Free time? Pfffft.
This is Vegas, baby, and summertime fun means long hours in front of computer screens knocking out top-notch literature…amirite? (Cue: surf music). No? OK…maybe that’s just me.
The kids are out of school, which gives me just enough extra time to dabble in more projects… after the day job is set aside, the dishes are done, the clothes are washed, and the dog is brushed, and kids are fed, and the scorpions have been tucked into bed.
I’ve already discussed my part acting in the indie feature Lights Camera Action. Filming on that starts next week. Should be a lot of fun, there is some great talent on that shoot.
Now that I’ve had about a year, year-and-a-half to explore the world of film, I’m pulling back a bit closer to my roots as a writer and am writing for a few projects.
One that I’ve mentioned here (I think) is a four episode project out to a director in LA…not sure where his plans lie, but I’m in no rush. Maybe we’ll shoot that one in the Fall. Or not.
I have another project up in the air with a friend who is an experienced cinematographer here in town…he wants to film some shorts, music videos, etc. Enough to build a solid portfolio and move toward getting funding for a feature we have in mind. Should be fun, and great experience…I still have a lot to learn about cinematography, lenses, etc, but I think you can spend half a lifetime learning…it’s half science, half art.
The big project for this year is clearly going to be…drum roll…Unlocking Vegas. UV is a serial project started several years ago by another friend who has many years of behind-the-lens experience. As happens with a lot of projects, I’m finding, UV was started, cast, abandoned, re-started and re-written, re-cast, the first episode was shot, and it was again abandoned. As my friend and I discussed the project, it became pretty clear that the problem was the story. It was more a collection of unrelated scenes and uninteresting characters just kind of running around …doing things, and not really a coherent story, per se. It sounded like an interesting project, so I signed on. First job was to deconstruct the project and outlined the characters—their backgrounds, their wants and needs, their struggles. Really a lot of the exact same work you do for a novel. We came up with a good script for the first episode, and I’m beating out the next two over the next few weeks. We’ve held two casting sessions so far and have found some amazing people.
Over the next month, Scott Anderson, the director and co-producer, and I will work out the shots, lighting, blocking, breakdowns, props, locations…all of the seemingly infinite details that go into a shoot. It’s been a great learning experience so far, and I’m really looking forward to digging in.