Sunday, December 13, 2009

Production Diaries: Getting Ready, Guerrilla-Style

Getting ready for start of production on my latest film, Lost and Found, in which I've written and I am going to both produce and direct. It's a short drama starring Nick Recio and Aaron Alford, and that's all that I'm willing to say on it right now. The goal is to make something that actually looks professional and is sophisticated enough to submit it to film festivals, in particular Sidewalk Film Festival here in Birmingham, AL.

I'm currently busy playing producer, making sure everything is ready to start filming this week. I think I've devised an ingenious way to get a few smooth dolly-esque shots in there with a hand-dolly, and I'm busy at the moment searching for a cardboard box big enough for an adult person about 5'6" to sit down in Indian-style.

I've just gotta say, I hate being a producer. I love writing, and I really love directing, if that was all I had to do and I had someone else I could trust to handle all the other stuff, like making sure we have locations locked down and have allocated all our props, then I'm a happy camper. I'm just too much of a procrastinator to be an effective producer.

Regardless, everything seems to be a go other than a few loose ends that I've gotta tie up before Tuesday morning rolls around. The main thing I'm concerned about at this point isn't getting the rest of the props or checking base with all the cast and crew to see if shooting times are good, the main thing I'm worried about is one of the more crucial scenes of the film where we have to shoot outside an Alabama ABC Store.

Now, I called the ABC Store in question, but they told me I'd have to call down to Montgomery, AL and ask for permission, which then I'd probably have to end up getting a permit and whatnot and I just don't wanna have to deal with a bunch of legal junk on a film this small in scale. Also, the person that answered the phone at the ABC Store sounded like they didn't even want to talk to me or hear me out and hung up on me all within 20-seconds without saying goodbye.

I've decided that since we just have to film the exterior of the store, cause the whole scene takes place in the parking lot, we're gonna show up before the store opens and shoot the scene and get out of there before any of the workers show up, essentially shoot it guerrilla-style. I asked my Dad, who is a producer himself, if he thought this would be cool to do, and he said the worst that could happen to us is we'd get run off if anyone was there and actually cared about us filming out there. So we're going ahead with this plan of doing it guerrilla-style, I'm just such a worry-wort that I wont be fully relaxed till that scene is done.

Anyways, I just wanted to keep everyone up to date. Wish us luck as we start production.


  1. you might scout the store at the hours you intend to film. they may receive truck shipments when you're planning on shooting.

  2. I actually did that the other day, that's how I kind of figured out their store hours. I was there at about the time I plan on shooting, and as far as I can tell, there was no one there, so perhaps it will all work out. Like I said, the worst that can happen is they'll tell us to leave, which has happened to me before while filming, and that's actually a very funny story for a different time that resulted in the cops being called.

  3. Also, you could shoot at small businesses way easier than larger ones. Shooting at a corporate or state owned location requires a lot of phone calls but it's not as difficult as people make it sound - just be polite.

  4. Yeah, we filmed there this morning. Everything went good. We also got legitimate permission when the owner of the store drove up and we explained ourselves. He was real cool. They called him the Godfather of Liquor.