New York (just like I pictured it…)
Films, even short projects need time, patience and money to complete. There is so much to consider when creating a film, the story, the script, the actors, the crew, the locations, the equipment, wardrobe, make-up, hair, permits, police, weather, props, set design, the crew, transportation, catering, picture and sound editing, sound design, music, color correction, compression, exhibition, distribution, etc., etc., etc., and most of us who attempt all of this, do so with little money to pay for anything. Anyone who had any sense wouldn’t attempt it and then if they did, they would only do it once. However, there are some of us out there who continually put ourselves in a position to slowly and surely drive ourselves crazy and in debt, by continuing to produce completely independent films.
I am one of those people. I live in a constant state of denial that what I am trying to do by myself is actually a business that involves lots of people who have access to more money than I have up to now had access to.
So what am I trying to do?
Real simple, I love science fiction, fantasy and horror films. I want to make these types of films. I make these kinds of films.
My latest venture into this economic pit of wonderful despair is my upcoming short, 73.
73, is based on a script I wrote years ago, entitled, radio-active, about a future New York City owned by a corporation. 73 is a pre-story to that story. It is a quick view into a day in one characters life.
Here’s the trailer:
“The future is what they want you to see”
“A young pregnant woman escapes from her corporate sponsor to seek freedom for herself and her unborn child and to set in motion a plan to bring down the autonomous organization. When she meets an immigrant shop owner with everything to lose, will she be turned in or helped to achieve her goal or will the armed agents of the omnipresent organization catch up with them both first?”
This is the first opportunity that I had to work with union actors with my production company, Mizan Media Productions. I worked under their Short Film Agreement. These are the specifics of that contract:
* Total budget of less than $50,000
* 35 minutes or less
* Salaries are deferred
* No consecutive employment (except on overnight location)
* No premiums
* Allows the use of both professional and non-professional performers
* Background performers not covered
I had two great performers, Paula Wilson and Jeanine T. Abraham.
“Paula Wilson is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts (Design and Production), Pomona College (Dance and Theatre Management), The New School University (Screenwriting and 3rd World Cinema), and the Alvin Ailey School Professional Division. (Occasionally she sleeps, too.) She is the recipient of a California Undergraduate Research Grant in Dance, a Moss Hart Award Winner for her choreography for A Winters Tale, and a Union Production/Stage Manager. Please visit Paula Wilson online to read reviews, view her reel, and read up on current projects.”
Paula was a great actress to work with and very dedicated to her art as I remember she performing in one other show and rehearsing for another while we were shooting 73. She literally ran from one production to another. She is also a hardcore SF fan, which is one of the best attributes anyone can have, in my book.
Jeanine T. Abraham is a member Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity, Association and AFTRA, Air Force Brat has worked in Film, TV and Theater in NYC for the past 10 years.
She has worked with, The Barrow Group, The HourGlass Theater Co, The Classical Theater of Harlem, New George’s Theater, Ma Yi Theater Co, The Cherry Lane Theater, The Women’s Theater Project and more. She is worked on a movement based theater piece called Appearance: A Suspense in Being by TheaterLab in NYC, which opened in May 2008. She is also a professional chef and CEO of her own personal chef and catering company.
Jeanine is a wonderful actress and also an old friend. She is also a talented cook, and pursuer of all things healthy and positive in life. It was such a pleasure to see her bring to life a character I had created with her experience and style.
I will be entering 73 into film festivals this summer.
73 is the first film in series that I am planning on producing for a compilation of SF shorts from the African American perspective, primarily to go straight to DVD. I have a few titles for the series I am working on but will announce it when the time is right.