Saturday, June 15, 2013

"We filmed for hours and it's only going to be like, a minute of video."

I've been working on a project that I keep wanting to blog about but have been waiting for the perfect moment.  It isn't that I'm superstitious, exactly, because I'm not, exactly, but waiting until we were beyond the starting phase and a finished product was nearly in hand seemed the more responsible approach.

What am I chattering about?  A few months ago I envisioned a short film based on the mascot of our VBS this year - Spy Guy.  The basic idea was that instead of just having somebody in sunglasses stand up front and talk about the event, we could show a movie that detailed his adventures getting there.  Then we could use the movie on Facebook to advertise the VBS.

Disclaimer:  The following is a dramatization of a very amateur production.
Spy Guy and The Agents

I pitched the idea to the VBS program manager and got permission to proceed.  (That's the word they use in the film industry when you have a story but somebody else need to give the go ahead for some part of the project.)  I wrote the script and got the man who plays Spy Guy to agree it was a good story and he was on board.  Then I started pitching to "producers" in the church.  I found one and we started putting together a shooting schedule, did location scouting, casting, props, the whole 9 yards.  On the first day of shooting I was surprised to find myself directing.  What did I know about directing?  Nothing - except calling, "Action!"  And that I needed to get a new chair.

Didn't matter.  We had a blast.  Most of us, anyway.  Today's quote came from the set when one of the younger actors couldn't believe he gave up a Saturday "FOR THIS?"  Got some very good footage though.  I learned a lot about how to transfer the page to the screen.  It really impacted my writing perspective and I expect the rewrite I'm embarking on now will be much, much better for the experience.

So where are we in the project?  The filming is done and edited into a wonderful silent film.  Now we are just waiting for the soundtrack.  Did I tell you that in addition to dreaming of being an A-List writer, I also pretend to be a musician?


  1. And remember, no alligators were harmed during the production of this film!

    1. True that, but what happened to them AFTER the filming? Alligator farms are such nasty places... for alligators.