Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Offers have gone out to the cast today. I won't mention any names as they are many reasons why they could turn it down, time, money, or they just don't want to do it anymore, and I wouldn't want to emabarrass them on here (not that anyone is reading this apart from me). I do hope the four we're asking say yes, as they will fit together perfectly as a band, but I get the horrible feeling that this is just the start of yet another round of horribly tense negotaiting.

In one way I can't wait for the first day of the shoot to come round, becuase by then it will all be sorted out. At least I hope so.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Going downhill

It's been a long week of wrangling over money, thankfully not something I have had to do much with as it's the producers job, but finally all concerned have come to an agreement. Next up, the actors money, so I think there's another fun week coming up.

We all knew it would be tricky on this budget, and it's not just the money, it's the availability, as everyone, understandably, wants to commit but if some stupidly high paying job comes in in the meantime they need to be able to take that. It's the only fair thing to do, but it does make it tricky.

We seem to be constantly hiring people to the point where they talk about someone on the crew and I have no idea who that is. Not my job to worry, I suppose, another thing I'll leave to Simon. As far as casting goes we now have the dilemma of having two very strong candidates for the lead role and I'm finding it hard to decide between them. They will both take the film off in very slightly different ways, and so I have to decide which I want. My suggestion of hiring them both and shooting every scene twice didn't go down too well.

This week I'm off looking at locations with the locations manager and PM all Monday, working with the band on the songs on Tuesday, meeting another company who may come on board on Wednesday, then looking terrified on Thursday and Friday. I have two new excellent working with actors books, I just need to find time to read them. After that I need to sit down with Mike and work on how we're going to shoot this fucker. I want to get almsot every camera move worked out in advance, that way, I figure, we'll be in a much better position to adapt things if the actors come up with something different as we'll know what the bare minimum we are planning is. Well that's the theory. It also means if I'm run over or have a complete meltdown someone else can take my tactics book and direct the rest of the film.

The really odd thing is that after almost a year of pushing this film up a very steep hill we have now most definitely gone over the top. The trouble is that the film now feels like is rolling down the otherside and we're all running like mad to keep up with it. Well, it's my fault, it's what I always wanted to do.

Friday, March 07, 2008

We always knew it would be tricky

The budget is small, we can't pay that much. We always knew that, but even so it's not nice when some people you really want to work on the film have to pass because it's been a quiet year so far and they just can't afford it. After so many years making short films and blagging things for free it seems a real shame to be doing that promised feature and still unable to pay people properly.

That said, they're all getting a reasonable wage, it's just not their freelance rate. Hope things are easier with the cast. Final casting sessions are this week, and it doesn't get any easier. the good news is that we have now seen someone who can play each of the main roles. They may not be THE role, but they're at the very least A version of the role. If casting ended now, and all other actors became unavailable then I know we have a cast that would work together well and look like a band. There's a couple I'm looking forward to seeing this week, but they may be terrible, in which case we go with this line up.

One actor who we really want is still unsure so I'm going to pen them a letter explainaing everything we're going to do in the film and why they have to do it. If that doesn't work then really nothing will.

In the meantime DoP Mike Eley got me to read 'I'll be in my trailer' by John Badham. It's a guide for directors in talking to actors, and my god, I wish someone had given me this ten years ago. It is, as they say, all killah and no fillah. I don't know who they are, but they're right.

As of Monday it's 5 weeks until the shoot. So, still plenty of time to do a Stephen Fry and fuck off to Belgium in terror.