Cast and CrewPosted: September 15, 2012
It might be apparent that one cannot easily create a narrative short film without either a cast or a crew. Well that was the case with For an Eye.
I had originally wanted to hold auditions for the roles, the two main roles anyway, with talent from my agency. But since that fell through due to some timing and planning issues on my part, I went to the next best thing, friends. Ben, who played Simon, I have known for a very long time. When I was explaining to him the story and what I was doing he was immediately interested, so after my audition didn’t work out I gave him a call and he was immediately on board. Michael, Cameron in the film, was a similar situation. He was a good friend from my theatre department in high school, and was also involved in the independent study program, so he was also very willing to help.
The two doctors were also friends of mine. Keith, Doctor 1, was the dad of one of my friends that I grew up with, and Jon, Doctor 2, is a friend that I met on set of I am…Gabriel last summer. These two were great because I literally contacted them the night before we shot their scenes and they were both able to be present and prepared the next night.
For all the smaller roles, it was fairly easy to fill in the holes with crew members, family, and one lady that was at Sertinos when we began filming so we gave her the opportunity to be a customer. And finally, SIRI portrayed the AVA system in Simon’s house.
I was very lucky in regards to finding a crew. My mentor and I wrote up an ad on Craigslist looking for an audio engineer, a DP with a DSLR camera, and a lighting technician who would be willing to work for free on a student film. An audio engineer named David Burt responded that he would be willing to help us and provide professional audio equipment and a DSLR camera. This was very exciting because I had never had the opportunity to work with or use such resources in a production before.
We had a very small on-set crew. During filming I would operate the camera, Dave was in charge of the audio, personal mics and the boom, and also my production assistant, James, a close friend of mine, was always there to help with equipment and was even able to operate the sound equipment for several shoots where we needed extra assistance. This concise crew made scheduling much simpler and mobility and communication much easier. If I were to do it again, I would only like to have added a person who could work with my production assistant to play with more diverse lighting in the scenes, since we mostly only had natural lighting to work with. But, as the natural lighting was very sufficient for our purposes, it wasn’t entirely necessary.
Post-production crew only consisted of three members. Myself as the editor/special effects department, Dave who also did the post-production audio mixing, and Steve Hebert, a family friend, who did the composing for the film. I will go into these jobs more in depth in later posts.
Basically, my cast and crew were the result of my friendships, networks, and blind luck. The moral of the story is, keep your friends close, connections in touch, and don’t be scared to go out on a limb and meet/find new people. These are your greatest assets when trying to put together a production. Especially a small-scale, small-budget production.
Next up, Production!