Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Next Step!

In the past few days I've been thinking a lot about film, and filmmaking. I've talked as much about the subject as I can, and it's time to do something. I came across one of "Deadly Obsessions" actresses' web page, and saw that she had several video clips up on her work. Irene has always been an inspiration to me. To say I learned a lot from her is an understatement. I just wish sometimes I could go see more of her work on stage. It's been awhile since seeing her, and just yesterday I took a trip down memory lane and watched the audition tapes I made for the cast of the film. I'd like to post them, but the entire tape is over 30 minutes, and finding the time to digitize and compress the video seems impossiable to schedule, but maybe sometime soon I'll get to it.

But I also like to compliment my entire cast in the film. They helped me a lot, and it is because of them that I REALLY want to do another film. I've been thinking about what to do, and how to do it. I'm not the best at writing. I like it when a scene develops, and springs forth with the help of it's actors. On Irene's website there are clips to her one women play that she has developed over time through ongoing workshop called “Risk". Irene's play is called simply "Y" has been developed by herself and a gentleman named Brad Calcaterra. If the name sounds familiar Mr. Calcaterra's directing, writing and acting can be seen in the independent film "four eyed monsters". Why don't I quote Mr. Calcaterra on how Irene and Mr. Calcaterra develop their unique style:

"Y" was developed by Irene Glezos and Brad Calcaterra in an ongoing workshop called “Risk” under Brad's direction at the Sally Johnson Studio over the course of one year. In “Risk,” a group of solo performers meet on Mondays to explore their truth in front of each other. We call it "Live Diary" or "Stand Up Drama." Out of these improvisations, characters emerge, and stories begin to take shape. We believe that the things we want to hide from or about which we are ashamed, are actually the seeds of our creativity. The performer’s improvised material is videotaped each week, then transcribed and shaped into the play. The attempt is never to impersonate but rather to engage an archetype, and through the character, to find ways of telling our own truth.

I like that idea. I've been thinking about writing a synopsis of a story I've been carrying around for sometime, and then have actors take it from there. In essence let the actors flesh out the characters and their motivations. What I would supply is a beginning, a middle , and an end. In my case it would be of a son coming to terms with his dad as his dad falls victim to Alzheimer's.

Yes it is a personal journey, but I think one that has universal appeal, and something actors can sink their teeth into. The one thing I learned is that one should not close one's self off to criticism, and opinions. Those opinions may help the story flow better, and make a better film.

So what do I do? Take out an ad in Backstage and set a list of characters I'm looking for. Call it "work shopping" a film, and say little to no pay is involved? Right now there is nothing, but an idea. Will actors respond to an ad for "work shopping" a film? It does take a bit of time, and money to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Another issue to address are credits. Not only are the actors more then actors they are participants to a story. They are it's writers in a sense.

I once took a week-end course with Rick Schmidt about co-collaboration, and making films for used car prices. Schmidt is a fantastic filmmaker who makes film's out of workshops he's done. I like what he does, and still believe today that along with the Internet it's the only way to go now. Art must evolve, and doing a film this way makes a lot of sense. Where I can not offer money I can offer credit. I've already established that I'm a pretty fair technician, and I can get the job done. But what I need help with the story.

My other objective for this project is to do it quickly. I don't want to belabor the process. Once you have a working script you need to go out and shoot it. That's the Roger Corman mentality I have. I know I can get a film done quickly, and efficiently, but I need good content. Content that matters to me, and to the other artists who participate. I guess I'm just thinking out loud, but what better place to do it then here.
As you can see the wheels are spinning, and I need a definitive idea to put onto film. I need to come up with an idea for a film that I want. The first step is always the hardest I guess. As I've always said in the past "nothing worth doing is easy", and in filmmaking nothing is ever easy. So I better get writing some more and see what springs forth.

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