up, since I’m actually taking a producing class, so it worked out perfect! Not only, am I learning the theory of producing, but I’m actually going to be working the craft of producing as well.

I’ve so much to do in the next few weeks. We’re hoping to get several name actors for a couple days during our shooting in August, one in particular is John Voight. I’ll be making several phone calls to his agency this week.

I’ve locations to scout out, a script to finalize, scheduling, casting, and budgets to work out. So much to do…good thing summer break is almost here to figure out all the logistics.

Stay tuned to hear more how the project unfolds…

Freshman Producing Simulation Project

April 27, 2009

Introduction to Producing for freshman media students is getting off to a dynamic start!

This week, students grouped into teams of two and chose from three stories to research for a producer’s pitch meeting simulation. Several weeks from now, each team will present a 5-7 minute pitch to Professor Chris Riley, who will act as our “agent.” The pitch has to include a director, our main actors, a studio (i.e. Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, etc), and a poster for our movie. Also, as “producers” we will formulate a budget for production and determine which scenes will be used in our trailer. My team has chosen a story called, Prisoner of the Heart, from a podcast on This American Life, a radio station that broadcasts true stories on the lives of ordinary people often in extraordinary circumstances.

This is such an awesome project— experiencing life as a producer in Hollywood!

Let the creativity and planning begin…

Filming Skin Deep: Day 1

February 12, 2009

Today was the first day of filming Skin Deep for our production class.

We definitely have an all-star team. With Steve Marshall producing, Matt Salisbury and Patrick as the writing team, Michelle Cowdrey as gaffer, Josh Maas as cinematographer, and Brian Olson as our sound and editing supervisor, I couldn’t ask for a better-qualified group of students around me.

But there was a lot of pressure going in; there are some big Hollywood names interested in helping us promote the project if they think the final version turns out well. So people are really relying on me, as the director, to make it the best it can be. The problem was that we were not ready last night. Our actors arrived from far and wide, we had a script read through, we discussed shots, schedules, and plan-B’s. But there was still so much to do. Not all the props were accounted for. Not all the extras were accounted for. We didn’t know how everyone was going to get to the location. And on top of it all, we were unable to convince our professor to let us skip the midterm because of filming. I went to bed stressed and worried. I had discussed the issue of maintaining people’s high spirits on set, and he told me that that was up to me; he would be so worried about everything else that could be going wrong.

This morning we woke up at 7AM. 5 cars of people moved to our location. Half an hour late arriving, but otherwise flawless. The only cloud in the sky was the fact that is was raining. Hard. And that put a damper on our plans for later, which involved an outdoor cafeteria scene. But first things first, we filmed our morning indoor scene. Running a half-hour late, we did not have time to film the second scheduled scene before class time.

So we had lunch, we had our excellent set dressers put together the set, and we made some adjustments to the schedule. Then we went to class.

After class, we went to film the outdoor cafeteria scenes. It had stopped raining, and we were cutting corners left and right to get rolling. But we ran out of daylight way too fast. Right before we rolled camera, the producer and A.D. stopped me and said it was too dark. We would have to go with plan B.

After that, though, the day went perfectly. We filmed 2 scenes in the school hallway, the library scene, and the scene we had missed this morning. We even had a pizza dinner to top it off.

But now I have a headache. I think we all do. And we spent so much time preparing for today’s shoot, that we don’t have nearly as much done in preparation for tomorrow’s. We were all too tired to even go over dailies. And I am worried that we may be out of camera battery power. More and more things could go wrong. More weather problems, more time taken because we didn’t finish our call sheets…

I believe I should go to bed. I have to wake up at 7AM again in the morning. And I think I might be dealing with a grumpier crew tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.