Monday, April 1, 2019

March - Month in Review (ANNOUNCEMENT)

Production's been postponed. As far as the near future goes, Talentless is not in it.

So this entry is a lot more like an overall review than just a monthly review as I try to determine exactly what went wrong, and what I can do next time to avoid these problems.

  • Dispassionate actors
  • Poor planning
  • Stress management

Dispassionate Actors

My first mistake was in gathering actors who had their own set of priorities over the movie. The reason being that most of them were still in high school, and many things in their educational and personal lives still take hold of most of their time.

This is a problem I've encountered every time I've made a larger live-action film, but I thought that this time, I would have solved it by going to my old school's Drama Club and getting actors there. But as it turns out, that only solves the problem of getting actors involved. It does not solve the problem of actors quitting halfway through production.

The other group of actors that were difficult to keep hold of were people who were friends of friends. Fortunately, this group never failed to quit before their audition.

The only group I could depend on were friends of mine who had also already graduated, and though they had college classes and jobs, they still wanted to see this movie made. They're the only ones I'm disappointing with this news, so I'm planning on getting a new project started for just them. Because they're awesome.
Poor Planning

I tried to keep planning as flexible as possible, which in retrospect might have been my downfall.

I started auditioning people in December, and I got to the read-through in March. With a movie that's dependent on a school year schedule, that wasn't a very good starting pace.

Though I finished my script in October,  I probably should've waited a year and started pre-production in August, in order to give me 9 full months to get the movie done.

Stress Management

The worst one of all.
The last couple of weeks, I've been stressed about things beyond my control, such as people making the auditions or rehearsals, or whether or not they'll cancel or not. 

The last time I was this stressed on a set, I got a sinus infection and it lingered for a whole week into production. Needless to say, the final product was not as good as I hoped.

It's just pointless to stress about things you can't control, but it was getting to the point where stress was all I could do. 

I was completely and totally unhappy with the direction that this movie was going in, and I felt that I could've done better. So, I finally decided, before we went any further, to just stop.

I think I made the right decision.


So, what now?

Well, I'll still be working on short projects. Like I mentioned, I have an idea for a short with my friends and me. It'll be nice to just have fun with filmmaking again.

In the meantime, I'm currently working on a documentary that I'll reveal more details about later. I've always got FlowDownStream and Newgrounds, and I've even got a few tunes in the works.

So I'm okay for now. And I hope you are too. 


Friday, March 22, 2019


Alright, here we go...

It's been a mess.

It was looking up at first. I was able to secure the location I wanted to do the band rehearsal about a week in advance.

That was the only good news.

My backup for the quit actor quit, so I met with Grant last Saturday to discuss our options. We brainstormed several alternatives, the worst case scenario being that we cut out a character altogether to keep the same amount of actors.

And until yesterday, that last solution was looking to be the case.

Drew has a friend that he thinks can fill the role. I got very anxious, because he invited them to the rehearsal even though I (still) haven't auditioned them. So that was a source of stress for the past 24 hours.

But finally, I was able to calm down and accept that I've done all I can do, and things outside of my control will happen regardless (which is actually a good way of thinking; whenever you get stressed about something, only worry about what you CAN control, not what you can't).

Twenty minutes ago, I had to cancel tomorrow's rehearsal.

Three people weren't going to show (for sure), one of whom was friends with the actor that quit, and doesn't feel comfortable around people they don't know, so they only want to be there when we start shooting.

At this point, everything's so topsy-turvy. I don't have a definite cast list or schedule anymore, and the knowledge that there is no guarantee that this movie will actually be made is starting to become bigger, stronger, louder.

So, at points like this, I have to seriously ask myself: Is this movie worth it? Is it worth going through months of trial and error just to have a script that might not even be good be seen by strangers who could tear and rip your movie apart?

My answer: fuck yeah.

I'm not abandoning my ship. Sure, a few leaks have sprung that might/might not have wiped out half of the boilers. If this ship does goes down, then fine, I go down with it. But I need, need to do everything in my power to make sure that this movie sees the light of day. Because that's my job.

"I am da captain now."

Had to say it.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Script Read-Through

Yesterday was the main cast script read-through.

Including myself, there were six people in total. Only one person didn't show up, but we were able to go ahead without them, reassigning their role temporarily to someone else.

Grammatical issues aside, reading through the entire script went better than I expected! Despite my anxieties, everyone really seemed to enjoy it. Before everyone left, I  and it seemed that the rest of production was going up from there.

A few hours later, I got a text. One of the main cast members who attended the read-through has dropped out. They feel they've got too much on their plate at the moment, and I can understand. Fortunately, I do have a backup in mind, so it's just a matter of seeing if they're up to the task.

We'll all be meeting up again on the 23rd for a music rehearsal. In the meantime, I've got a lot of work to do...

Monday, March 4, 2019

March - Month in Preview

For the next few months of production, I will be making these types of entries at the beginning and end of each month, aptly titled "Month in Preview" and "Month in Review". For the MiP posts, I'll be going over how I generally expect the month to go in terms of the film. For MiR, I'll go over how the month really went, what goals were/weren't met, and how I could learn from what occurred.

So I'll be starting this short series with...


In a perfect world, this will be last month of pre-production.

The read-through with the main cast is this Saturday, and there I'll be getting an overall feel for the cast chemistry for the first time. It is also when I'll be able to get schedules sorted out. Keep in mind that several of these kids are seniors in high school, and this project is just one of many that they have on their plates. Once I get a clearer view of scheduling, I'll be able to properly secure my locations to shoot sometime in April.

I also need to complete my prop shopping this month. I have a complete list printed out, and several I know I can obtain without hassle, while others I'll need the American Dollar for.

And costume shopping! Costume shopping is going to be very important. I can't have these guys wearing shirts from 2018 when they're supposed to be in 1999.

The trickiest part of this is going to be "band rehearsals". It's going to be interesting teaching a mix of people who range from fair instrument proficiency to never having picked up a pick how to play these stupid af songs. It's going to be disjointed, but I'm counting on that. Just so long as it's the right kind of disjointed...if that makes sense.

I'm really not too worried about cast rehearsals, because I'm not too worried about people sticking to the script. As long as these interactions feel real, that's all I want. And if all else fails, the script is there to lean back on. It's a support, a site to build upon.

I re-watched This Is Spinal Tap yesterday. That was a film that really shaped the direction I want to go with this film. As far as I'm aware, there was no set script on that film whatsoever; they were just THAT good at bouncing off one another. Of course, there was HOURS of footage they had to go through to put the story together. But it's still brilliant.

This isn't going to be anywhere near that, but it's going to be fun. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


I apologize for the near-month-long delay in posts, but production has been held up by one thing and one thing only: the missing role.

I've been on many a wild goose chase trying to secure somebody in this role. And it hasn't happened.

So I said, "Fuck it," and now I'm playing the role.

The reason why I was so hesitant to do the role myself is because I was already playing a role of the in-person cameraman who's making the "documentary". And, in my mind at least, there wasn't anyone else who could play the role.

But then I remembered a girl who has originally auditioned for the film. She did a really good job at delivering her lines, but I couldn't find a role for her. I wanted her to be a main character, but not one of the band, as my producer kept suggesting to me.

So yesterday I emailed her asking if she was interested in playing this character of the documentary filmmaker. She said yes.

That night, I sent out an email to all of the cast members with a date and address for our first read-through of the script.

Things are going to go at lightning speed from this point on!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Camcorder & Missing Role

Sorry for the delay, but it's been a VERY busy two weeks.

I'm finally jobless! My last day was last Tuesday, and now I am free to start focusing more on this project.

I've used $153.61 of the budget to buy a Hi8 camcorder and tapes from eBay. I've tested the camera more than a few times, and it's looking great! There are a couple of technical things I still have to perfect, but I'm really excited to start using this thing!

I was advised that using a digital camera and converting it to Hi8 or VHS would probably be best, since these older cameras do have their quirks. Unfortunately, the only other digital camcorder I have (that ISN'T DSLR; that would be a dead giveaway) has it's own digital quirks. Besides, these Hi8 quirks are something I really do count on. If I wanted the footage to be perfect, I would be using another digital camcorder. But I'm really cashing in on having this film be as genuine-looking as possible.

I do have another setback, unfortunately. I only have one major role left to cast, and then I can start rehearsals. So far, I've had no luck casting this role. The people I've gone to to fill this role have all stepped away.

That's why this week, my biggest priority is finding someone to fill this role. Once I get that done, we can go at a much quicker pace.

I also worked on the set of a short film this weekend as a PA of sorts. It was a skeleton crew of about 18 people, but it was the biggest crew I've ever worked with. Combine that with the fact that I knew nobody there, and the experience was even more interesting. Everyone was really cool, especially the director and DP, with whom I hope to keep in contact with.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Music for the Film

Yesterday, I demoed a few songs for the film with my friend Drew (who is also playing one of the main characters). We quickly wrote and recorded these songs for the band in the movie, so needless to say they're pretty bad, with such titles as "I Am A Cheeseburger" and "That Special Kid In Class (Showed His Ass)".

As much as I'd like to share the god-awfulness of these demos with you guys, I'll wait for y'all to witness them for yourselves when the movie comes out. However, I can share with you a band that has probably been the biggest inspiration for both the nature of the music and the movie.

Sockeye was an Ohio band from the late 80s-early 90s that recorded music so obscene and shitty that it spawned an entire subgenre: "tardcore". With titles like "Blob of Cum", "Yo, Me Gusta Cum", and "One Hundred Story Building Drowning In Cum", it's hard to resist. Imagine early brown Ween, only completely brown because it's covered in feces.

This kind of immature amateurism and complete disregard for political correctness is nearly impossible to find nowadays, yet is central in being a stupid teenager. And that's the kind of spirit I want to showcase in this movie.

BY THE WAY, I made a new Lip Heads short that you can view here: