Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Filmmaker Journal

The following is a journal I kept on the making of Sandwich. I'm not very good at writing personal journal entries, but I tried to document some of what happened. Hope you enjoy it. It is illuminating to go back and read what I wrote several months ago. I will include more entries in future posts.

Forgive my lack of blog etiquette, but I am a first-timer...

Kevin L. Williams
Director's Journal:

Making a “Sandwich”

11/05/05 (Sat)The thought of writing down anything other than fiction or notes to myself is unsettling. But, I felt it was important to at least have SOMETHING on paper documenting my first feature film experience.

The past three years I have been trying to obtain financing for a feature film. A Martial Arts drama. I attached several actors, but of course...I have no $$$$$$$$. But what I DO have is connections to all the players and equipment needed to shoot a feature film. I wrote a dramedy script three years ago that deals with Alzheimer's. It is touching, funny, sad, and hopeful all at the same time. I think it makes a perfect first film.

A month ago I decided to just do it. I entered preproduction with my partner Javier Cerda, we started scouting locations, I began casting actors and BAM! This film has created a life of it's own.

I found a fantastic actress named Anne Gerber. I saw her in several funny short films, and then I cast her in a short film I co-directed about an American Suicide Bomber. She was chilling and eerie. I knew she could successfully straddle that line between humor and pathos.

It is amazing how people can get behind a common cause. Everyone is working for no pay, but maybe a promise of something in the future. I will not let them down. I am stepping out on faith and believing in GOD that this will work! All the pieces are falling into place.

Today are the first major scenes rehearsal with the majority of the cast. Welcome to indie filmmaking! You never quite have everyone at the same time. Schedules just don't
permit. And, when you are not paying anyone...well, then it becomes even more difficult to impose your will (which I wouldn't do anyway!).

Up to this point Javi and I, have compiled a great cast and crew:

Molly Dengler Anne Gerber
Clark Stiles John Caballero
Eveyln Dengler Martha Prentiss
Jordan Dengler Morgan Graf
Paula Bettencourt Cassandra Small
Grace Simms Laurie Lucas
John Harris Sonny Kelly
Jayne Harris Jayne King
Young Guy Jason Bernal
Doug Rick Frederick
Young Molly Gabi Walker
Young Grace Clarissa Wilkins
Police Detective Lyndsay Evans

Marty Martinez Assoc. Producer/Script Supervisor
Terry Coronado D.P.
Rodolfo Fernandez Sound/Boom
Elise Lopez Production P.A.

11/06/05 (Sun)Well...several things. We lost our 2nd unit camera person Erick Cantu, but we gained a post-production facility!! Our original editor (my good friend and talented actor/director Manny Garcia) dropped out several weeks ago, leaving a gaping hole in our production.

On Saturday, Alejandro Maya, owner of Sprocket Porductions here in San Antonio, Tx. agreed to edit our film. Sprocket is a full service production house that does commercials, small films, and corporate/industrial videos. GOD always blesses the faithful!

My cast is GREAT! They are starting to connect, even after one read-through and rehearsal. Anne is so very talented. I gave the cast several improvisation exercises to act out, and then instructed them to go into the scenes on a predetermined signal.

She went from reading and ACTING the scene to BECOMING Molly. She gave me everything I wanted and envisioned when I wrote the character three years ago. People are really going to be unprepared for how talented she is. She is going to be a player and great actress! I just hope I can still afford her later!

Day ONE of principal photography is this week, Saturday. I feel ready...Just have to nail down locations and releases for crew and scenes next week. I have been waiting for this. House of Keys was a great primer for this film. I still want to work with Mark Dacascos, but I believe this is THE film that will begin my career as a writer/director and also a new chapter for my family.

11/9/05 (Wed.) I still don't have a Mr.Shyloh...the actor I approached hasn't gotten back to me.
But, I am not chasing anyone down. I will find an actor in the 11th hour. Meeting today with an artist so we can have art work for a huge art gallery opening scene we are doing next week. I know it will be fantastic!

11/11/05 (Fri.) Tomorrow is D-Day...we have marshalled our troops and planned for as much as we can! Here goes alot! I feel prepared although I still have to draw up a shot list and some storyboards. And it is 9:36pm. Oh well. Sleep is for wimps...


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