It's been really hard getting things together with only a two man team working behind the scenes with locking down locations I asked the cast to help out and with in a week we got locations coming in. Sometimes all you need is alittle help from your friends.
As someone who has been in the trenches with people when there was no money in the budget to do much of anything outside what NEEDED to be done to complete the project, no money in the budget for food or lodging for cast and crew and we all camped out on set, I slept in a cold office one night. You do in fact form a bond with people and you lift each other up by motivating each other to continue on a project that feels like it might not make it to the final day, you help each other through the stuff that many people don't talk about.
I'll use Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis as an example it was my first film as a director and I had ZERO experience with anything in the film making arena aside from doing some stage acting in school . I was willing to learn and I was passionate about this project because I knew I had a good idea and I knew it could work.
Needless to say the first day on set was a disaster to say the least, I was unfocused, unprepared and really had no idea what I was getting myself into I had no shame admitting that then or even now. It wasn't that I couldn't do it, I knew I could I was simply overwhelmed with everything that went into it . I had a very small idea of how to shoot a movie, set u the scene =, get the actors in place and yell action, shoot the scene and yell cut, done and move on, I didn't know about lighting, syncing sound and film I was script supervisor, director, actor, makeup FX artist etc. you know it's very difficult to direct a scene from behind the camera when you're in front of the camera as an actor, it's also hard to do the makeup FX in a scene you're in as well, these are just two of the things I didn't stop to think about before I decided to take a bigger role then my previously planned one scene cameo.
Well that's not really fair to say I "decided" to take the bigger role. Before I explain what I mean by this, I'll say this I learned that when it all falls apart on set, as the director it's my job to fix things, with that said I didn't decide anything we lost an actor and the main shooting location for the project due to a family emergency he had to leave the project all together which happened after the second weekend of shooting, so for those keeping score at home the first two weekends were rough. this was another case where we could have all said "well that's it, it's not gonna happen now" I had three choices 1. I could shutdown production and join the many indie film projects that never get finished, 2. I could scramble recast the role before shooting the following weekend or 3. I could take over the role and reshoot the scenes that had the other actor in them.
I decided to go with choice 3 because we had worked to hard to get this far and that was the turning point for me really when I knew I would do anything to make sure this movie got finished and I think the events of that week are what gave the cast and crew that bound.
I had alot of help from my cameraman, who was working as an actor, audio guy, co director among about a million other things. I didn't think we would make it out of the first weekend of shooting without someone quitting but low and behold we went on with it and we finished on time even with a day of reshoots. My male lead helped out with makeup FX, another actor was my official blood maker.
I learned to fix things on set a few times the last time I encountered this was during the final weekend of shooting when one of our cast members failed to show up for the shoot people were lost, confused and unsure what we would do because the actress in question was in the majority of the scenes that day because this was the meat of her story arc, what do we do ?? I said what we're gonna do is do a rewrite and transfer her lines to another character and we dumped the bulk of her lines onto another actress who for all intents and purposes did the best with what we were asking her to do.
Over the course of the 9 or 10 weekends we really grew as a team, as a cast and crew and we were able to complete the film and it was released on Halloween 2015. now the returning cast members are joining Chris Fyfe my cameraman , editor, Executive Producer and myself along with our new cast members as we get ready to make Sins of Man II : Vengeance.
I'm much more prepared to direct this film, I even wrote a bigger part for my character in this movie because I'm confident I can do it. I will take all the lessons I learned on the set of Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis and make Vengeance a kick ass movie that fans will love to watch !!
STAY HUMBLE, STAY HUNGRY MY FRIENDS :)