I joined the Scary Cow Film Collective two years ago to reconnect with the local filmmaking community without having to go back to production work full-time. It's a quirky organization, full of personalities and talent and skill that run the gamut from wide eyed novice to crusty old professionals and everything in between. The best part of being a member is the ability to try out different roles to get a wider perspective on the craft.
I signed on to my first three short films as a producer because that's what I know best and I felt it would be a good way to get to know many of the members and their abilities. Each project has been longer than the previous one in terms of prep and shoot length.
My first project, One Good Egg (2014), was prepped and shot within a couple of weeks. The second, Make It Go Away (2014), took about four months, not including post. By the time my current project, Wasp-Men From Mars! will wrap, it'll be about two years.
Internet Archive, San Francisco
Director of Photography Stephen Berke shoots in the lobby of the Internet Archive.
Director Anna Callahan watches the monitor during the scene.
Gaffer Bob Nelson performs double-duty as an extra.
Actor Steven Spohn takes center stage while the lights are tweaked.
Actor David Schormann being lit for his close-up.
Shooting the last scene.
Wasp-Men From Mars! teaser poster
The reason for the long prep time on this one was mainly the Kickstarter campaign (a first for both the director and me) and the time it took to fabricate our wasp-men costumes. Adding to those were actor and crew schedule conflicts, and voila, two years later, we are still in mid-shoot.
I must admit that the drawn out schedule did dampen my enthusiasm for a while, but now that we're in-mid shoot, I am riding that familiar high of production. So much so that it has revitalized my plans to direct my own projects with Scary Cow.
I've learned so much from this project, from launching the Kickstarter campaign, to making the most of social media, to handling location and scheduling struggles.
My plan for the web series is to make the production as lean and streamline as possible so as to spend more time and energy on content rather than on logistics. However, knowing myself, there's a very real chance that plan might go out the window once I start prepping. I tend to add complexity despite my best intentions to stay simple. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, here's hoping...
In my next post, I'll share an update and some fun production photos from Wasp-Men From Mars!