Thursday, March 26, 2009

9 Days to go!

9 Days to shoot! Scary stuff! Still a few things to sort out. Need a make-up artist! Had one, for 3 days, until she found a paying job, which is totally understandable, bills have to paid, but did throw a spanner in the works. Also need to cast one other character, an elderly lady who has three involved dialogue scenes! It’s getting awfully close to be casting characters like that, I may have to re-write to resolve. I hope not, I like the character and I like the exchanges. I would be sad to lose it because I took the easy way out.

Money has become an issue, unforseen expenses have arisen, equipment, lights, sound mixer, make-up. I guess I should have expected it. I had hoped to be ready for the unforseen, but as it happened the fundraiser was something of a disappointment, not a failure, but I earned under half of what I thought I would or should, consider I had Jason Byrne performing, who always sells out in Drogheda. Live and learn.

If you're planning a similar event I would say do it for sure, but here's some advice you could follow to make sure it's a success:

  • Find a venue, ask your talented friends to perform for free - they will. 
  • I had two comedians, a singer/songwriter (Originals and covers) and DJs for filler.
  • Go to local business and ask them to sponsor spot prizes in return for credit and Advertising.
  • Hold a raffle on the night, you’ll make a lot of money from tickets, especially if the prizes are good. €2 for one €5 for 3.
  • Get the comedian to do the raffle, it’ll make it fun.
  • Ask a local printer to sponsor poster and tickets for the same.
  • Send a press release to local papers and radio two weeks in advance.
  • Follow up, make sure they put it in.
  • Spring for advertising if possible, and ad in the paper (as well as the press release) two weeks before and the week before.
  • Spring for an ad on Radio if affordable for the week leading up.
  • Plan at least two months before the gig.
  • Start getting word out 6 weeks before the gig. Word of mouth needs to spread.
  • Text everyone you know and send out reminders the week, the day, the hour before. People have lives and tend to forget - doesn’t get the cash in when you meet them the next day and they say “Awe, you should have reminded me!“
  • On the night you’ll have fun, once the punter are in you can relax.
  • During all this don’t let the fundraiser distract you from the most important thing - the film!
  • Call you actors. Make sure they’re know what’s going on. Don’t solely rely on emails or texts.
  • Make sure people involve are on the guest list.
  • Give your self plenty of time after the fundraiser to get back on track with the film.
I think that’s the best advice I can offer in that department. 

Stress aside, of which there is not that much, I am looking forward to it. I’m much more relaxed on this one then I was on Emily’s Song for example. But on that I didn’t really know what to expect. This, I think I know what's coming - I hope I do! It’s going to be a light shoot anyway, I have the bare minimum crew I need, DOP, Gaffer, Sound, Make-up and me, that's 5 of us on the go. With support from my wife! Who’ll be the production manager and the cook! And friends have offered other support, so we’ll have runners, which will be handy.

I think having a runner is essential on a small shoot like this, someone willing and able to move equipment, run the shop for water, move furniture, all the last minute things that arise, that you, as director, or any of the other technical crew who have specific and involved jobs to do, should not have to think about.

I think it’s going to be good though, it’ll be intense, with a 21 page script to shoot in 5 days (that’s 4 pages a day for anyone who wasn’t paying attention!) but I think it will be fun. I’m over the moon about the cast, couldn’t be happier really. I think it’s come together really well and I’m looking forward to working with all of them. 

Hopefully together we can make something special. I think we will.

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