Preproduction Day 18

When you make a film, no matter if it’s a short or a narrative feature or a documentary, the choices you make a year or a month or a week or even a day before you shoot can greatly impact the film you shoot (or even the film you edit). We haven’t even begun filming Other Versions of You yet, but I’ve seen this play out time and time again in past projects, and I’m feeling it now. All of this time we’re spending is going to help us.

One of the big things this week is tweaks to the script. We’re working every day to get the story tighter, the dialogue more trimmed up, and making various compromises based on location, time of day, and availability of various components. This is a massive puzzle. As I’ve said before, I’m super thankful I have a team to help me put it together. The crazy thing is, as a director, people keep coming to me because I have the top of the box, and they all want to see it.

I can’t even begin to tell you the kinds of decisions we made today. I’ll try to share a few, though:

  1. A huge portion of the day was spent building our shot list. I created an exhaustive shot list last November, and a few weeks ago I went over this list with my cinematographer, Micah Simms. Today we essentially built it from scratch. And the reason for this is we now know most of our locations, and locations (especially when on a small budgeted film) dictate what you can do with the camera.
  2. We had our production meeting. Most of the keys (those people in charge of departments) were at the meeting, and we went through the shoot schedule, day by day, discussing broad elements of how the production will run. People asked questions. Every person there was important.
  3. I made decisions about room layouts, cast, props, art, camera movement and a bevy of other items I can’t even remember.

And on top of all of this, I do have some semblance of a life I have to lead. We all do. The people who make movies have families and significant others and pets and hobbies. We love what we do, and if you ask almost anyone in this industry, we’re all thankful. But we do like to have a glimmer of normalcy in our own personal madness. So I rushed home and had dinner with my family and played with my daughter some before putting her to bed.

I’m incredibly thankful for those pouring into making this film the best it can be.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be spending several hours with the producers. We’ll be combing through the script one last time to make sure we’re hitting all the beats and doing things to keep people engaged from a story standpoint. This is one of our last times to really pour over everything and make sure we can make the best film. We owe it to our cast and crew, and we owe it to those who will watch the film.

This is the last free weekend I have before I make my next feature film. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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