Diary of a first time director: Pre production

The Girl Is Making A FilmOne of my friends:
“So it has really started now, you are doing it”
Me: Well not really, I can still run away you know.
She: No you can’t, I have 15 extras who can’t wait to be in the “love is in the air in the park” scene. It is happening, you are doing it.
Me: Right.

I guess that means that we are now officially in pre-production.

Here is your weekly Cookie film update. Things I have learned so far:

  • I realize now that it is a very ambitious script to shoot. I didn’t think about that when writing it, but we need quite a bit of locations, there are 4 crowd scenes (that’s where we need Extras) and to make it worse: there is a dog in the script.
  • Nothing wrong with dogs, I love dogs, but just imagine how filming a dog is going to be. Not only do we need to find a dog, this dog also has to behave a little while we film him or her. I try not to worry about that too much yet.
  • I choose to listen to people who say “Of course that’s possible” in stead of to the ones who say “Pfew, that’s quite a demanding script, let’s see if we can take some stuff out to make it easier”. I have heard both.
  • I have to change my poster as the Jammie Dodger turns out to be a trademark, and there for it is not allowed to be used on a poster like this. This is not a big deal really.
  • One more location is covered, June now has a place to live as well. There are still quite a bit of location to cover though.
  • Dan, the main character is a writer. A very friendly designer located in South Africa (it’s turning into an international production!) is going to design the book cover for Dan’s latest book so that will surely look great. This might sound over the top to you but this book is featured in several scenes so I want it to look professional and good.
  • I’ve had some interviews with potential assistant producers, and this is looking good as well. It’s like going to a job interview and sitting on the other side of the table, which is kind of weird. But as I can’t shut up about my film anyway, I think the talks went well.
  • We have 15 extras for the “love is in the air in the park” scene. We want people of all ages, race, sex and orientation (we are in London after all!), and I think that has been successful until now, which is very cool. We need some more extras though, for some other scenes as well, so if you are interested …
  • I got a mail from an experienced film maker who teaches on a film course and who happens to organize a casting day for his “acting in front of the camera” course. It’s a course for camera people to learn how to film actors. He asked me if I wanted to come over and hang around on that casting day and help him with the casting.
    Well, yeah!
    In return I could be around actors all day, watch them, check them out, admire them. And if I happen to bump into the most perfect actor for either Dan or June, I can cast them directly from there.

    Good opportunity to meet people, to network, to meet actors, to make contacts, and to learn. It’s planned for the 28th of August.

  • I have been close to several nervous breakdowns already, and Dan and June are haunting me at night. This is all supposed to be fun right? It is scaring the willies out of me. But if I look at it from Slartibartfast’s spaceship (and we have been flying quite a lot lately): it is going remarkably well until now and I try to believe that things are going to be alright.

9 thoughts to “Diary of a first time director: Pre production”

  1. Ooo man, I wish Boomer was still here ;-) but what about one of the dogs in your office building? good luck I know you can do it .

  2. Hey, you are really making headway with your project. And you seem to know all the right people: a friendly designer, an experienced film maker, 15 ambitious extras, and Slartibartfast to take you on a short trip when things seem to outgrow. This is so exciting!!!

  3. @Grigorisgirl – your dog sounds great :-) Gnat – that’s my new word of the day.

    @Zazz – yes very exiting, if it was someone elses project I could probably enjoy reading about it too! And I don’t know that many people, I am very lucky to know people who do. That is a big help.

  4. I’d love to be an ‘extra’, but I don’t have the time to come to London for it. Maybe next time.
    You could be an ‘extra’ yourself, just like Alfred Hitchcock :-)

  5. Things are really starting to move for your film Ingrid! I recommend finding a lab – I’d volunteer my dog … he’s had lots of experience posing for pics … he does exactly what he’s requested to do (that is, if there aren’t any ducks about … he’ll take off in a flash )

  6. I think your lab would be perfect :) No duck danger because we only film the dog inside. We need some closeups of the dogs face expressions when his boss (Dan!) does silly things. We’ll have to place an ad somewhere to find a friendly person with a nice dog I guess. Must be possible.

  7. Well, another dog available here – if you don’t mind the logistics, and if there are no visible cats in the surroundings ;) And I’m obviously 110% in the “Of course it’s possible” team :)

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