I’ll have a lot more to say, and pictures, soon. Meeting with actresses day after tomorrow for rehearsal—I recast the male lead as a female lead. If they don’t kill me I’ll have a proper update on Sunday.
So with film production soon to begin the script has undergone a surgical process to remove all (or at least most) of the cliches common to amateur films, and in particular amateur or student short films. So while the new script is still very loosely based on a short story about a man who repeatedly yet unsuccessfully attempts to kill himself in the wake of a crushing gambling debt, the short film is about a woman who goes to check on a friend who is in deep debt, after he asks her to get him a knife.
The original film was (like the story) about repeated failed suicide attempts and a slavish and almost obsessive-compulsive desire to clean the walls of an apartment that had fallen into ruin. Details of the characters’ past and possible futures would have been revealed via “Requiem for a Dream” style montages. As I quickly learned, however, “Requiem for a Dream” style montages, suicide, and a failed relationship between the two main characters are about as CLICHE AS IT GETS when it comes to student film, amateur film, short film, etc.
So, since we don’t have the budget or time to tell the short story as it was, where the suicide attempts are played as repeated failures (almost dark comedy), the male lead now will not attempt suicide at all—but there will be a moment where we see the female character consider that once she gives him the knife he will either kill her or kill himself. I think we can do that without it being cliche. Or at least not ridiculously so. You do enough research of short film and it seems like almost EVERYTHING is a cliche, these days.
Instead of Requiem style montage these extremely brief fantasy moments will be more straight-forward, with the main purpose of revealing, at the end of the film, what the male character actually wants the knife for—which hopefully the audience will find interesting and not incredibly stupid.
At any rate, after meetings this weekend with all the principle cast and crew, we will begin shooting! About time!
Things I’ve done today instead of writing…
Walked 4.75 miles.
Drank 2 beers.
Watched the Vampire Diaries (don’t judge).
Tried to isolate a drum track in garageband (apparently it’s impossible).
Updated my copy of garageband (fingers crossed that it’s possible in the update).
Listened to podcasts of Who Charted (with guest PFT), Todd Glass (with guest Rory Scovel), Improv 4 Humans (with Scott Auk, Will Forte, Dave K and Besser’s wife, Danielle), and live CBB in Washington DC.
So as you can see, my productivity for the day has skyrocketed.
In film news—still need a male lead so we can get moving on production. We could literally be done by now, if I just had a male lead. Although I’m not 100% confident my female lead is still up for the short, considering I haven’t seen her in about a month.
Production delays continue as I struggle to find a male lead. You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard to find an actor willing to work for nothing who can pull off a one-on-one scene with a non-professional actress and convey feelings of jealous, rage, murder, and suicide while still remaining relatable and interesting to the audience. I mean, really, the only sticking point in that whole laundry list is “willing to work for nothing.”
Untitled short film about suicide
Found - 1 actress, 1 production designer, 1 D.P., 1 crewman, interior location, camera, lighting equipment, editing software.
Needed - 1 actor, two interior locations, sound equipment.
Script/storyboards in progress.
Hope to begin principal photography in October!
Let’s film some shit
Shaun of the Dead | Hot Fuzz | The World’s End aka the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy + fence jumping