Saturday, July 3, 2010


After the MUSES LAB ended, something stirred in me that could not be ignored. What happened to me throughout this LAB sparked the scripting of my next (and ninth) feature film project, "TO DREAM OF FALLING UPWARDS", a zany occult thriller involving parallel magical personalities -- the desert bruja and the city magus -- tending their respective rituals, apprentices, and struggles. After a 3-year break from my last film, I feel rested and ready to burn.

I have been quietly astounded by how rapidly the large cast (sixteen in all) has come together and how ready I feel to take on the dual responsibility of director and D.P. (main cameraman). Eight production assistants have volunteered to help out on set and to keep things moving along. I also purchased my first video camera in seven years, a CANON XL-2 (the big brother of my Canon GL-1), and I am very happy so far with all its features and, high level of image and audio quality. I decided not to jump on the HD or the SLR bandwagons and return to the reliably retro tape format instead.

We start shooting July 7th and continue pretty much nonstop through August 16th until 53 scenes are in the can and only god knows how many more undiscovered scenes I will find along the way. Each film project represents an epic era of discovery and learning for me. It's the only way I can justify the investment of so much time, energy, money, heart, soul and brainpower. The primary source of discovery with this project is shooting the film without any rehearsal of the script itself (with the exception of a high-octane story theatre version of "Jack & the Beanstalk" to be choreographed and rehearsed). I decided to cast individuals courageous enough to find their most honest responses to the underlying reality of each scene, as reflected in the text and more essentially, the subtext.

Arranging the shoot schedule for a large cast and crew remains for me the most arduous of all preproducton tasks. In lieu of my ultra-low budget process, this schedule must almost always slave itself to the existing schedules of everyone else. Anyone who's done this knows it's a minor miracle that it comes together at all. So, the July schedule is done and I'm still amazed that it worked. I'll finish the AUGUST schedule around July 24th. So, that's a big weight off my shoulders.

Now comes the adventure of showing up on set, finding the shots (I never storyboard), talking with my actors, and shooting the moments that speak to me. The moments I am looking for in this production run the spectrum between lo-light and backlight silouetting, capturing unexpected reactions from the actors and moments of shared connections.


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