Category : pre-production

fundraising, rewrites and collaboration

a couple weeks ago, the core of the Ms Young production team completed production on a short film which has recently been re-titled “tuesday morning” by it’s writer Darrow Carson. Ryan Baker brought a couple of his key Six Gun crew down to Los Angeles and we shot Darrow’s gorgeous little six and a half page short over the course of a single day. i finished a rough cut of it a week later and am currently sitting on it for a bit – just to give it time to marinate in my head before the next pass. i’ll make some adjustments in about a week or so and then pass it off for sound, color and (hopefully) score.

here are some screenshots from the shoot with Jaimi Paige and Ian Kerch:

i’m extremely pleased with it and can’t wait to show people what a superfreako / Six Gun collaboration is capable of. i know i speak for all the superfreakos when i say that we very much enjoyed working with the Six Gun team. it was a smooth day of production. we got a little behind early on for a couple of easily avoidable reasons, but once we got back on track we stayed on track, and we all worked really well together IMHO.

also just this morning, we got a notification that Forest Whitaker started following Ms Young’s page on JuntoBox. i can only assume that this means we’re being considered for being optioned – which is the next step for us on the site. since we’re already at Level Four, either they’ll offer us an option or they won’t.

Ms Young's JuntoBox page

click on the image above to see the “Ms. Young” JuntoBox page, where you can follow the project and rate it four stars or more if you want to help get Mr. Whitaker and the rest of the JuntoBox team to seriously consider funding out film.

i also (and i presume completely coincidentally) received another email from them this morning asking me to fill out a survey which hints at some pretty exciting potential developments over at JuntoBox – not that those developments might in any way effect whether or not they option Ms Young, but i’m definitely going to talk about them on this week’s WMM Film Geeks. sorry for the mystery sandwich, but it’s kind of a lot to cover in this. the podcast will go live Saturday morning anyway, so you won’t have to wait long.

anyway, stay tuned here and on for more info re: tuesday morning and Ms Young as it develops.


location scout trip

Kendall and i went on a trip to Reno a couple weeks to check out a few locations. it appears as if that trip was a great success. i’m not the kind of guy who counts his chickens before they hatch, but we did see two really amazing cabins – one in Galena Forest and the other near Truckee – and met a pair of extremely nice real estate agents in Tahoe City. i don’t want to show photos of them since there isn’t a contract for either site as of yet. here are some other photos from the trip though:

the first thing i want to say about the trip is that people in the Reno/Tahoe area are unbelievably nice. without exception everybody we spoke with was cool as hell. very nice. Kendall is still working on the budget, but this movie is becoming more and more doable everyday.

the common indie filmmaker plan nowadays is to raise double the amount that you need for production and post-production combined, so that you’ll have an equal amount to dedicate to marketing and distribution. for instance if you need $100k combined for production and post, you need to raise a total of $200k, so that you’ll have that extra $100k for promoting and selling your movie. those amounts are based on what hybrid distribution guru Peter Broderick and “Think Outside the Box Office” author Jon Reiss say, and have been pretty tried and true for indie filmmakers for a while now.

however, something that people have been also doing recently is raising the money to shoot the film and then using the footage from production, they go to kickstarter to raise the rest of the post-production and marketing/distribution money. that’s what my friend Sean Hanish did with his film “Return To Zero” – and they were able to raise $70k on Kickstarter in just 30 days! i’m sure it didn’t hurt that Minnie Driver and Alfred Molina were in his cast, but still that’s impressive.

with Ms Young we have a lot going for us, but the largest obstacle in getting anybody to pay attention to what you’re doing nowadays is the sheer volume of material that’s put out there every second of every day. since the Canon 7D and the 5D mark II hit the market, making movies has become something that just about anybody with the time to kill and a few friends to help can make a movie. in fact, as of the writing of this post, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! so in that constant, never-ending flood of content, how can you get anybody to pay attention to yours? that’s the question, and i’m not saying i know the answer, but we believe we have a solid – if not somewhat controversial – script, an excellent cast and a pretty solid mix of talents, skills and contacts.

otherwise we obviously wouldn’t be wasting our time.

moving forward in 2013

obviously “Ms Young” had fallen to the superfreakos‘ back burner for a while. we needed to focus on lower hanging fruit to get our new company up and running. that has all changed though and 2013 is looking like the year that “Ms Young” may actually become a reality.

a few things in particular have helped bring this about, the most obvious of which is our maturation as a company. a stop-motion piece we did for an early client a Stevie Award (no, i don’t really know what that is either) and that helped us book a full commercial campaign for a San Fernando Valley mattress company. we’re still wrapping up that campaign while doing pre-production on pieces for two other clients and wrapping up a whole handful of short films. Denny‘s been working a lot in the TV sports world and booking key roles in indie features as well. my one-man show got some decent reviews and Kendall has been keeping all our projects within budget. so we’re ready.

most of the other factors aren’t completely locked down, so i won’t get into them at the moment, but the moment they’re done, i’ll get the word out.

we did however lock in Ryan Baker of Six Gun up in Reno for the Director of Photgraphy. check out his reel right here:

… and Adrian Ursu is back as 2nd Unit Director.

there have also been some tweaks to the cast and we’re probably not going to be shooting it in Utah anymore, Kendall and i are headed out to the Reno/Tahoe area in a couple weeks for a location scout, but all of that will be announced as we lock stuff down. lots and lots still to pin down, so stay tuned. we will be posting more often as it all develops.

more thorough description

kendall and i were talking just now and came up with this tasty little description. what do you all think?

Charlie, Andre and Mike are old friends from back east, though Andre and Mike haven’t been speaking since Andre took Mike’s girl, Marie, years ago. Now that Andre and Marie are broken up, Charlie tricks his two oldest friends to come out to his uncle’s cabin outside a small rural town to patch things up. Suddenly Marie’s new husband shows up looking for her, despite the fact that she should be hundreds of miles away in the city they all call home – not lost in the wilderness, and certainly not dead in a trunk in the middle of the living room. In the midst of their apparent oblivion to the dead body’s presence, a mystery of betrayal and obsession unravels, testing the boundaries of brotherhood and friendship.

full image libraries

just added all the images i have so far in a couple of different libraries: 2nd unit and cabin image libraries. peruse them as you wish by clicking on the images below or through the pre-pro-pics drop-down above.

2nd unit image library
cabin image library

model of the cabin

model pic

just finished building a poster board and foam core model of the cabin to help with the pre-production process. check out pictures of the model here.

pics and videos

kendall and i just got back from a 4-day road trip, the main point of which was to visit the cabin in Moab and get lots of pics, videos and whatnot for pre-production. i just posted 4 pages of these pics and they can be seen here: page 1, page 2, page 3 & page 4.

i’ll post some video as soon as i figure out what’s the most relevant and will be building a model of the cabin soon as well.

it begins!

had a reading this past wednesday, September 15th, at the ole WONGDOODY (thank you, Ben Wiener!) all of the usual suspects were there, including Charlie Capen (Charlie), Romina Bovolini (Marie), Travis Stanberry (The Sheriff), Chris McKenna (Andre), Will Bowles (Ryan) and about a dozen other actors and guests.

Chris McKenna the general consensus was definitely positive – as for me, i was definitely excited to hear it being read by the actors and pleased to see it so well received. so now pre-production begins. kendall and i are headed to utah next week to check out the cabin where we plan to shoot this next spring.

i’ll be posting tons of pics when we return, so … there’s that to look forward to. =)