Not long after Barry Andersson and I decided to shoot “Incident on Marmont Avenue” with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, I thought it would be great to keep a ‘production diary’ and my plan is to share it with you – but not all at once as that would be a book (I’ve written over 13,000 words in my draft!). The production itself has been an incredible learning experience and I know many of you will be interested to follow along.
In this third entry, we start talking about budget and figuring out if we can get some sponsors to help with financing.
March 4th (Sunday)
Our plan is to make a great short with a low budget – something that can be shot by anyone with an HDSLR, something done with a small crew. We hope it can be an example for others.
However, we also want to make a big splash! So we have to figure out how to make that happen.
It is obvious that in order to make a big splash, we’re going to have to pull out all the stops and pull in plenty of favors. That’s what it takes to get a movie done anyway right? You've seen plenty of shorts shot on a budget of “$1000” or something small – but we often don't include favors that get exercised – possibly someone that will help for free or a reduced budget because they either need the work experience or just love the project and want to help.
When Vincent Laforet produced “Reverie” three plus years ago, he invested $5k and look where that got him! Tho I don’t have any expectations that this project will have the same impact purely from the fact that it is shot on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III; it won’t. So what can we do to make it interesting and unique?
But producing this project will give us both tons of experience which we’ll be able to use on other projects. It will help me understand the process better (tho I know all the steps, I’ve never experienced them personally) plus, shooting this will give me a ton of material for the blog. Readers love the ‘behind the scenes’ material, so we’ll have plenty to post (as long as I do a good job of documenting along the way ha!).
One of the biggest ideas we’re toying with is to use a “name” actor – you know, an actor or two that people will recognize. I'm sure not too sure what to make of this idea at this point… it could be a real gamble, or it could make a big difference.
Here’s where our original stated goal (making a movie anyone could shoot) and our desire to make a ‘splash’ kind of collide. In order to get a name actor, we’re going to have to find some funding. My “little” $5k project has just bloomed into a much larger project! I don’t want to ask Barry yet just how much… let’s see where this thing goes!
Barry and Janie have told me there’s a plot outline and they’ve started on the script. We run thru the concept on the phone and before they go any further, they want my approval on the idea.
The plot is intriguing and should grab your attention and hopefully will make you think. I approve. It will be exciting to see this turned into a movie.
By the time you read this, you will have hopefully seen the short and will know if we’ve succeeded with that.
We’re also now talking about courting some sponsors (vendors in the film biz) to see if we can get some additional money to make this ‘splash.’ Barry notes that it is much like the chicken and the egg… we can’t get name actors without money and we can’t get sponsors without having some names to drop. We start drawing up a list of vendors to approach and start drafting a letter to send to them to tell them about the project and to ask for support.
This is sure something I've never done!
“Incident on Marmont Avenue” – Production Diary #4 – asking for money isn't easy!
- “Incident on Marmont Avenue” production diary – day 1
- “Incident on Marmont Avenue” – Production Diary – #2 – What? we need a camera?
Incident on Marmont Avenue
In case you haven't seen it…
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)