Tonight was the table-read. And I’m glad to say it went really well.
I was honestly very nervous. I have been working on this project since September. It’s been in my head this whole time and I felt very good about it, but no one but me had even read it. Of course, some of the actors had read earlier drafts I sent them, but it hadn’t been read with other people.
I gathered the main cast and crew—8 people—to do a read-through. I sincerely had no idea what to expect. While yes, I have worked with some of the people before, I half expected a train wreck. I envisioned silent reactions to jokes and a complete confusion of plot.
Luckily, I was wrong.
Everyone enjoyed the reading together and provided excellent feedback.
I was also surprised some of the plot’s intricacies were picked up on. I thought I may have buried them too deep. But after the first read, and more after the second, people were realizing the depths of these characters.
I was more than happy to be talking about conspiracy theories of my own film with people that were genuinely interested.
In addition to the main cast, good ‘ole Josh Blevins, lover-of-lights was there. Blevins is the head gaffer on the film.
It was great having him there because not only could he read some minor character’s lines, but he could further develop his understanding of the film’s mood and eventual look.
This table read has accomplished a few things. Firstly, hearing the script read aloud has brought some minor grammatical errors to light. It has also allowed the cast that hasn’t met to meet and get comfortable with one another. But most of all, it made it real.
Until now, this project was something I was pretty sure I would be able to do, but had my doubts. But now…seeing those 16 inquiring eyeballs staring at me, awaiting direction…it’s real. Not only am I excited, but other people are sincerely enthusiastic about this film. It’s a feeling I can’t even describe.
The next step will be to hold another table-read. Ideally, we will be able to read through the script another time and reacquaint to the world and characters. Then we can get the actors up and get physical. Some scene blocking and physical interactions. This will get actors in the minds of their characters’ as well as help line memorization and overall scene recall.
Hopefully, between then and now, I can do some more location scouting as well. I’m familiar with about half of the locations, but have not yet to physically visit the others. I can use these scouts to aid in story boarding and understanding the character of the locations themselves. I can also do tech scouts – that is, take note of outlets, any potential filming limitations, etc. This experience will also help us plan for how, where, and why to light things.
I can’t thank these people enough. They are what makes the movie.
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*Left to right: Josh Blevins,Kolbyn Bixler, Greg Tippman, Laci Coburn, Andrew McNair, Cathy Baker, Jordan Kortenber, Kevin Dye
**This picture is out of focus and excludes 2 cast/crew members. All because Jordan had to pee and rushed the shot. God dammit, Jordan.