My day started out at a breakfast meeting with a successful LA casting director – let’s call him CD. He’s a friend of my friend, Moniqueeeee, and I’ve met him on a couple of occasions, usually involving barbecues in Monique’s backyard. He’s a smart, sweet guy and he’s worked on a lot of productions, big and small.
I confessed to CD that while I’ve wanted to meet with him for a while, I’ve been reluctant to do so because talking about creative elements like casting gets me too excited. And it feels like I’m putting the cart before the horse since I’m still in the early stages of this adventure. For how can I attract a cast if I don’t have all of the money raised yet? Yet having a name or two in place might help raise those final dollars, right? Ah, the age old conundrum of indie film financing.
Ultimately, though, I’m really glad that I talked to CD. It never hurts to get the advice and insight of a person who has been immersed in the filmmaking world for a long time. We discussed the benefits of getting recognizable actors versus finding those unknown gems who are waiting for that right picture to provide their big break. We talked about the Screen Actors Guild Ultra Low Budget agreement and some of its more useful stipulations. I learned about the term “portal-to-portal” which applies to out-of-town talent brought to a location for a shoot and the way in which their “shooting” hours are tallied (basically not from the moment they arrive and are dismissed from the set but, rather, from the time they are picked up and then dropped off at their hotel). And, of course, we blathered on about actors and actresses we like. (I did most of the blathering – CD’s a very articulate guy.)
However, I realized that the main reason I’m happy I chatted with CD at this albeit early point in the process is because when I meet with people like him who not only share my creative sensibilities but are also decent human beings, I feel like I’m getting that much closer to assembling an incredible team who will be critical in helping me make a wonderful film. And that’s what keeps me going.
NEXT UP: DLB & VP Babs = Thelma & Louise (Alas, no Brad Pitt on the horizon, but there is wonder dog Lucy!)