Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Final Cut Pro class at IFP

Hey, I forgot to talk about the fantastic FCP class I took at IFP a week ago. It was an introduction to Final Cut Pro and Paul Bernhardt did an excellent job of teaching the basics of the editing program. Paul had us edit a 30-second film in order to learn the various audio and visual elements that are brought together through smooth transitions to create a film. He also taught us about formats and other very useful information to get us going on film editing. Thanks so much Paul!

Meeting with A & E Casting

This past Wednesday, November 26, Molly Getty and I met with Toni and Eric at A & E Casting (they are located in a cool building in Northeast Minneapolis). It was a very good meeting. We went over the character descriptions and I gave Eric and Toni some of my suggestions for possible actors to fill the roles.

We've tentatively decided to hold auditions on December 15th. I will attend the auditions, so I can watch the actors performing live and also give some direction.

A & E will also video the performances so I can watch, after the fact, how the actor's performance translated through the camera. Acting for theater can be quite different from acting for film.

I'm looking forward to this process because there are so many talented actors in the Twin Cities; and it will be exciting to find the faces and performances that best tell the story of "The Egg Timer."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Molly Getty and Mark Thompson

Just wanted to introduce you to two people who will be part of "The Egg Timer" team.

Molly Getty and I were in film school at MCTC together. We worked together on several short student films. I really got to appreciate Molly's dedication and resourcefulness for accomplishing just about any task related to the production of the film. Molly was Robert Altman's assistant during the filming of "A Prairie Home Companion" and she was so good at it that she was hired to stay on with his production company in New York City where she worked for a year and a half until the company was disbanded at Altman's death.

Molly will be a great asset to "The Egg Timer".

Mark Thompson worked with me on my final film project at MCTC. He has also worked on other short films as script/continuity supervisor and production assistant. He is very detail-oriented and meticulous, always making sure that we get the coverage we need on every shot. I know Mark will be a great asset to this production. He also happens to be my brother:)

Call for Locations!!!

I'm putting out a call to everyone to be on the lookout for possible locations to shoot the various scenes in "The Egg Timer". I've put a photo below of a house in a small town that has the right look for Doctor Larson's house. We're also looking for a country road that's fairly deserted. Let me know if you have an suggestions or ideas. Jeff Stonehouse suggested that we should try to find locations well within an hour's drive of the Twin Cities so we don't spend too much time commuting rather than shooting.

Here's what's happening next.

This weekend I will be taking a two-day Final Cut Pro class at IFP (thank you, Jane). I began editing on FCP while I was earning my film degree at MCTC, but then moved over to Premiere Pro since I had a brand new PC at home. These past three years I've honed my editing skills on Premiere. However, I think these skills will transfer to FCP with a little practice so this weekend should be very helpful. We will be doing the off line edit of "The Egg Timer" on FCP.

Early next week, I will be meeting with Toni and Eric at A&E Casting to begin the casting process. I'm really excited and eager to begin searching for talent for "The Egg Timer"

Here's what's been happening

Hello Everyone,
It's been awhile since I blogged, but -- rest assured -- I've been very busy!
During the past week and a half I've met with many of my Freshfilmmaker "Mentors." they've all been fantastic, and given me a lot of great suggestions.

I met with Mary Ahmann (off line edit consultant) She gave me some really good ideas on the script, and shooting for the edit.

Bix Skahill (my very funny script consultant) and I spend a fantastic hour and a half at the Spyhouse Cafe going through the screenplay scene by scene. Bix had a lot of excellent ideas, both about the overall mood of the story and about transitions and character. I am working on a rewrite now and hope to have a shooting script done in the next week or so. I will be adding one more location (Ellen's apartment) to the story, changing the opening scene and combining a couple of other scenes, plus adding a couple of shots that Bix suggested and that I think will really add to the story.

Last Friday Jeff Stonehouse (DP consultant) and I met at the Daily Grind cafe here in Stillwater. We talked about format for the film, as well as mood, and logistics for shooting, particularly with regard to locations. Jeff indicated that he would like to shoot the film if he can work it out with his schedule. I am so excited at the possibility of having Jeff be the DP on the production.

Jeff and I discussed the possibility of using the "Red One" camera to shoot the film. We also discussed the possibility of super 16 mm film. I am researching films to get an idea of the look I want for "The Egg Timer," so I can give Jeff (and the people at Splice Here) some of my thoughts on mood, light and color for the film.

I also met with Alex Rosenstein who is the legal consultant on the project. We went through the various legal issues that typically come up during a project of this kind (location and actor releases, dealing with SAG contracts, bond/insurance for the shoot). I may be creating a production LLC for the film, probably at the beginning of 2009.

This past Tuesday, Mike Tabor, Molly Getty and I met with Heidi and the great team at Splice Here. We discussed the various format options. We are leaning toward either HD with prime lenses, or the Red camera which has a more filmic look to it. While film would give us great latitude and beauty, it may be too expensive and more difficult to shoot. We're keeping all options open. (Regardless of the format for the shoot, I will be doing a complete shot-by-shot storyboard --- I believe in the Hitchcock method)

Heidi gave us a tour of the facility at Splice Here and it was fascinating. I may be able to work on the off line edit at their offices --- and I can see that I will have fantastic help from all the people at Splice Here!!! Heidi gave me some reels with samples of the various aspects of their production facilities. It's all very new and exciting to me and I hope to really learn about the hitherto mysterious post production process as we put this film together.

It's been a very productive two weeks and I want to thank everyone so much for all their help.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm still learning about using a Blog, obviously. The following photos are ideas for the Doctor's house location in a small town.

November 11, 2008

Here are photos of some ideas I have for locations:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"The Egg Timer" Starts Ticking!

Hello to everyone who will be part of the production of “The Egg Timer.” This blog is being created by Emily Haddad, writer/director to talk about the process of turning the script for “The Egg-Timer” into a short film.

It’s been almost five years since I wrote the first draft of “The Egg Timer” as an assignment for a screenwriting class at MCTC. I wrote it during one of the most difficult times of my life -- I was taking care of my mother who was dying of a terminal illness. It’s not surprising that, at its heart, the story is about the relationship between a mother and daughter.

The story has been rewritten many times during these past years and I have tried on several occasions to put together a production plan for shooting the script. I was never able to obtain the resources I felt I needed to do the story justice….until now, with the assistance of the Fresh Filmmaker Grant from IFP and the Twin Cities film community. I want to express my very heartfelt thanks to everyone who has volunteered their help to put this story on film.

Here’s what’s been going on:

October 28, 2008 -- Meeting at IFP:

I met with Jane Minton and Lu Lippold from IFP; and Mike Tabor and Matt Ehling, the two producer mentors for the film. We talked about first steps.

We set a tentative shooting time for the end of March, 2009. We believe the shoot will take from four to six days.

We need to finalize the script into a shooting script. I will work with Bix Skahill on this.

After the script is finalized, Mike will do a breakdown and budget so we can begin to scout locations for the scenes and put together equipment lists, and production plan. This should be completed no later than end of December, 2008.

I will be preparing character descriptions and sending them along with the script to A&E Casting to assist in casting the film.

We want to set up a meeting with the folks from Splice Here as soon as possible so they can have input with regard to production and post production on the film.

I would like to meet with every member of the team some time during November or early December.

We briefly discussed cinematography and the possibility of shooting with a “Red One” HD camera.

We discussed several crew positions to be filled, including a line producer and art director. Any suggestions for these positions would be appreciated. Other positions to be filled will be identified at future meetings.

Week of October 27, 2008

I forwarded the script to Bix Skahill. He will read and get back to me so we can discuss and finalize to a shooting script.

I contacted an actress I have considered in the past for the part of Ellen to see whether she would still be interested in reading for the part. She is leaving for Europe but wanted to get together when she returns.

Set up a meeting for Monday, November 3rd with a woman who may be interested in being Line Producer on the film.

I worked on character descriptions. I will be sending these out to Toni Trussoni at A&E Casting along with the script the week of November 3rd.