ONE WEEK LATER (one month later): Part II (Motley Crew)

On June 7, 2011 by admin

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If I can give any piece of advice to anyone wanting to make a film it would be this…if you’re the least bit unsure, don’t do it. Don’t even try it.

Seriously, if you can’t count on yourself then you should just play angry birds or write a blog piece that will eventually be copied onto the Huffington Post (anybody else feeling uneasy about what’s going on over there?). What I mean is you need to be absolutely sure you want to do this. I’m not talking about being sure about your vision for the material you have in front of you – that script, that treatment, that page of scribble you call an idea. I’m talking about being sure about yourself as a filmmaker.

The material morphs every second. What one envisions is constantly changing – being influenced by every little thing around it. Atmosphere is the regulator. Your job as a director is to be ready for those changes. You prepare yourself as much as possible to be aware.

Everyone’s experienced the Back to the Future scenario where all you want in this world is to kiss that certain someone only to get that kiss and feel something off, something just not right (like Michael J Fox being your son). Everyone’s been somewhere they tried really hard to get just to realize it wasn’t what they wanted.

You have to be quick to resolve or else it becomes awkward. Time is lost and the mood is mierda. As a director on an ultra, supa dupa low budget set, it’s your job to be prepared to shift gears at the drop of a slate. You must be sure enough to pull one of them quick turnaround reverse maneuvers while driving 100 miles an hour that’s so popular in the Fast and Furious movies. Warning: tangent up ahead – go see “Fast Five”; it’s hilarious (I was the only one in the theater cackling throughout) , over the top ridiculous, slightly homoerotic (all those movies are) and the ending is so unbelievable you’ll walk out of the theater with a smile on your face – guaranteed. Vin Diesel mumbles aside, you have to be ready. Always and if you can’t be ready make sure you’ve got the right people there when you’re not.

All the preparation in the world goes out the window if you don’t assemble the right crew.

It’s just a good rule to follow when you have a decent amount of pre-production time and cashflow.

When you don’t have that (as in our case) – you act like you do and still look out for the best among those available and willing. Or you get whoever is available; friends, family, strangers at a bus stop, people stuck in line at Walmart – you can’t be picky, people!!! It’s what happens in any low budget movie, especially one that costs less than a car. What kind of car? Well…talk to me in a few months when we’re done and I’ll tell you if we mean Hyundai Accent or Hyundai Genesis (look em up kids and I’ll meet you at our fundraiser). The truth is one should be so lucky to get anyone willing to help you out on your little indie movie. Find the ones who are willing to go all the way, ready to give 110% and create an environment for your crew to become the BEST crew ever.

Start by figuring what the minimum amount of crew you’ll actually need is (whatever that number is add 4 or 5) and then assemble an elite task force from the willing and able. The ones who are committed to taking this journey with you. The ones who have the biggest hearts above their hungry bellies and the ones with sparkles for eyes. The true believers.

I don’t how many times we’ve mentioned this but this is a low budget production. Low budget doesn’t quite cover it…I feel like we can’t even afford to say the word “budget”. While we went over our initial budget projections (“if we don’t have the money, we’ll pay ‘em later!”), we still made this movie on peanuts.

Peanuts we bought with food stamps.

The money thing will be the subject matter of another, much longer post – trust me, it’s coming. What we did with The Last Intervention was find and amazing group of hard working individuals who were selfless, committed and (more important to me) good people to be around.

The following people are guilty of giving their all. People who gave us every available second they had and then some. Folks who worked with us around major work commitments and family rituals (Easter, Passover, Lunch). Insane mofos who would leave our set and go work 4 or 5 more hours elsewhere and return to the set the next day, on time – locked and loaded. All of these people wore many hats from running sound, slating and doing camera work (still and motion) to gripping, driving, cooking, and even acting in the movie. EVERYONE did many different jobs and did them abso-fricken-lutely amazingly well. The best part of all this was the flexibility and ease that everyone switched roles from one take to the next and how everyone worked together. Helping and assisting each other, making sure that the job got done. I’m not talking about a bench full of homerun hitters (that tend to strike out too much), I’m talking an entire dugout full of all-stars with the highest batting averages. Always getting on base. Always scoring. Doing anything and everything to win the game. That was our team. Some seriously funny people, too. There were times I was laughing so hard my eyes hurt (I know, I thought it was weird too but I was too busy laughing). Through the laughter, it’s not to say we didn’t hit some rough patches where I completely lost it several times. You go for 10 days with no sleep living on nothing but coffee and the occasional plate of rice and beans. I kept thinking about Yo Gabba Gabba’s “Party in my Tummy” but it was violently changed to a “Riot in my Tummy”. An effin uprisin’. (another post – trust me).

Through Hell and back, the right team makes it possible to recover from these missteps and keep the show moving on. These souls were my brothers and sisters in arms and in spirit. I will never forget what happened. I am eternally grateful for the energy and the love.

And here they are in alphabetical order as to not diminish or highlight anyone’s contributions. We’re including our cast as well because they all did more than just act. Everyone’s here. From the people who were present every second to the ones who gave us a second of their time (100% effort in one second). I apologize in advance if you are not on this list – it’s not that we forgot YOU, it’s just that we forgot. Please email me at info@francesffilms.com or drop me a line on facebook and remind us. Our self inflicted brain damage is permanent – we need your help.

UPDATE: So, I started making a list and it was getting long and crazy and I was including EVERYBODY! But, (and it’s an E.U. “Da Butt” kind of big ol’ butt) I knew I was leaving people out. So, when the final credits finally roll – I will get everybody – de verdad! For now, please accept my heartfelt “THANK YOU”.


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