This is a little sci-fi project that began to materialize last fall. Originally, it was supposed to be an entry into Bill Shatner’s science fiction short film competition to become the spokesperson for his DVD club. It did not materialize by the deadline, which was fine because I am not pretty enough to be anybody’s spokesperson!
Now, however, it is finally finished and has become my entry into Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett’s new reality show On the Lot. One of the requirements for submitting a film for consideration is to produce and submit a 30 – 45 second introductory clip and that is the first video marked “Introduction,” and the actual film itself is the entry marked “A Thief in the Night.”
I want to thank everyone involved for outstanding work:
Ken Degon and Nicole Signore for wonderful fight choreography with an additional nod to Nicole for grabbing great behind-the-scenes photos
Erick James for letting Ken Degon beat the tar out of him! (Just kidding – we did not beat Erick up that badly!)
Vanessa Cornell for also getting tossed around and for being a truly sweet person to work with
JC Carey for most excellent Production Assistant-ing
Denise Bowen for letting us film in her home and for cooking up some fantastic food for our dinner
Mike Furestein of Cucumber Alley Lighting for most excellent advice on lighting and for patient instruction on how to set up professional lights
Michal Kazlo II for use of prop guns
Hertz Rental Corp. for helping me get a cool, black car for the film
I would also like to thank a “Guiding Hand” that helped me put this production together; a Divine Influence. Everything came together so well, we all had a great time and, despite the possibility for accidents, none occurred and no one was injured. Granted, we were all sore and tired the next day, but no one was hurt and all for that I am very thankful for.
At last I have a digital camera and can show off one of the trophies I won at this festival. What you see here is the Stella Artois “Magnum” goblet that I won for Best Promotional Poster. When I held this in my hands, at the microphone, the first thing I thought was, “Now I have something to drink my protein shakes out of!” And now here I am, with my protein shake.
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G-Rated has been accepted by Apple and is now available as a video podcast.
Yes, it is only a single episode, but the exposure will fantastic.
We crushed the competition with two awards: Best Promotional Poster and Audience Choice awards.
There was strong competition, however from some of the other films, including one film that was beautifully shot with wonderful storytelling technique on a piece of consumer video equipment that was once sold as a kids’ toy back in the ’70′s.
My hat is off to you, sir for a wonderful film that should have gotten the “Best of Show” award
But this is not the end of this journey as I will be submitting G-Rated to Apple iTunes.
The film, my entry into the 2006 Ed Wood Quickies Film Festival, is complete after hours of high speed editing and some serious multitasking by my computer and myself. It was a 72 hours that I will not soon forget, filled with chaos, laughter, sleepless nights, stressing over meeting a deadline and looking forward to making better films in the future as well as a better entry next year.I worked with an incredible crew that got me good takes usually on the first try, and that’s a real rarity. Thank you all so very, very much.
Have a chuckle!
After several rewrites of the script, the last of which can’t be printed out now because the printer has become petulant over not being credited for the writing the script as oposed to just the printing, we begin shooting.
Needless to say, the waitress never showed.
The others begin to arrive, but still no sign of the waitress yet.
JC, the writer for our can of mixed nuts, is the only other female on the production team. Luckily, she knows that she may be pressed into service as our “porn star” should the waitress fall through and I know that she will not let me down.
We’re both crossing our fingers … and toes … and any other appendages that can be crossed …
Makes it hard for JC to type that way, though.
Hotel rented without a hitch, and they generously give me a $3/night AAA discount and the counter girl told me that I could talk with the manager when he returned to negotiate a better rate.
I unpack the camera and lights and set up the room for shooting.
I still have not heard from the waitress yet. I call her again, and she does not answer again.
This does not bode well.
This time, I leave her a message with directions on where to go for the shoot, hoping that she is simply too busy and will just show up at the hotel, sexy costume in hand.
Now time to make the rounds and let everyone else know when and where we are shooting.
A hectic morning of script editing via e-mail and multiple hurried phone conversations connecting everyone together to make this film. Free locations don’t materialize, so renting out a hotel room is the only option.
I call the waitress. It took a couple of tries as I mis-dialed her number twice. She does not answer, but last night she said she might be busy in the morning, so I leave a message for her to call me back, proceed to pack the car with lighting and camera gear and head out to the hotel I intend to rent for the shoot.
G-rated porn. Don’t ask.
I took yesterday, Friday, off to prep for the upcoming shoot: charging batteries, assembling lightning equipment, doing laundry (yeah, that, too – since I am not at the Spielberg/Lucas level yet, I don’t have a Brazillian maid for such things. ).
Despite an extraordinary lack of on street parking in the area of Albany that was being used as the HQ for the festival organizers, I found an empty space in the furthest reaches of a nearby supermarket parking lot. Luckily no one noticed me, so I avoided getting a ticket or being towed.
Each previous year the Quickies festival organizers provided the contestants with a theme or a prop, referred to as the “gimmick” that has to be used extensively in the film. I hustled to Bombers Burrito Bar where I would receive my “gimmick” and start planning my film with my crew. This year’s gimmick was two-fold:
- a piece of paper containing a phonetically spelled word that had to be in the title and provide the driving force for the film
- a bang, bash, explosion or other discharge had to be present in the film
My word was grāt; spelled just like that. I awaited my crew.
Once we were all assembled, we descended upon Elda’s restaurant in Albany. (Don’t go there, they have no qualms about charging premium prices for food and service that is second rate at best.)
We got immediately to work and followed the flow of the evening. Raucousness ensued.
I had a role in mind for a waitress that works for a local strip club (and yes, that’s all she does is wait tables) a gorgeous woman with caramel skin, thick, wavy dark hair and curves to spare. At 12:40 a.m., I rolled into the club to discuss the project with her. She seemed interested at the time and gave me her phone number again to talk with her the next day.
On my way out the door, the hottest dancer there worked me hard to give me a dance (read: get some $$ out of my wallet because I am a decent tipper). I politely bowed out as I was there for professional reasons. I was to regret that decision.
I am so glad that I have made such strides tonight with the Chronicles. Now I can focus more on the upcoming Ed Wood Quickies Film Competition. The next 72 hours will be insane …