Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cameras roll in 9 days ..


Location scounting, tech scouting (making sure all the locations we chose will work with all the technical aspects of making a film) is nearly at its end. Craig Stewart, our "Scout Master" and his team have landed us some terrific places in which to film that will be dressed by Production Designer Rachel Thomson, filled with props by our Prop Genius Christopher McFadden.

Director of Photography Paul Mailman and his crew, including gaffer (lighting) Ted Barnes - one of the best - are setting up equipment to create the most effect scene captures on film. Paul and I are a strong team .. and he has an eye for putting you (the audience) in the scene rather than just "taking pictures" of something happening, which is what I look for in a photographer, and few are capable of doing it well.

The lead actors begin to arrive tomorrow, a week early, and we're mighty excited to see them - with preproduction and preparation at its peak now. Our lead actors rehearse at no cost to us - they're paid for their work before the camera but make rehearsal at no cost part of their contract if requested. I find that fine actors prefer to rehearse and request it; actors like Paul Newman, in fact, insist on it and offer filmmakers two weeks of rehearsal "off the clock."

I am coaching some of the local actors to get their performances perfected for the shoot - we'll also have some rehearsal time before shooting each scene. I've been sending notes to all the lead actors that I believe will help them develop their characters.

Editor Stephen R. Myers, in LA, is prepared to receive our dailies to start editing them as we shoot; composer Ragnar Rosinkranz, also in LA, will be seeing them as Stephen builds the rough cut of the feature, assessing how the music we've worked on over the weeks will suit the characters and scenes.

We're all headquartered in a large former school house - giving every department plenty of room to work.

I have my keyboards in my huge office - which is shared by my assistant Matt Schmidt - so I can work on musical ideas. I even wrote a little ditty that will be sung by Elisabeth in the film.

This week end my "job" is to rest - and in fact although Paul and I will be prepping every night for the next day's shoot and on the weekends for the following week's work - all of us must rest on our weekends or we'll wear out, since we'll all be working hard for long hours during the week.

Our Leading Lady, Elisabeth Röhm, is working all 30 days of the demanding 30-day shoot. Now *that* is a lead role! We'll be rehearsing stunts this coming Friday - she's very athletic and strong so she might be doing some of her own -- if we're sure she won't risk injury! Fortunately, there are only a few.

She'll be rehearsing with Jim Holmes and Sean Patrick Flanery later in the week, which will be great fun.

Back to hanging out, tending a few TWT details, watching a couple films, baseball and football games for me! Enjoy the weekend!

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