Thursday, June 08, 2006

On scheduling

Today is June 8, 2006.
We have a wedding in NYC on Sun, June 25, and after that, Sholom Ber goes straight to camp.
That gives me 13 shooting days to finish everything involving Agent Emes/Shimmy himself, so I can edit the episode over the summer. This is harder to arrange than you might think.

First, there is school. I can't very well take the poor kid out of yeshiva to act, especially with finals coming up, etc. It sends the wrong message to him and his friends. Yeshiva is the most important thing.

Then there is pony league baseball. Although Ber's team is quickly compiling the worst record in Pittsburgh pony league history, he still loves to take part in the games, and since this is the last year he will realistically be able to participate, I don't want to take away any game nights from him.

And that's only Sholom Ber's commitments.

In a "real budget" film production, the participants are professionals who make themselves available when needed, because they are being paid. On Agent Emes, almost no one gets paid. Their time is all voluntary. So the windows of scheduling opportunities become much tighter.

The other thing is that on a real, funded production, an individual called a "line producer" is hired to break down the schedule and make sure everyone is available when needed, so that the director (in this case myself) would be able to concentrate on the task of directing the film. It so happens, however, that I have to do just about everything here. So yesterday, for example, I spent about four hours pouring over all the different dates, sets, and people and juggled and re-juggled all the elements until I arrived at a schedule that MIGHT work, provided that the weather cooperates, and that the crew is also available.

I have been trying to arrange these last weeks of filming, one of which involves an actor flying in from NY for four days. His name is Modi. He is an excellent stand-up comic and burgeoning actor who I know from years ago when I lived in Boston and he was a BU student who used to come to our local Chabad House. I booked Modi to fly to Shpittsburgh for four days and do ALL his scenes in one week.

One of the scenes we need to shoot, the climactic concert scene of the episode, involves a large cast of extras, and multiple camera. This means I need multiple crew members, cameramen, etc. Well two days ago I found out that the Shpittsburgh Steelers are filming some kind of TV commercial, and since jobs like that don't find their way to the city any more, all of my potential crew will be occupied with that.

I can't very well shoot the concert scene with no crew then. So I am forced to postpone it until after the summer, and before school starts (sometime the last week of August). But what if Modi cannot or will not fly back here that week. Then what?" I'll be stuck without a climax scene.

Gam Zu LaTova (this too is for the best). I couldn't book any of the local theatres as locations for the scene but MIGHT be able to for end of August. If I can pull it off this way, then I will also have more time to prepare the musical performances for the scene. I plan on recording the music before the filming, so the actors can just lip synch to the music and concentrate on the acting. In sum, postponing the date of the big scene might be better for all.

The other reason I feel comfortable doing this is that the scene does not involve any special effect composites. Those will take the most time this summer. If I can get the entire episode edited during the summer, then I can just film this last scene and still have the DVD out for early fall.

I hope this post was of interest to someone out there. I will soon send out an announcement to our email list telling people about this blog.

Hope this post was of interest to someone out there.
let me know


eliezer318 said...

absolutely, other films have blogs like this. it can help kids who may want to get into doing things like this (producer, director, etc).
you never know who you are going to affect.

shimong said...

which camp is he going to???

mr. Ckol said...

You can film the scene in new york

Anonymous said...

i find your posts very informative. keep up the great work i hope you get enough $ to cover this and many more films. they are very well done.

A.B. said...

I read this blog about 4 times so i could catch every word.

HAPPY said...