Production schedules are a hoax

6 07 2013

In my experience, there is no such thing as a production schedule where a production makes a film in a month or two and then it’s a wrap. No, there is no such thing.

I’m in the process of going through the behind the scenes footage and interviews. I realized that this whole process of my latest short film, has taken a very long time– almost two years. Well, technically more than that if you’re counting the very beginning, from concept/writing of the script, but I’ll count it from the time we went into pre-production and casting until now.

Here’s what I mean:

Fall/Winter of 2011: we had planned to shoot the film sometime in the winter of 2011, when there is less sunlight and more night. This got delayed because I forgot about it/wasn’t sure if my DP still wanted to do it.

Late November/December 2011: we started to look for actors, planning to shoot in January now.

Mid-December: casting is done, but we have no place to shoot. Also, no money for anything. We put up the project on indiegogo with the hope of getting something.

January 2012: Still no place. We saw a couple places with pianos but they weren’t to our liking. With nowhere to shoot, we postponed the film indefinitely while we continued to look. Our indiegogo campaign ended, with a total of $95, considerably less than our goal of $2500. Oh well. I was expecting practically nothing though.

July 21, 2012: after January, we began to have scheduling conflicts with just about everything and everyone. If the actors weren’t free, the place we found wouldn’t be free. If the place was free, the DP wasn’t free. It was awful, but people didn’t seem to mind too much. Finally, we had a date: July 21, 2012. And it was finally filmed, after more than half a year of planning! Hooray!

March 2013: it’s no longer 2012 anymore. In fact, the deadline for the queer film festival in Vancouver was coming up, and I had barely edited it. So I spent a day putting together a rough cut of the film (which I didn’t even finish with the ending because I didn’t have enough time) and then sent it off to Out on Screen for consideration. They told me a final cut should be done at the end of April at the latest, which freaked me out a bit because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish it by then, but when I mentioned that I was able to hand in an exhibition copy of my films later in the summer in past years, I was told to send it “whenever it’s done.” Thank god.

April 2013: when I start to edit again, I find it’s not working. I edited the rough cut on Final Cut, but since Final Cut X was installed on the Macs at Langara, I could no longer open my project. I was forced to start from scratch. I tried to learn Final Cut X but it was such a nightmare and it became increasingly apparent that I couldn’t work with it because long story short, it would require that I re-format my harddrive, which I didn’t want to do. Instead, I installed Adobe Premiere Pro on my sister’s desktop and worked at home. Sooooo much better.

May-July 2013: Editing party!

The film is almost done. Sound design and color are the main things left. The other little thing is that there’s a tiny scene where the protagonist looks through a keyhole, which we forgot to film last year.

And thus, the scheduling conflict party begins again. It’s such a hassle and so frustrating to deal with scheduling a simple shot like this, especially when there’s a cloud of pressure to hand in the final cut of the film asap. It’s unnerving and it stresses me out.

Let me say that I hate scheduling things. It’s one of the worst things about making a film, which is why I have tried (and failed) to get a production manager. It always gives me such a headache to constantly contact and re-contact people, ask when they’re available, ask other people to clarify, and all that. I swear, it will be the death of me.

So that’s where I am right now. I have to have a copy of the film for exhibition at the latest in August, so figuring in the above, it’s been almost two years since we first started planning the film. Seriously. Ugh.

Letter of apology to a friend

23 07 2011

Through this photography project, I have discovered I am a terrible organizer.  I procrastinate until the very last minute or else I try to do things early but never follow through on things and end up doing things at the last minute.  I feel especially bad because for this project, I decided to make a film (maybe not such a wise choice), which then affects more people .  The lead in my film, though he’s a friend, probably hates me now and I’m willing to bet he doesn’t want to work with me on a film again since I’ve been hasseling him with text messages, some of which clearly show that I am disorganized.  At first he said, “no worries” and though he might have said that at first, as patient as he is, he probably doesn’t think that now.

We only have two other super short scenes to shoot but it’s taken me such a long time to organize everything that I feel terrible about putting him through everything.  I told him I’d treat him to some movies where I work and that I’d take him out to lunch or dinner sometime, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that I suck.

Our last scheduled shoot day is Tuesday, in a few days, which isn’t too bad, except I know he’s working later that day and I wanted to avoid shooting on that day if at all possible so I wouldn’t piss him off or make him hate me but it looks like it’s our only choice since the other actor will be busy Monday afternoon, which is when I was planning to shoot.  I texted my friend and said, “Sorry for being a horrible scheduler.  I feel really bad for putting you through all this…” to which he didn’t respond, and I know that he won’t respond to it because he’s likely upset at me, even if he won’t tell me.  Sigh.

Sorry, Ryan.  I’ll work harder at organizing things much earlier from now on.  I hope you don’t hate me very much.