These last two weeks have been busy, but exciting. I know that seems lame to say, but I've been meeting with people that will be working on the film.
I'd have to say that's one of the best parts about the filmmaking process; when you realize that your vision is shared with others.
A couple of weeks ago I met with Josh Blevins. He's a good friend of mine. We worked on another film together and he played a small part in Risto and Jeff. I asked him to be head gaffer on Annulus because he really knows what he's doing. He knows the gear and he knows the language. While I would love to spend hours tweaking lighting, I have other shit to worry about. Our meeting went well, but we quickly got caught up talking about other things: star wars, bad cinematographers and the like.
I also recently met with Shane Karner. I met Shane in a poetry class. That's not really relevant to the film in anyway, but it's just odd to think were you meet these people. Shane scored Risto and Jeff and also played the chilled-out antagonist. We met and I conveyed my ideas of what the soundtrack should sound like. I threw a lot at him. By that I mean I was rambling on and on about what specific scenes should sound like and how I wanted things to feel dark and charming at the same time...but I trust Shane. He's an easy guy to work with. And he loves what he does.
Tonight I met with Andrew McNair and Laci Coburn. They will be playing Cal's mom and step-dad. I met Andrew on the same film that I met Josh. Andrew played a professor. Me and him got along really well and I saw that he was a great actor. The film ended and time went on. I had actually written another screenplay before Annulus that I was panning to shoot, but it just didn't turn out how I wanted it to. But I had written a part specifically for Andrew. He's a great guy that tells people what to do for a living and really enjoys things being the other way around.
Andrew also introduced me to Laci Coburn, a good friend of his. I had the film nearly casted...all but two specific roles. I didn't know anyone that could possibly play Cal's mother or Joan's care taker. I asked Andrew and he quickly got Laci on board. Our meeting went great. We had coffee and food. We talked about the movie, but mainly told anecdotes about skinning bears, giant children, and the skill of bullshitting.
There is such a negative connotation associated with having meetings. I get that. And that in other vocations fields agendas are required, but I don't think they always have to. I didn't try to force these people I've been meeting with to talk about the movie. In fact, I almost forgot to even bring it up with Shane. The point I'm trying to make is that filmmaking doesn't have to be about fulfilling an agenda or assigning tasks. Filmmaking, to me, is about relationships. Just going out and hanging out with someone that has a similar interest with you is a great feeling.
Even my friends that I've casted in the film--just working on a project like this strengthens your friendship and pushes everyone in a better direction.
That being said, the next step is the first table read. A table read will accomplish a few things. First, it will ensure that everyone is literally on the same page. They can ask questions about the story and make more sense of their characters. It also gives everyone a chance to experiment with character choices before the camera is rolling. But most importantly, everyone can get to know each other. I want everyone to feel comfotabl on set and feel a true connection to those working along side them becasue other wise, what's the point?
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