Tag Archives: film

Another Screening (or Enjoying A Film Festival)

I just had the film festival that I run, and the film that I did last year was part of the comedy programing. It was cool to have us in the festival and to get to share our film with more people. It wasn’t the first time we screened publicly, but it was our first film festival. And while it did feel a bit odd to have the film in a festival I run (I have nothing to do with programming so it’s fine), I was still so proud to have a film festival laurel on our movie poster.

We have been busy submitting our film to multiple festivals, but many of them won’t let us know if we got in or not for a while. But we did hear back from another festival besides the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival and we found out that we got in! We got into the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and we screened there this week!

This screening was held at Regal Cinemas at LA Live, so it was going to be another screening on a big screen. And we were going to be in a block with other short films, so I was happy to see what other films were in our programming block and to support other filmmakers.

There was a pretty decent turnout for the screening. We were worried because it was on a weekday afternoon, but the theater was over half full and everyone was so excited to see the films. We were toward the end of the program, so I tried to relax and enjoy the other films that were screening.

I’m not sure if we were a block of short films or comedy short films, but it was an interesting mix of films. Some of them were a bit more out there than our film is (ours is pretty down to earth and realistic), but there were things that I really enjoyed with each of the films that were in the hour long program with us. When our film played, I couldn’t focus too much since I still don’t love to watch myself act. But I was very happy that we got a lot of laughs and some of those were in spots that we hadn’t gotten laughs in before.

Once the program was done, we headed out of the theater quickly since the next screening was going to start right after ours ended. There wasn’t a Q&A or anything, but most of the filmmakers were gathering right outside the theater. There was a step and repeat set up so of course I had to get photos with my writer/co-star and my director!

When we were taking our photos, we had some people coming up to us to tell us that they enjoyed our film. That was really nice and I wasn’t expecting it. I am really proud of our film and would be happy even if it was just for us and nobody else got to see it. But to know that other people are enjoying the film is amazing and really made my day!

I wish that I could have stayed at the festival longer and seen more films, but my schedule did not allow for that. I know there were so many short films to see and I really wanted to support my fellow filmmakers. I know it isn’t easy to get people to see short films and I wanted to see as many movies as I could. Hopefully if we get into another festival I can attend more programs and see all the films. It just wasn’t mean to be this time.

I still can’t believe that the film that we made is getting recognition. It started out as such a small project and it has continued to grow and grow. I am so proud of the work that we all did and I’m really hopeful that we can continue to get into film festivals so more people can see it. We are already discussing working on another film together because we had so much fun with “Single Parent Date Night”. But until we do, I’m just going to enjoy having a great film out there and being able to look back at the hard work that we did.

Film Festival Day (or Being In Charge)

This past weekend was the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. In the past, we’ve had the festival happen over multiple days, but this time we only had it on one day. This ended up being a good thing for me because this year’s festival was quite the stressful thing. I love working this festival and at least the love and happiness I have overrides the stress I get. But that doesn’t mean that the stress doesn’t affect me sometimes.

As I mentioned before, we had a last minute venue change with the festival. It was an unfortunate situation where our previous contact was no longer with the venue, but they never told us that in their email correspondence. So even though we had emails from them saying that we were all confirmed for the date, there was no record of us since they didn’t work for the venue and had no authority to book events. I’m glad that the venue felt bad for what happened to us and was able to put us in a new venue, but it was still stressful knowing that it was a venue that I hadn’t held a festival in before and wasn’t sure how it would all work.

I had gone to the new venue to see the setup and try to plan out how I wanted things to happen, but still the day of I was stressed more than I would have liked. I wanted to be able to relax and enjoy the festival, but I knew that until I knew that everyone had a good time that I would be worried about things. But the staff at the new venue was amazing and really did everything they could to make sure that the festival ran as smoothly as possible. Things weren’t perfect, but without the awesome staff and management I knew the festival wouldn’t have happened at all. I’ve thanked them so many times already, but I can’t thank them enough. I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with when I’m that stressed out and there were lots of little things that I wanted to make sure were right. But they understood my need to try to make things perfect and really worked with me.

It’s still weird to me to be in charge of everything. When I started with the festival, I was a volunteer. I worked my way up the ranks over the years (I’ve been with the festival for 9 of the 10 years it’s happened) but I still feel like I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I need to build confidence with being in charge, but for now I have to fake it until I make it.

Since we had a reduced timeframe for the festival (which was because the other venue was supposedly only available for that limited time), we only had 2 screening programs: comedy and drama. And this year, one of my films was submitted and accepted into the festival! I know it sounds like I had something to do with it, but I do not program the films and the programmers don’t all know who I am. So it was exciting to have “Single Parent Date Night” make its festival debut at the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival!

The only downside to having the film in the festival was the way that the venue was set up, our lobby/reception area had about 8 TVs which all were playing what was playing in the screening room. So when our film started, I was surrounded by me. Not the best thing for someone who doesn’t love to watch themselves on the screen, but it was pretty funny to not be able to escape from it.

This wasn’t the most successful year, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a great festival. Everyone who was there seemed to have a great time and many filmmakers came up to me after the screenings to say how much fun they had. I’m glad that everyone had a good time since that’s all I really wanted to get out of the festival.

I know that we are going to take a bit of a break before the next festival. My co-director and I really want to bring it back to the glory days it had in the beginning. We want to be back in a great venue and have the filmmakers be excited to be screening there. We know we have a great event, we just have to make sure that others know it as well.

Planning My Next Project (or Meeting A Director)

Now that “Single Parent Date Night” is pretty much done (we are just submitting to film festivals now), I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to work on next. I’d love to find another project that I can star in again, but it’s not that easy. I thought about seeing if I can find another writer friend to help create a project for me, but again that isn’t easy and I didn’t know if that was the right step.

But a while ago, my friend Camber (who I met through our WIF mentoring group) mentioned an idea for a documentary that she was thinking about doing. I’ve helped to produce one documentary before, but that project was pretty easy. Our entire movie seemed to come together really well and since it was mainly interviews it was an easy shoot to do. But the documentary that Camber brought up to me will be much more involved and will require more planning.

I don’t want to get into too many details (mainly because they aren’t figured out yet), this documentary idea would be one about nature. It would involve travel both within the country and internationally and it would require a pretty decent budget. Also, since it wouldn’t be interview based, we would pretty much have to write a script for the documentary to help guide the project.

Neither of us have experience with creating a documentary like this and we knew that we would need some help pretty much from the beginning. I brought the idea to the director of “Single Parent Date Night” (who also directed the documentary I produced previously) to see if he wanted to be a part of this project too. I trust him so much as a director and would have loved to have him a part of this. But the subject isn’t one that interests him and that is something that is important to us. We don’t want someone directing a project just to do it, we want them to have a passion for it since we need their guidance on how to tell the story.

So I posted in a couple of different industry related groups that I’m a part of to see if there were any directors who specialized in documentaries and possibly had an interest in doing a documentary about nature. I kept the post a bit vague as we are still figuring out what our documentary will totally be about. I got a couple of responses, but there was one director who seemed to be very interested in discussing the project so Camber and I met with her this past week.

I feel so lucky that I’ve had some amazing people come into my life in regards to acting and other entertainment related stuff. The director we met with is very much on a similar wavelength as Camber and I are. And she had some great ideas for us on how to narrow down our ideas and to build a narrative for the film. She even gave us a list of films to watch so we could get some more ideas!

The best thing was that she said that even if we didn’t want her to be our director, she still wanted to help us make it! That is just so generous and I know that she will be a great asset to the film. I’m just so grateful that she responded to my post and was willing to meet with us even though we don’t have a full concept to present yet.

Camber and I have a lot of work to get done before we meet with this director again (or meet with any more directors). We know this documentary that we want to make may take more than a year to do, so we want to do everything right. And even though it isn’t acting, this project is a creative one and is helping me exercise the creative part of my mind. I hope that we can make this documentary a reality. Not just because I want to be able to do it. I really feel passionate that I want everyone to see what we are hoping to make and I feel like it can have a big impact on a lot of people.

A Premiere Morning (or Seeing Myself On The Big Screen)

This past weekend, we had the premiere screening of “Single Parent Date Night”. This film has been a pretty quick process (which is nice) and we’ve been able to get things done very efficiently from pre-production to post-production. I’ve been seeing the film through each edited version, so I knew what to expect. And I had seen the final cut already (but just on my computer), but seeing it premiere for an audience is always different.

We ended up renting a theater in the valley to hold the screening. And since our film is only about 9 minutes long, Christopher (the writer and my co-star) decided to create a 3 film screening of different films he wrote. The entire thing was only 30 minutes, but it was nicer to have that than to just have everyone come to a theater for a 9 minute movie.

When I arrived, I couldn’t stop smiling. As soon as I walked to the theater where we were screening, I saw our movie listed above the door. Everything looked so real and official and this was the first time a movie I was in had this.

single-parent-date-night

The theater we were screening in was a regular movie theater, so there were a bunch of seats and the screen was a full-sized screen. It was a little overwhelming, but awesome at the same time. Most of the people who came to the screening were friends of our director, Bryan. But I had a couple of friends show up too and I was glad they were there! I knew they would be honest with me about the movie and even though I knew it was good, I was very critical about my performance.

Our film was the last one screening, so I tried to stay calm while the other 2 movies played. And before I knew it, it was time to show off “Single Parent Date Night” to the world!

movie

It is always very tough for me to watch my own performances. I feel like things weren’t done right, I said something funny, or with this film that I blinked too much and too long. I’m very nitpicky and it’s hard to get over that. So I tried to focus on the audience watching the show for the first time.

Fortunately, it seemed like everybody really liked it! A lot of my lines got laughs, people seemed to be very into the story, and we got a lot of applause when the final credits came up. And I did manage to watch a bit of it when I wasn’t feeling too nervous and was in shock with how crazy it was to see myself on the huge screen there!

on-the-big-screen

When the screening was over, we all went up to the front to thank everyone for coming. Some of the people there were people who supported our Kickstarter and I wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated every dollar that was given. We were willing to do a Q&A too, but since most people there were also filmmakers and our film is pretty self-explanatory, there weren’t any questions.

After that was done, I went over to my friends to see what they thought and they all really loved it! They enjoyed my performance and thought the story was really cute too! I’m glad I had their support there because it is very nerve-racking to see a project that you have worked so hard at completing be done. All you want is for everyone to love it, and thankfully it seems like that was the reaction we got from the audience.

I know that a lot of people wanted to come to the premiere and couldn’t (either due to scheduling or distance), but we decided to put our film up online for everyone to see. So make sure you check out “Single Parent Date Night” to see what all our hard work created!

Working On A New Plan (or Self-Producing)

I’ve been super excited about a couple of projects related to acting that I’ve been working on. These projects are all things where I’m doing at least one thing behind the scenes for the project. There is one project where I had an idea and a friend is currently writing it so we can both star in it. And we are still in post-production for “Single Parent Date Night” and I’m still super excited about that as well. But one project that is closest to the next step has had a setback and I’m trying not to get overwhelmed.

There is a project that I’m working with a friend on that is a reenactment of a video we saw online. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to give it away, but it’s something that I think is going to be really interesting. I’m not necessarily going to be in this project (I might play someone in the background to fill the space), so this is the first project since the Twitter documentary that I’m involved in that I’m not also going to be an actor in as well.

I’ve been busy getting our actors on board and my friend who is helping me has been busy working on the script. We’ve had some issues with getting actors, but we’ve pretty much cast the entire thing and the script is ready to shoot now. But we’ve hit another issue with this project.

We are doing this project as a union project, and I wasn’t aware that no budget projects (literally we have a $20 budget) need to have liability and workers comp insurance on them. I’ve been busy making calls this week to find the pricing on that, and most of them in are the several thousand dollar range. For a project that was going to be shot for the cost of water bottles and snacks, spending over $1000 to insure things isn’t really going to be feasible.

So I’ve been working on a lot of options. Some of my friends have guided me to companies that may do reduced premiums on no budget shoots, so I’m contacting them to make sure they meet the minimum requirements we need to have. There is also an option to see if another production company who already has insurance will come on board and insure us. And the option that I don’t want to go with is to get rid of our actors and make the project non-union. I have no plans to make this non-union, so I have to figure out another way.

In the past, this setback may have stopped the entire project. I’ve actually said online while I was frustrated that this might be the end of this plan and I wanted to give up on it. But the reason I started this project was because I wanted to share the story with everyone and I can’t let that go. So I have to figure out another option to make this work and to do things on the terms that I have wanted to do them.

While this is the first time I’m self-producing a project like this, I’ve realized that the insurance issue has been a recent one so many people who have self-produced have discovered this setback as well. I was putting myself down for not self-producing sooner so I would have known about this, so knowing others have this issue make me feel a bit better and less like I’m unprepared. This is just how you have to do business and I’m glad that I have a supportive community around me that is helping with figure out the best option for me.

Hopefully, once we get this project done and I figure out more of the legalities of self-producing, my next project and any more after that will become easier for me. While I don’t consider myself a writer, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be self-producing more often and creating the content that I want to see out in the world. I do have some ideas that I want to work on, and once I get over the hurdle of self-producing my first project I think things will just start rolling for me.

Figuring Out The Next Step (or I Need To Keep Acting)

As soon as I finished the shoot for “Single Parent Date Night”, I got the feeling that I had been missing out on acting for far too long. I’ve had auditions from time to time (I wish I had more but I understand that sometimes that’s out of my control) and I was in my improv class last year. And of course I have my meetings with my WIF mentoring group which is one of the most inspiring things for me.

But since my shoot, what I’ve been doing doesn’t feel like enough. I know I’m limited in some situations like I cannot force myself to get more auditions or don’t have the financial ability to do a short film like that one all the time, but that’s no excuse for me anymore. I need to keep going and I feel like I have no other choice.

I’m looking again into acting classes. I’m still torn if I should do the next level of improv classes, but I’m leaning more toward not doing it now. I’ve got a few more months to sign up for the next level before I have to start back at the beginning, so I can still change my mind if I want. But there are so many other types of acting classes outside of improv so I’m exploring those.

There are some acting classes that I’d love to take, but they are just too far beyond my price range. I can’t afford classes that cost more than my rent, and there are some like that out there that I know would be worth it if I had the money. And while the cheap ones are a good deal for me financially, I have to make sure that they are the right choice for my career as well.

I’ve got things narrowed down to a couple of classes that meet both the financial and career requirements that I have. I’m going to take a bit more time to look into all the options and I’m going to try to figure out what order I want to take them in. I will have to save money for each class I take, so it may take me a few years to get to all the classes that look interesting to me right now (and by then I’m sure there will be even more classes I want to take).

I’m also looking at doing more work on my own. They won’t be as professional as “Single Parent Date Night” all the time, but there are some beautiful projects I’ve seen that were shot on an iPhone. So I figured why couldn’t I do the same thing? I would need to keep the script and locations simple, but it is possible to work on my own stuff instead of always just waiting for someone to create one for me.

I took the first step to self-producing by becoming a SAG-AFTRA Signatory Producer. It was a very simple process online for me that allows me to produce union projects (which I have to do since I am union). Since I’m still not really a writer, I need to find friends who do write that I can collaborate with, but this is a start.

And I’ve already started working on another project. This one would actually not have me in it, but it’s an idea that I’ve been wanting to do for a little bit. I’m working with a writer friend and the script is done now. We are working on finding what actors want to be in it and once that is done we can submit all the paperwork to the union to get everything approved and ready to shoot.

Hopefully through the collaborations I’ve been a part of lately, I can find more people to work with and who can help me create my own work or will create work for me to be in. And yes, I still want to get more auditions so that I can book something that is on network tv so that I can feel like my career has taken a big step. For but now, I need to focus on what I can do where I am right now and hopefully that will be enough until whatever big thing I will book comes my way.

Making A Movie (or Pulling An All-Nighter)

We finally filmed “Single Parent Date Night”! We filmed the movie this past weekend and honestly it was one of the greatest acting experiences I’ve had so far!

I’m still in shock that we finally did this. It’s been a fun project to be a part of and I’m so happy that my friend Christopher wrote this script for him and I to star in! To think that this started as just a little scene for us to film for our reels and turned into a full short film is crazy! But I’m so glad that we were able to get a great team together for this and I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done!

Our filming adventure started at my house at about 7pm. Christopher, my friend Gedaly (who was so nice to volunteer to be background in our film), and I met up at my house where our hair/makeup person, Kate, would be meeting us. Kate was actually the one who did my hair and makeup for the past few headshot shoots I’ve done, so I was so happy she could do the film too! Since I was the only girl in the film, I definitely took the longest to get ready. But Kate got my makeup done and my hair in velcro rollers and then she got started on the guys.

Hair and Makeup

Once the guys were ready, we all headed over to the first location where we were shooting. We really lucked out with locations because those could have cost us a ton of money. But a friend of our director is an investor in a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet. And since they haven’t opened yet, we were able to use the space without paying because they weren’t going to lose any money having us there!

As soon as we walked into the restaurant, I wanted to cry from happiness. Like I said, this started as just a simple scene for Christopher and I and it became much bigger than that. But to walk into the restaurant to see the cameras and lights set up, it really hit me that we were making a movie and this was real!

Cameras

Once we got there, we got ready to start shooting pretty quickly. I had to get my hair finished first and our sound guy had to get our mics and battery packs set up. I had the sound guy and Kate working on me at the same time, and Christopher got what may be one of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

Crazy Prep

Of course, we kept taking lots of silly photos throughout the night. I got a pretty fun one of Christopher with the clapboard for the film.

Christopher

The shots we had to get inside the restaurant were some of the easiest ones for us. We didn’t have any lines and we just had to do a couple of moments that will be used in the beginning of the film.

At Restaurant

Once we were done with that setup, we moved outside to the valet area for the restaurant where we were going to shoot the first big scene between Christopher and I. The crew had to bring all the stuff from inside out to the parking lot, but they were so amazing that it was set up before we knew it!

Parking Lot Cameras

Even though I had worked on my lines the week leading up to the shoot, I was so terrified that I would forget what to say. Before each setup, Christopher and I ran through our lines a couple of times together and I’m happy to say that there were only a few times that we forgot what to say or messed up a line.

Filming In Parking Lot

We were done at the restaurant around midnight (so about 4 hours of shooting there) and then we were off to our next location. This time, we needed a house with a driveway and fortunately Christopher has a house with a great driveway to use! So we had another location that was free and we could be there without bothering anyone (Christopher’s wife and kids were visiting family that night so they weren’t home).

Before we continued on with the shoot, we had our “lunch” break and Kate touched up our makeup and Christopher and I worked on our lines some more. Then we headed out to the driveway for the next setup which was inside of a car.

Car Set Up

This was another big scene so I’m glad that Christopher and I worked on our lines before shooting the scene. We were able to store our script inside the car if we wanted to look at it between takes, but we ended up getting through all of the takes and camera setups so quickly that we didn’t really have too much time to look at it. Once we were done with the car scene, we were over halfway done with shooting the movie, so Christopher and I were pretty happy about that.

In The Car

Next was a scene outside of the car that had a mini-monologue for me to do. This was about 3am and I was starting to be pretty tired. I had tried my best to sleep as much as I could during the day on Saturday, but the late night was starting to catch up to me. I had a few moments where I had to think really hard about what my next line was, but I think that between all of the takes that we did there’s at least one really good line reading from me.

Our last setup was at the door of the house. We were actually filming 2 scenes there back to back, and as we were getting close to being done the sun was coming up quickly. I was shocked how early the sun was up (I guess that’s the risk you take filming in the summer instead of the winter) but we managed to get everything done before it was too bright outside!

And at 6am, we were done with shooting the entire film! I tried to get a good selfie from the end of the night, but I think you can tell how exhausted and crazy I feel from my look.

Wrapped

And of course, we had to get an exhausted picture of the 4 of us who were the ones who did the Kickstarter: Christopher who was the writer and star, Bryan who was the director, Jamie who was the producer, and me.

All Done

We got the entire thing filmed in about 11 hours, which is crazy because even though the script was only 9 pages that still working at a really fast pace. And we had to keep things quick because we were racing the sunrise. After we were done, I was totally ready to get home and to try to sleep. The exhaustion of the all-nighter caught up with me. But even though I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, I still was on such a high that we actually did it! This movie has been such an incredible experience the entire time and a little part of me is sad that we are done filming now!

Our film will be going to our editor this week and then all of the post-production work will be starting. I don’t know how long it will take to be finished, but you know that I will for sure tell you all where you can watch “Single Parent Date Night” and every update each step of the way.

Thank you again to every single one of you who either donated to our Kickstarter or shared our Kickstarter so others could donate. We really could not have made this film without you and I’m so grateful that I had this opportunity to act and live my dream life for a night.

Clapper

Netflix Luncheon (or Rebels and Rule Breakers)

Through both SAG-AFTRA and WIF I got email invites for an event that Netflix was hosting this past weekend that featured the women of Netflix shows. The event was a luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire hotel and since the luncheon technically didn’t start until noon, I figured I should accept the invite because my work shift would be ending at 11am that day (I don’t miss work to attend events so I do miss out on a bunch).

There was free valet for attendees at the hotel, but it was so packed that it almost took me 30 minutes to get into the valet area and get out of my car! Fortunately, the pre-reception was still going on when I arrived so I checked in at the front, got my table number, and headed inside the room where the event was.

Netflix Event Beverly Wilshire

I had never been inside the Beverly Wilshire before, so I was so impressed by the space and the set up in the room. There was a bar for drinks, but I ended up spending my time before the luncheon started looking for friends of mine. Fortunately, since there were invites from a couple of different organizations I ended up knowing quite a few people there. Most of them were people I knew from the SAG-AFTRA convention because they were there representing the union at the luncheon.

At noon we were instructed to go to our tables and sit down so the presentation and lunch could start. At each of our seats, we had a card that on one side had the people who would be speaking and on the other side the menu of the lunch.

Netflix Speakers Neflix Menu

I knew who would be there speaking ahead of time because it was on the invite for the event, but I was still so excited to hear everyone speak. The panel was done in 2 segments and each woman there shared a bit of her story and a bit about how she feels about being a rebel. Being a rebel in the entertainment industry can mean so many things, and each of them had such a wonderful viewpoint. I loved hearing about how women are afraid not to be polite so they don’t try for things or ask things that might be a bit bold. While women shouldn’t worry about always being polite, there’s no need to not be gracious. Being polite and gracious are different things, and I never thought about that.

I’ve always been scared to not be polite, so this was really hitting home for me. I know I’ve been paid less than my co-workers because I didn’t want to see rude or pushy to ask for a raise. I’ve been treated badly at day jobs because I didn’t want to make a fuss and tell HR that I’m being harassed. I’ve tolerated guys saying pretty bad things to be because I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t being nice because I’ve heard far too many stories of women being shot or attacked by men after they reject them (because to some men, rejection is rude and women shouldn’t do it).

I had already been making strides to being more bold in the past. More recently, I’ve been very outspoken about friends that I’ve wanted to work on projects with. The short film I’ll be starring in soon is because on a phone call with my friend Christopher I said that I was mad that he and I hadn’t worked on a project yet. He said he didn’t have anything that fit me, but next thing I knew our short film was written and now we are in pre-production. I’m going to be in another short film this year because when a friend mentioned that they were working on getting it to pre-production I asked what part there is for me. That isn’t the nicest way to ask, but it was effective and I’ll be playing a small part in that film now.

This entire luncheon was so empowering and really got me thinking about how I need to work on finding the balance between being polite (which is what I’ve been told I have to be) and being pushy (which is what I need to be to help further my career). I don’t have the answer on what that balance should be, but honestly I hadn’t been working hard enough in the past on this to make it work for me. I’m so inspired by what all these women said at this luncheon. I know that if I make a couple of small changes in how I interact with others (and how I network) that it can be a huge impact in the auditions I’m getting and the parts that are being offered to me.

The panel part of the luncheon was only about an hour or so long and after it was done we all were told to head back up to where the pre-reception was for desserts and drinks. I was able to find more of my friends at that point and I think all of us were equally inspired by what we heard (both men and women were at the event and I only heard very positive things from everyone).

We know that diversity is more than just women, but getting more women filmmakers and having women’s stories told in film and tv is important. Just this week, a pilot for a new tv show was rejected because it skewed too female. That’s is horrible. I’ve never heard of a pilot being rejected because it was too male. There’s also all the hatred that I don’t understand toward the all-female “Ghostbusters” movie. Some people don’t think that women need to look up to other women or are complaining that men have nobody to relate to in that movie (there are male characters and if they have to watch an all-male cast they can watch the original movie). And some people think that while women will watch shows about men, men won’t watch them about women. This has been proven wrong by movies like “Bridesmaids” that have been big successes.

These are all attitudes that need to change in order for more women to be writing projects, directing projects, and playing characters that are no just the girlfriend or the pretty one to look at. I feel like this change has started, but there are so many voices speaking negatively regarding gender diversity in film and tv (who want to keep it male centric) and I hope that those people will see that putting more women in front or behind the camera will not diminish men but will in fact create more projects that everyone can be in.

 

Cast and Crew Read Through (or We Get To Make A Movie!)

First of all, thank you to everyone who reads this blog who donated to the Kickstarter for “Single Parent Date Night”! I’m overwhelmed by how many of you wanted to help us and how you’ve all supported us in this campaign (and how you all tolerated the million posts we all made about it). I’m so happy that we made it to our goal and we get to make this film happen!

But if you are reading this on Friday (the day I post it), we still have some time left in the campaign and can use every dollar we get. The $2200 we asked for (which will be less than that after the Kickstarter fees are taken out) is the bare minimum we need to make the movie. We’d love to have any extra money so we can use it for any emergency costs that come up and to submit this film to film festivals when it’s completed. So if you can donate any amount (seriously, $1 is so helpful!), please do so before the campaign ends! And if you are reading this after the campaign ended but still want to help, contact me and I can see what else we can arrange.

Beyond the Kickstarter, we’ve been working on getting this movie ready to be made! Our director and producer (both of whom rock!) have been working on getting the film crewed up. It was tough to do that before we knew we’d reach our Kickstarter goal, but things are starting to come together. We are looking at an early June shoot date and I can’t wait to be filming this!

I had a meeting this week with the director, producer, and my co-star/writer of the film. This was the first time we had all been together since shooting our Kickstarter video and I’m glad we were able to all be together again. We had to discuss some Kickstarter stuff, but that was just a little part of the meeting. The real reason for the meeting was to do the first official cast and crew read through of the movie!

Read Through

Christopher (the writer and my co-star) and I have met to do a read through before, but that was also a slightly different version of the script. We also had done that read through before we got our director and producer involved so it had been a while ago. So it was great to get together to read the script out loud and for our director and producer to hear it spoke for the first time.

Fortunately, everything went really smoothly. The script doesn’t need to have many changes made to it so we are pretty set with how it is right now. And by saying the script out loud, Christopher and I were able to work on the rhythm of the script and to work on where the comedy is in it versus the serious moments. And our director asked Christopher and I some really great questions about our characters and I really had to think about some of the answers. I’m definitely realizing now that I haven’t done enough script work on the script and I’m going to focus on that for the next week or so.

I think that we read through the script maybe 4 or 5 times (it’s easy to do with a short film and while sitting at a table instead of going from location to location) and I think that we are really off to a good start to this production. I know that things will keep going smoother as we rehearse more and once we start performing at the locations instead of at a table (some of the comedy will come from the locations), but I just feel really good about this already. Christopher and I really work well together (which is lucky since this is the first project we’ve ever worked on together and we didn’t audition to see how we worked as a pair), and I think that even if the part hadn’t been written for me that this is a part that I would have gotten from an audition. It really fits me well and I think it showcases me nicely as a comedic actor.

I think I might have forgotten how much I love working on a project that is more than just showing up on the day and doing something really quickly. I miss the prep work and rehearsals that larger projects have. While I love any job I get and am grateful for every single one, this is such a different experience than booking a job after a very quick audition and not working with the cast and crew until when you arrive on set (and a lot of time that time on set is extremely limited). But now, I get to spend a lot of time with the script and we have rehearsal time to figure out how to make this film the best it can possibly be.

The next steps for us will first be to get the Kickstarter done (which will be at 5pm today) and then get those funds as well as the personal funds we are using together to finalize our budget and hire our crew. Things will be happening pretty quickly between now and the shoot date, but I really couldn’t be more excited about it all! This is exactly what I want to do with my life and I’m lucky enough that a friend wrote a script for us so I could live my dream (even if it’s only for a little bit).

Thank you again all so much for supporting our Kickstarter and I can’t wait to blog about each step of the way of making this movie! I hope that you enjoy following this process as much as I love being a part of it!

Almost Ready To Make A Movie! (or Can You Spare A Buck?)

I’m so excited about the short film that my friend Christopher has written for us to star in! It’s a super cute story, I like the character I’m playing, and I think it’s going to be a really fun shoot! I’m so happy that Christopher wrote a film and had me in mind for the other lead. And since he and I are basically the only actors, we haven’t had to do any additional casting.

After meeting with my friend Bryan, he agreed to direct the film (which makes me so happy!) and he connected us with his friend Jaime who is going to be our producer. We’ve been getting things done pretty quickly and we think we will be able to shoot the film at the end of May or beginning of June. But then we found one small roadblock that’s preventing us from scheduling our shoot.

Money.

We are cutting costs where we can (and Christopher and I are going to do deferred pay so we aren’t paying ourselves for the project), but it’s not cheap to make a movie. Even a 10 minute movie like ours will be has costs like sound, camera equipment, lighting, editing, and other post-production costs. We have reached out to all of our friends and I think we have a great crew put together and they have all agreed to work at a reduced rate to help us keep costs down.

We put together a budget that is as limited as possible without putting the quality of the film at risk. Even though everyone is helping us keep things as cheap as possible, after we pooled our money together (I’m taking mine from my new computer fund) we found ourselves a bit short. We need about $2200 to make sure we can afford everything we need to in order to make this film a reality. It’s not a lot of money, but we’ve all stretched our personal budgets as much as we could and that’s how much left we need to find. We thought about ways to raise the money, and we’ve agreed that a Kickstarter campaign is the best way to go.

I hate asking people for money and I don’t expect any of you to donate (although if you want to I’d be so grateful!). But what I’m asking of you all is to please share our Kickstarter campaign with people you know. You might not be able to give anything, but someone you know might want to do it and you are the way to connect them to us. You never know who will want to help a short film get made just because they think it sounds cool.

As with all Kickstarter projects, we have rewards for various levels of donations. We are going to have a link to watch the finished movie online for some donors. Other donors are going to be able to name my pretend kids in the movie (I play a single mom). If you are an actor or know an actor, we also have a limited supply (we only have 5) of headshot shoots with our director Bryan! The donation level for the headshots is a fraction of the cost of what headshots normally cost, so this is a great deal for getting new headshots done! And if you know an actor who might want new headshots soon, you can donate at that level and gift the reward to them. And for the ultimate reward, our highest donation level gives you a producer credit on the film plus you get to be on set while we are shooting!

We have donation levels from $1 to $1000. Even a $1 would be amazing because if enough people each give us $1, we’ll reach our goal! I don’t care if we have 20 donors or 2000 donors. As long as we are able to fund our project, I’m ecstatic! The most important thing to me is that we are able to film what I think will be a wonderful short film and that we get to share it with the world!

If you have the ability to donate, any amount will be such a gift to us and every single dollar will be appreciated more than you probably think. And if you can’t donate (and trust me, I can relate to not being able to donate), please share this post or our Kickstarter campaign online so others can see it and they can either donate or share. We know the only way to make this film happen is with help and we can use as much help as we can getting the word out about this!