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The Price of Being Proactive

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These past few weeks I’ve learned that taking your life into your own hands can be haaaard work. Yucky!

I can’t get too specific, because I really want to wait until it’s done before I start blasting people with announcements and constantly linking them to my work of art :), but I am shooting a short this weekend that I wrote, co-produced and am acting in, that will hopefully turn into a web series. I know I’m not objective, but I think it’s going to be great! It’s very exciting to sit down and decide “I’m going to take control and do something proactive for my career and for my creative self!” Of course, then the hard work begins. Hard work that makes me exceedingly whiny.

Writing was the hardest part, coming up with something interesting that I can relate to, because the adage is true: Write what you know. Everyone has a unique perspective on life, and no one can tell that story but you. So I made a list of things I thought were unique about me, my interests, my life experiences, and I picked one and wrote 40 bad pages. Then I rewrote. And rewrote. Then got notes from people. And rewrote. Many times. And finally settled on a version where I was like, “It might not be perfect, but I don’t know what the hell else to do to make it funnier!” Then I sat down over a latte and thought, “Ok, enough Hollywood talk about what I’m planning on doing one day. It’s time to make it.”

So, for the last 3 weeks, I’ve entered the area of what is called “Production Hell.” The planning involved in merely making a weekend movie shoot possible is beyond my previous understanding. I promise, oh producer who hires me in the future, I will never ask “Can you move my stuff to Friday so I can go to a callback for a Lifetime movie?” ever, ever again. Sitting in my trailer, munching on snacks, never tied me to the reality of film logistics. The real learning curve here is the reality of getting 25 people coordinated to show up in the right place at the right time, hunting down props, getting costumes, finding the perfect actors, locations to shoot, getting a camera/boom/monitor/lots of other equipment, feeding people, doing it all for next to free…GAH! The “magic” of independent filmmaking is a crock of crap! Being hired and just showing up to read my lines is sooo much easier!!!!

This week I’ve been digging through trash and getting old lady dander from Goodwill in my lungs trying to find the perfect lampshade that “matches” this character or that one. The crazy part is that I’ve been loving every minute of it! It’s only because I have great people working with me to help me realize this. Every so often I’ll take a measure of all the talented people working for free, taking time out to realize my first 10 pages I put on paper and a little voice in my head says, “Wow, I wonder if this is good enough for all this effort? What if this sucks?!” But to be honest, I think that little voice is my mother. Erm, that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry.

The shoot is this weekend, I’ll report on Tuesday what happened!

  • Gag Halfrunt

    Good luck!

  • Leigh

    Way to go! I am inspired by your energy and determination. You will be such a success this weekend!

  • Thad Bragg

    Good Luck.

  • Thanks for all your well wishes!

  • Joseph Jones

    I’m making an independent movie too. I’ve been in production hell for 3 months now. I totally get what you mean about how lame this section of filmmaking is. Plus all my actors are, you know, people. People with normal lives and normal jobs and they’re always doing their normal things so that makes it even harder to schedule them. Anyway, good luck on your movie.

  • Clearly it went well. I love filmmaking, but it’s definitely a trial…

  • Nissa K

    Felicia, as I write this you are in Europe. My Twitter feed misses you. I must say though that not having updates from you has allowed me to take a trip to the past and read some of these old posts of yours. I’m enjoying reading them. This reminds me of when for a class I had to read nearly a hundred telegrams and letters between President Lincoln and General Grant. Constantly there were new details that seem too minor to make it to what one would read in a textbook. But those details sometimes brought me to tears, especially when they gave such insight to who Lincoln and Grant were as actual people and their relationship with each other. (One of the few times History has been interesting to me!) I can’t help but feel excited for this Felicia of the past because I know some of what happens to her in the future. But even if that future were not so, I still find myself admiring the thread of determination I have read in the posts thus far.

    After writing all this I wonder if you get notifications about new comments….

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