I’ve been busy creating a web series called Scream All You Want [Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (check our the four behind the scenes videos), Flickr] with my friend Greg, and our wives Sue and Tracey who have been onboard since the very beginning of this crazy roller coaster ride (they are *amazing women*, certainly reinforcing the adage that every man there’s a great woman). We couldn’t have done this without either of their help, support and dedication to the project.
On top of that, there are so many others, all of whom have been helping us realize the idea into something tangible.
I know, I know. Crazy, eh? Over the many years I’ve worked in video, I’ve done it all – camera work, lighting, editing, hanging off the side of a grain silo to get a shot, directed some short videos, make-up, acted (once, I swear), said “I’ll fix that in post” (ONCE), the list goes on and on. And while all of it helped me in Scream All You Want (SAYW), there has been so much to learn!
Greg and I have been talking about this since March of 2011, when the idea was originally hatched one fine FridayOffice after bouncing ideas around for a while and started from there. Months went by, and by the time for Tracey and I went to Algonquin, I went with a script to read, and diligently typed up a few pages of notes onto my iPhone. More ideas flew back and forth, meeting after work for months planning this and that.
Fast forward a bunch of months and we arrive here, today.
We’ve gone from some vague ideas to a fully-formed script, a cast of real actors (we’d expected to have to strong-arm our friends into it), a crew of folks who rearrange their schedule to fit our shooting days…
To me, the most valuable thing any of us has to share is our time, and everyone is donating their “spare” time to this project, and it’s downright moving.
This project has let me be creative in ways I didn’t expect originally; I made fake self-improvement book covers, did chemistry, drilled, and made a few other props, plus all the other production-related tasks I had.
The personal challenges for me on this project have been substantial.
Directing actors and crew, requires me to be more demanding, decisive and assertive in what I want from them – completely unlike the laid back and easy going guy I normally am. The pressure can be intense – we were told our original shooting schedule was “ambitious” (which, in film-speak apparently means “You’re completely out of your mind”), and after a take, there’s that moment when all eyes come to me after I’ve said “Cut” where I have to decide if it was what I wanted. When the shoot is running behind, there is almost a physical pain of saying “Going again”.
Anyone that knows me knows that I’m what I like to think of as a polite person, and I try hard to set the proper tone and to keep the crew – everyone as courteous as possible, given the intense pressure we are all under during a shoot. Common courtesy goes a long way in those situations, and I *try* to set the example that I hope the rest of the crew can follow.
Another challenge is my nearly-world-record-setting short attention span, which during long takes, combined with the slew of things I have to pay close attention to can be mentally exhausting – especially when shooting outside where there is so much to look at!
Speaking of exhausting, for the first three weeks of production, we were shooting three days in a row, and on top of shooting all day, I’d be up until all hours of the night getting “real” work done, as well as getting prepared for the next day’s shoot, which frequently resulted in my getting three hours of sleep a night, which by Tuesday meant I needed some serious catch-up sleep. Then I’d be back at work, and then getting prepared for the upcoming shoot. It’s very much like juggling live grenades, baby goslings, and antimatter – none of which get along very well.
All of that said along with the unsaid problems, I would do it all over again, in a heart beat. We aren’t done production yet, but we should be done soon, and then Scream All You Want moves in to post-production, with the hopeful release date for the first episode either at or during FanExpo at the end of August.
This project has given me the opportunity to get closer to friends, to learn about more myself, to meet new people, and to to do something I have always wanted to do.
I can’t thank you all enough for helping me with this. Every single one of you who have lent a hand, given your time, offered advice, found locations, been an extra, offered moral support, or just cheered us on as we’ve worked on this, thank you.
If there’s a take-away from this post it’s easy; people are awesome, and if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, do it. It will probably be hard, but worth every moment of it.
PS: Here’s one of the behind the scenes videos edited by Mike Thomson: