Television – it’s a team sport!

Hi folks – a slightly different blog post tonight. I’ve had a super busy week with organizing auditions for the upcoming preview video that I haven’t had much of a chance to prepare the next blog, share some “producer’s eye” insights into my last week.

Firstly – I have a day job, so keep in mind that this is all happening between the hours of 6pm and whatever time I’ve got to bed. Moving on.

I posted an ad on Star Now (an entertainment industry cast and crew site) a few weeks back looking for people to play roles in a 5 minute preview video in which I’m going to be introducing the core event that lies at the basis of our milieu. Not a lot of character information, and very little by way of action – but it sits together nicely as a single unit of work. I wrote it last week in a single sitting.

The purpose of this video is four-fold:
1. Introduce the major event that kicks off the societal transformation that I hope to show by the end of the web-series, to be titled “Tomekeeper Preludes”.
2. Create a “proof of capability” piece that I can post on the crowd-funding site as a means to drive more conversions on my crowd-funding site.
3. Get some actors on boarded into the program that will be self-motivated to help drive the buzz around the production, and to consider for roles in the main web-series.
4. Do a dress rehearsal on a smaller scale to prove to myself that I really can do this!

So… with that context in mind, consider the following. I had about 32 responses to the casting call. I need this video up on IndieGoGo ASAP, so as of Monday I had about 4 days to achieve the following:
* Lock in a time when I would be available between work and shooting with Mickenmich Productions on the weekend that would also suit the majority of people who responded to my casting call.
* Lock in a place where I could host 10-15 people at a time. As nice and large as the place AW and I rent is for two people, it’s not really built for having that many people in any room except the one that is full of my music, movie making and computer gear.
* Keep people informed about what was going on re: auditions and other activities.
* Continue driving people to this site and the Facebook and Google+ page.
* Distribute the script before auditions took place.
* Review all of the profiles on Star Now from people who applied for roles.
* Pick up keys for the venue I managed to hire.
* Spend some time with my very beautiful and talented partner (Love you Hon!).
* Resend the information I had sent to everyone else to the new casting call respondents who applied as late as Friday morning.
In addition to that, I had to deal with a busy work week, notice of a house inspection arriving and some work on a code project for a friend. A very old and very good friend from interstate dropped in for the weekend so we caught up for lunch on Saturday… and around all of that, I also had morning shoots with Mickenmich until 12:30 on Saturday, 2:00pm on Sunday.

This is not a complaint.. this is just perspective. It’s been great fun, but it’s also been very, very tiring. :)

Auditions
On Friday evening, and on Sunday afternoon I hosted about 16 out of the 32 people who applied for roles at Blackwood Memorial Hall… home of Blackwood Players and various other community groups. For the record – very reasonably priced (cheaper than rooms at the local council-run community centre). I had to make some fast decisions based on who had turned up, who had what sort of acting chops and what roles people had applied for. We had a very extras-heavy night on Friday, and a smaller speaking-role heavy group on Sunday. I picked scenes we wanted to concentrate on to get people engaged as quickly as possible, and had a few of the extras read for speaking roles as stand-ins for other people. One of my extras got a lift from a friend, who I got to stand in and read one of the major roles a couple of times. I felt it was really important to let everyone read for whatever roles they were comfortable trying.

I also took some time to spell out what I’m trying to achieve with this project – not just for myself, but for others like me hoping to break into the entertainment industry in one capacity or another, and explained how I’m hoping to structure the possibility of a deferred payment plan for cast, crew, myself and investors. I spelled out the importance of getting things moving with social networks, and how important it is that the awareness of this project goes viral. Without a significant number of facebook/google+ likes, we’re unlikely to get anywhere near our crowd-funding targets. I also stressed the important of not only liking the various social media pages, but also sharing links with friends, family, work colleagues, etc. So far, people have been true to their word and the reach of the campaign has expanded significantly.

The outcome of the auditions is that I have now cast all but two-and-a-half roles. I am going to be auditioning three people for a female news anchor role, and one of them will get a role as a field reporter. I have actors cast in the roles of the state Premier, Leader of the Opposition, my male news anchor, scientist and 3 journalists, although I’ve realized now that I can reduce that by one. I have my two police officers doing protective duty for the Premier and I have a batch of willing extras who will get to media-mob the Premier as he leaves Parliament house.

While that’s nice, the greatest and most joyful outcome from auditions is that I have two major recurring roles cast for the web series itself, and minor recurring roles assigned to at least six or seven others! This is super-exciting. I’m hoping that of the three people I’ll be seeing later this week for the Female news anchor role, that one of them will impress me enough that I can fill another of my lead roles. Having seen show-reels on Star Now, I’m confident that at least two of the three might be good enough to fit the bill.

So… What’s next?
Well… other than preparing for a house inspection…
* I’ve just had a great idea on a way to trim some time out of my script. That will probably require about 10 minutes of writing to fix.
* I need to start writing some teaser scripts for my main characters.
* I want to ramp up the social media activity considerably. This will mean at least two more posts up here this week.
* I have an audition to organize
* I have a couple of locations to scout and organizations to contact regarding access to standing sets, etc.
* I have an additional writer to on-board.
* I have actor agreements to send out and get back…
Oh… and I mentioned the house inspection? That means it’s time for me to post this and go!

I’ll post again the other side of the house inspection! Expect something Wednesday or Thursday night.

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