Monday, June 4, 2007

Nothing is ever small

So, I’ve been moving ahead with the pre-production of my short film. A snail’s pace - but I’m still moving.

I just finished a rewrite of the script - a class assignment I completed while at NYU. It turns out I just completed my first adaptation. The assignment was to write a scene for the stage between two people, where one person does not speak at all. It was a difficult assignment, and the first for that class. I dug deep in my bag of tragedy and anger and came up with a nice little piece for this great actor to perform.

We rehearsed the piece along with an assigned director and it was really received well. It didn’t hurt that this actor is AMAZING. He’s also agreed to be in the short film.

So, when I decided I’d turn this piece of theater work into a short film, I was totally clueless. Okay, I had a clue, but it didn’t prevent me from having to scratch the original outline and put my filmmaking hat on.

I’ve learned theater is theater and film is film. While they can meet, there has to be a whole lot of preparation and rearranging. What I thought would be a simple, no-budget film is turning out to be anything but. After coming to the realization that I would have to think bigger than just a stage with two actors, I have come up with a more visual story, without losing the original content and feel that garnered an emotion-filled response.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I write freehand, and now comes the task of sitting down and typing this 13-page script. I’m sure the page count will change, as I am a perpetual rewriter. Once I hammer out this draft, I’ll be sending it out to the actor. As he already knows the background and the emotions needed for this character, his feedback will go into another pass of the script.

Now I’m realizing that I’ll have to sit down and actually come up with a budget for this thing. What I thought only needed two locations, now calls for at least two more. I’ll also need a few more actors than I’d originally planned, and a good editor and lighting person. Or I can just learn to wear many, many hats. I am going to prepare two budgets - maybe three. One will be my dream budget, the other my bare bones budget, and maybe an it-can-happen budget.

The other thing I’m realizing is that I may need to get a producer on board. I have one or two people in mind, but as I have never worked with them on this level, I’ll really have to sit down with them and make sure it will be a good fit.

What I’m realizing through all of this is how much I really love storytelling. I’m also understanding the business end, which make me a bit Sybil-like when I sit down to work on the script. I have to think with a creative hat while remembering what can and cannot be done due to financial strain.

1 comment:

annabel said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. I am enjoying following along. I am wishing you all the best!