We did it. We shot the film last weekend, wrapping late Sunday Night. We condensed our 5 day shoot to a 3 day shoot, due to crew, budget restrictions, it was crazy, hectic but fun and exciting. Most everyone except our Sound person worked for free for the 3 14-16 hr days, keeping their energy positive throughout.
Some of the beautiful things that happened in the production rush:
- Our producer got several paying jobs right before our shoot and was not available and 3 wonderful women stepped in to make it all happen: Lauren Hind, Courtney Webster and Talia Barrett, who all work in production in NYC. They production designed, produced, and production managed the entire shoot, and without them it would have been impossible to get it done.
- Our DP Jeff Kim, called in a favor and we were able to get all our Grip and Electric equipment for free at the very last minute Thursday night which was incredible.
- I met an amazing wardrobe stylist who brought along her 3 assistants- and they were able to do our film while working on a big John Legend music video.
- LLoyd Porter the owner of the cafe we shot in, allowed us to close his business three hours earlier at 3p for a small fee. Not only did he play a role in the film but he stayed throughout the shoot till we were wrapped sometime around 1am that night.
- someone from the shoot shared with me that they struggled with an eating disorder like the character Sole and donated time to work on the film for that reason.
It was truly amazing to see the tremendous support of everyone, including my friends who did things from donating a meal, to giving last minute housing to our actress who had flown in from LA to the simple but very supportive act of texting me throughout the process letting me know they were thinking about me and wishing me well.
I learned so much on this shoot, mainly the importance of keeping calm and happy throughout, focusing on what you have and not what you don’t have, clearing people out of the room when a performance is struggling, so both the actors and I can have the space to solve a tough situation, always be kind and honest- a woman wanted to call the cops on us when we were shooting in the apartment building and asked if we were students and if we had a permit, i told her that i didn’t have a permit and i wasn’t a student and i know she has every right to shut us down but that the film was super important to me and i worked hard to get everyone there and if she could be understanding that we needed her to talk on her phone inside her apartment so we could get our shot- and it worked. Above all though, I really saw and felt the importance of having a practice of directing…that I have to keep doing it to get better at my craft, to become more creative in face of budget challenges and time restrictions…and I look forward to making more films sooner rather than later!
So now it’s time for editing- Victoria Valles, our editor, is synching our sound and I will go through selects with her this weekend. I will be in New York for the next month editing with her and hopefully picking up some freelance produciton jobs. I hope to take the film back for Sound Mixing and Color Timing to LA in August….I must do more reaching out of course for that part of post production to the places I’ve worked at before.
So glad that a friend hooked us up with a venue that has an open bar and our crew can have some fun for a couple hours at our ‘wrap’ party!