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Friday, May 27, 2011

Catma Project 2011: The feature now titled "What's the Use?"..for now

So, the first feature project we are attempting under the "Catma 2011" guidelines is now called "What's the Use?" At least, for now...

Without spoiling too much, it's about a young teen who goes out one summer night to seek revenge on a man who publicly humiliates and abuses her father at a barbecue party.  Along the way, she meets some interesting folks, has a brush with death, to learn that revenge is not always so sweet and the people we hate are more complicated than just your typical "bad guy."

Jason Tremblay is the writer.

We have no script...but, we have a set of scenes, seventy one of them to be exact, with the motivation of each character clearly defined.  It has begun as a series of color-coded sticky notes as in the picture above, and now it is in the process of being scheduled. I'm using EP Scheduling. This is the slow attentive part. Inputing each scene's costumes, characters, props, makeup, effects, vehicles, time of day, background characters, etc. It's a touch more complicated than a regular script as I'm working off a discussion with the writer and his sheet of scenes with descriptions like "J.C  wakes in Andrea's Arms."

After I have input each scene, I have to print "strip boards" for each scene which will allow me to move them around like bits of a puzzle around days in the calender for July and August of this year. This is the tricky part.  Working around people's schedules, trying to not move the locations much, blocking actors in chunks, etc...I actually really like this part.  I hate puzzles, which is odd, considering I actually like scheduling the shoot.
While I find this part of producing fun, it's also one of these processes that require a lot of focus, and an ability to be extremely thorough. If you forget to list a prop on one of these scenes or schedule an actor based on these breakdown sheets, your night of shooting might just be ruined. So I've just finished the first pass and will be coming through these sheets and least twice more.

Costuming is going to be tough as well as the presence of blood (there are a few gun wounds in this story) requires us to have at least 2 of each costume used in the scene where blood appears. For a tiny cast, my costume list has become quite long.  Sigh...

I'll also be scouting locations this weekend.  Most of the scenes occur at night, which helps with some noise issues and heat, but the lighting is going to be tricky. Can't have it all!

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