Here's a brief update on what I've been up to lately:
1 - A mere 15 years after graduating from film school, a brainstorming session at last year's writer's retreat led to a producer approaching me with the offer to work together. This producer is also a writer from my writers' group, and we really connected during that brainstorming session.
So it really is true about networking. You never know when you're going to meet up with the right person.
2 - I finally finished my vampire novel just before last November's NaNoWriMo, and sent it out to readers for feedback. My producer suggested we shoot a book trailer for this story as our first project together.
3 - In the fifteen-year gap between film school and this shoot, I'd worked sporadically on several projects, with the last job being about 8 years ago. I had to lay it out for the producer and director of photography (the DOP) that I was technically behind the times and would be very 'layman's terms'. Luckily, they were both very cool with that.
4 - My producer arranged a meeting between myself and the DOP. I was very nervous.
He was 21. He was apparently very nervous. But we were of course too cool to show it. He was not put off by my utter lack of techno-savvy. I was not put off by his being 21.
5 - I wrote the script for the two-minute trailer. It was four pages long.
In film/TV, one page = one minute. The script was two pages too long.
My producer pared it down to a workable two minutes. I approved the changes, and we were good to go.
6 - I drew horrible storyboards which are par for the course, unless you hire a storyboard artist.The producer and DOP approved them.
7 - The producer sent the cast requirements out to a casting agent, who found me three perfect actors for the lead roles.
8 - I looked over three costuming sites and chose Iron Age tunics and a woman's gown from the lowest-priced site.
9 - I got the measurements for the actors and headed out to Frenchy's, Value Village and Salvation Army for used clothing to remake into costumes.
My mom then set to work refashioning scarves, belts and skirts into Iron Age clothing.
10 - I met with the actors for a script read-through and rehearsal. It was thrilling to see these actors - even at a distance I knew which ones were which characters. SO, so thrilling to see my characters come to life right in front of me.
11 - I turned and saw a wonderful sight during that first rehearsal. My producer's eyes shone with excitement because she'd gotten chills from one of the scenes. We could feel that elusive magical thing happening.
12 - Shooting day arrived, and a very long, exhausting 9 hours later the footage was shot.
Exhausting, yes - it took me 4 days to recover from the shoot - but that one day gave me my life back. I have rarely experienced happiness quite that intense.
13 - This week I'll finally be seeing the footage, and next week I'll be working with my editor.
Stay tuned to A Piece of My Mind for more making-of book trailer updates.