Pre-Production of THE SPACESHIP continues to move forward as casting slowly comes to a wrap. With production applications out to various locations, guilds and rental houses, we move forward at a steady pace, crossing our fingers that we’ll be ready when the first day of the shoot comes in April (technically March 29th, but that day we’re only shooting b-roll and scenic plates). Our camera test is on March 11th and I’ve never been more stoked for seeing how my cast will look in these tests. Present will be our actor/producer Lauren Meley and actor Tim Eliot, playing her character’s fiance.
Casting has, as it always is, been a stressful experience. We have managed to find a crop of incredible talented and dedicated actors, all of whom are so right and so perfect for the parts that they landed, I can really see this film panning out if for no other reason than that. You can check out the developing cast list as it begins to appear on our work in progress IMDB page. With the awesome luck of having a good cast forming, we blew through a lot of irresponsible, self-centered types who believe some roles were too small for them or that they deserve supporting or lead roles because another director somewhere in their past gave them a supporting or lead role. They pay no mind to what the role is, what it entails and whether or not they’re actually right for it. Only in this industry can someone turn away work, even in the worst of economies. Ugh. My casting process is streamlined to weed out these types of people long before the auditions actually take place, but somehow they still manage to get in, but no worries… all is revealed when the offers go out. Not everyone can be a lead ‘nor a support – so those with an open mind and truly want to be a part of this movie regardless of the specific capacity, will… but they need to be willing to let go of the crazy pre-conceived notion that there are roles out there that “anybody” can do. It’s just not true. I don’t think acting schools, agents or managers help this situation either. From what I understand, that shit mentality is developed early on by these schools and nourished by agents and managers and is ultimately damaging to their students career should the student not be smart enough to shake off all that bullshit.
So with only three roles left to fill, I concentrate now on crewing, leaving the rest of the casting to some of our backdoor deals with contacts we’ve worked with in the past. We’ve signed our Cinematographer – which wasn’t an easy task. I interviewed upward of 20 individuals over the past three and a half weeks, who are all more than qualified for the job. Some weren’t down for the three week shoot, others were incredibly happy, giddy etc. etc. One individual had no interest in coming out to Staten Island and another tried to get me to buy a separate insurance policy for his camera. Although with that last one, I suspect he didn’t have insurance for it at all and was trying trying to pawn the expenses off on a dumb kid. A few DP’s specialized in the horror and sci-fi genres and were more than willing to camp out on Staten Island to make the shoot days. In an effort to not ask too much but also have people who were willing to go balls to to the wall if necessary, I narrowed the list of candidates down to five, then to three, then two… and we finally hired our DP. Check out the IMDB page for deets. Names get submitted at the end of each week, using completed work for hire agreements.
Hiring the sound mixer was relatively easy. He reached out to me, I dug his attitude, his work, references, resume and practically hired him on the spot. When you got a guy who answers all the right questions, then BAM, we’re good to go! Papers have yet to come through, but we’re not worried. His first day of work isn’t until mid-April.
With all this casting and crewing, we’ve also made time for location scouts. Recently I had the exciting honor of scouting the Wagner College campus as a filming location. Amazing school with an amazing staff of people who were more than willing to let us have a gander at their different spaces. We’re still negotiating on how to make our production work around their on-going schedule of classes so I won’t say too much about this but I can say I’m stoked! While we already have a university location, being a SI movie, Wagner is of course our first choice and extremely important if for no other reason than to generate local support for the project. You can check out some of the stills I took with my cellphone camera by visiting my flicker page gallery, dedicated to all pre-production photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/norcrossmedia/sets/72157632887562002/
So it is and so it goes, THE SPACESHIP continues. More location scouting later today, budget, make-up and talent meetings all week. After that, scheduling rehearsals in between client work, paperwork and camera tests. We’re making a feature… and it feels like it.