I. Casting/production meetings:
Mother: In this most recent period, on the casting front, met with the actress for the lead mother role. And it felt there was a certain kismet with some of her own experiences and the thematic content of the film.
Son: I also met with her son as prospective actor for leading Young male role. He is not what I initially envision but I think has interesting presents and there is a strong natural dynamic—as one would expect—between them.
Principal; Cassandra: The actor for the principal role her husband, was not available. Also I am contemplating the use of her daughter for the Cassandra role. I hope to meet both of them in the next few days.
Production/Camera: I also had a meeting with a production representative who is also a makeup artist. She is a colleague of Alexandra the main woman I have had contact with in the group. I also met separately with Alexandra and Nester–– The cameraman—I spoke to him in general about the aesthetic I am looking for, General 60s and 70s, also talked a bit about minimal motivated camera movement. He was eager to get ‘references’ of different films that would help him understand approach desire for particular scenes. I said I would try to do so in general terms throughout the shooting script.
With respect to equipment, he said he has a steady cam, As well as tool for dollying. One central challenge is that his English is very limited. I was dependent on Alexandra to translate. Her English is strong but has some significant gaps.
Locations/deferred pay agreement/expenses: Alexandra was eager to see location list also was eager to know about available funding. I told her that all the initial work would have to be (screen) Credit and deferred pay, with any pay for them, Besides some potential small stipend, needing to come out of profits before I would see any profits myself. I told them this is not unusual in LA for a (micro budget) project such as this. This seemed to satisfy them, but I am not wholly certain that they understood it completely. This will be something important for me to confirm. It will be important once I have my shooting script and schedule done that clearly shows actual time necessary for shooting, that I suggest we just blocked in their available time, without interfering with existing paid gigs. Hopefully this will work well for them.
I am attempting to minimize any real immediate expenses. One unavoidable Is catering budget. From all I have read it is essential to feed everyone well, especially if one is not immediately paying, to keep the natives happy. This can best allow everyone to appreciate the Learning experience in a happy frame.
In this meeting, we also spoke about the need for an audio guy on set to ensure best quality audio.
General casting notes/necessary remaining tasks: Separately I had a meeting with a professionally trained theater actor, A friend of a friend,I think a strong actor for the Dr. Caine role.
Essentially, where this leaves us is that I still need principal Paine, and Lola. On the production front, I still need to finalize locations. In my production meeting with Alexandra and the other meeting with Marie, I laid it out the general necessary locations. All seem. Some good options for the school, and the one that I was worried about, a hospital, they were confident would not be a problem as they have a client they have work for that is a hospital.
Tomorrow on the 17th is the day and I said I would circulate a script to principles to read. This then gives me one week to completely converted into bona fide shooting script with angles, and cameraman scene ’references’. When I look at the schedule tomorrow, I may shift everything one week forward to May 1st, I it will need to see what works best, as we have a couple of Family trips/functions planned and as much as possible I would like to have principal shooting be one Uninterrupted Block of time.
Casting (Loba)/General use of Tarot:
[Tarot reading; horror music composer]
One last note on casting, regarding the Loba role, during our recent trip inland to Rio Dulce I made the improbable acquaintance of an older woman Tarot master, who approached me to borrow a pen for her work on a Tarot opera, and in the course of our discussion she told me her partner is a prominent Composer for classic horror films with Kino, whose work has included score for Dr. Calagari and Nosferatu. I had her do a Tarot reading for me on the project and she offered some advice with the reading. The reading mainly radiated around establishing leadership, productive collaboration, and balancing one's responsibilities. Helpful feedback board with respect to the fact that I was only using selective cards from the arcana in my framing of the story. As someone to whom the Tarot was really a sacred part of her life, she obviously found this offensive. It was a valuable reminder about honoring the tradition that is so sacred to so many phone. I have prioritized story, At the same time I want to make sure that I have respectful engagement with these archetypes I'm employing in the work. Anyways, in addition to these benefits of the encounter with her, my wife suggested that this woman may be a very good candidate for the role of Loba. She is older than I initially envisioned but would certainly bring an interesting, informed energy in to the project. I have her contact information to follow up with.
I'm testing this leaves the role of Dr. Francis, which at present I do not have strong candidate. I do have some people who have told me they may be able to connect me with a potential pools of actors.
Other threads to follow up: local contact who said that there may be some potential cultural , local governmental funding for project taking place in the country. I also have been given some potential production contacts to follow up with as well.
II. Training/research notes
1. current training resources:
a. In ‘Frst-time Director’, and ‘Grammar of film language’, I have focused on respectively working with actors and blocking.
b. completed DOV Simens Reel To Deal;
c. completed Three Stages of Screenwriting
d. Also, completed the Paul Castro - Screenwriting course. (Starting his Business of Screenwriting now).
2. Other research/crit group feedback:
Attended Crazywise town hall seminar after viewing the film Crazywise (See March 22 posting), which gave realize experiences that help flesh out some of the concerns in the film, namely the power of re-framing experiences associated with mental illness as potentially extraordinary.
-During this period, I also received valuable feedback from my last crit group session, which I have written about in separate post, see March 26 post.
3. Relevant screenings:
a. Poltergeist - framing of scares; sense of wonder; grossness; irony/suprise (understatement vs. outrageous display[for contrast]);
b. Oh God - sense of wonder; efficient screenplay; metaphysical , accessible
c. Holy Mountain - use of grotesque imagery, human form, carnival, grotesque
d. Blackcoat's Daughter - atmosphere, use of sound
III. Revised screenplay
In addition to compiling all of my film form notes in accessible form, the principal accomplishment of the period was a complete revision of the screenplay.