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Credits (director, writer, DP, producer, etc.)
Writer: Forrest Boleyn
DP: Brandan Friel
Editor: Cal Laird
Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?
I love comedy, the more absurd the better. I was really impressed the way the writer set up the scene and punch line, all in 30 seconds.
What was the casting process like?
The casting process went remarkably smooth. I had previous experience with the Actors Access website so I went back to it for this project. I believe the quality of responses you receive is predicated on the quality of the script. So it didn’t surprise me when I started to get a lot of really good actors responding. Because there are no lines in the script, there was no official ‘audition’. It ended up being a short meet and greet.
How did you search for/lock a location?
I’m new to Los Angeles, so I decided to network at some of the City Chamber’s events to meet new people. I met the marketing director of one of the Marriot’s. After coming up empty handed searching other location sites, I asked him if it would be possible to shoot the spot in one of his rooms. He agreed and offered a generously discounted rate for the room. Moral of the story, get out and network!
How did you select your DP, crew?
I posted something on Mandy and Craigslist for an editor. Cal responded, and after a good initial conversation, he asked if I was looking for a DP and camera crew. He had some friends he could suggest. After looking at their reel, I talked with Brendan and I was set with an editor and camera crew within a few days. So luck was on my side again.
How did shooting go? Any challenges?
I have been on some rough shoots and was fully expecting this could be another. I earmarked about 8-10 hours to shoot. When we got to the hotel they had changed the room, so we had an initial scurry to get everyone to the correct room. And once we got into the room, it was much smaller than it looked in photos. Even with a small crew and cast it was very tight. On top of that, the windows were blacked out so there was not a lot of fresh air moving through the room. But once we got into the room, things started to run smoothly. It ended up being a 6-hour shoot.
Tell us about editing and finishing.
The editor and myself thought we could get it done in two weeks. It ended up taking around two months. Throw in day job, additional sound cues and feedback from other crew, it added up. I didn’t mind. We were all on the same page of ‘lets get it right.’
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?
Overall, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the shoot. As I mentioned earlier, it went remarkably smooth from start to finish. But in hindsight, I would have put more emphasis on costume design. Checking the location before the shoot would have given me an idea of possible problems, etc. And after each shoot, I take some time and go through each phase to see what needs to be improved for the next shoot. It always comes down to, preparation.
Any other thoughts?
This was my first project with Spec Bank and couldn’t be more pleased with its resources, scripts and community. What a great place to be if you’re trying to build your reel and develop relationships within this industry.