Thursday, March 17, 2011

Point-of-View from a Producer

It’s been a month since we wrapped A Boy’s Life and I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the process and the outcome. While I think we bit off a lot in a short amount of time, we were able to pull it off because of our dedication, teamwork and our determination to get it done and do it right. We did hit a lot of roadblocks; I’m not going to lie. After leaving the set on the last day I said to myself, I wish I could tell people what really happened here…. And while I am not a very private person, some things are better left to the imagination. I don’t know if you’d actually believe all of the stories we have to tell from set. I do like to share some stories however so that other indie producers don’t feel like they are alone. Sometimes it feels that way.

We shot in my friend’s mother’s house. She’s in her 70s and she’s never seen a film shoot in full swing. My gut told me not to ask but I knew two things. The house was perfect and I had a good chance of getting a “yes.” What I also knew was, I needed to make sure I kept the house in one piece and that any film shoot in your friend’s house could jeopardize your relationship with them. A film crew is like a tornado and so no precaution is too small. Luckily, my friend is still speaking to me. After a day of patching, painting, and cleaning the house was almost back to normal…. Then a day later I find myself hauling trash (that we forgot about) out through the mud in a dress and heels… yeah, it happened… that was fun.

I guess you’d call us guerilla filmmakers… we shot without a film permit (until the last day when we were forced to do so). I’m not going to go into much detail however I will tell you, never in my life have I had to fib as much as I have in the last couple of years, just to get away with producing a low budget film project. If you can’t lie, then you better have the budget to back up your honesty. I’m not proud of my fibbing but I am proud of the films I produce.

We shot with a minor, Griffin Gluck. Given that our film is SAG, and being that we had a minor working for us, we had to make sure we followed not only the labor laws of employing a minor but also the SAG rules. Our schedule was extremely restricted because of this. There are rules about how many total hours he could be on set, how many hours of schooling he needs each day (yes, we hired studio teacher, Jan Citron) and how many hours of rest, play and turn around time is required. Working with Griffin was a blast – he was (dare I say it) even more professional than some of the adults on set!

What I’m most excited about is the final product. All of the time and energy put into A Boy’s Life resulted in beautiful footage and amazing performances from both Griffin and from our lead actress, Christie Lynn Smith. The expertise of our DP, Aaron Moorehead, and the creativity of our Production Designer, Melissa Low, make all the difference. Watching our Director, Eli, on set doing his thing was the biggest reward. He puts his all into each of his films and if he can keep doing what he doest best – we’re all in for a treat! I can’t wait to see a final cut of the film and to share it with all of you! I know you’ll be amazed!

- Allison Vanore, Producer

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