So filming yesterday was a mixed bag.
Because the shoot date came so quickly upon the last, we were working with an entirely new crew. Things went slower than usually but they did pretty well. Unfortunately, what was the same was me being the only one trying to pay attention to the details.
First let me say that it is tough to sustain an creative project of any kind for 6 months, let alone 9. So credit should be given where credit is due: in sustaining a character, in maintaining a look and style, in carving out the time to show up. Those things are all good and important and essential. Kudos Kids! Thank You! Well done!
I can’t remember the last filming day where we didn’t have to navigate around some kind of preventable snafu, had only more care to detail been taken. I like to think that after six months my cast would trust my decisions, would know that they are motivated by a vision for the entire film. That there is a reason I ask for things and if the reason is not clear then there can be a discussion about it. I shouldn’t have to hound cast about bringing the correct wardrobe and then wear it. It’s little shit like that. And it’s not that things like this happen, it’s that they keeps happening. We should be a well oiled machine by now.
It’s interesting how if someone drops the ball then others are so quick to say, “Hey, its no big deal, it’s something small.” Well let’s do the math. 21 shooting days. Say something is inconsistent each day, that’s 21 scenes – at minimum – out of 100 that are lopsided, imperfect or don’t match for some reason. That’s 20 percent of the film. That is not what makes a film great.
We are competing for a place is a sea of independent films. Films that have more money and more resources, and celebrities for f*ck sake. Having a great story is first. Having great acting is second. Lots of films have those first few elements. So what is next is execution: is the film well made? Execution is the difference between which films gets distribution and which ones never makes their way out of the festival circuit. Execution is our last chance to stand out from the crowd, and I feel like we are failing.
I don’t want BETTER HALF to be relegated to the Gay Ghetto of Home video. This project is better than that. But good films rarely cross over to a broader audience. Mostly great ones do.
I didn’t start this project to make a good film. My intention was and still is to make a great one. I wish I could get my cast to take this seriously. I wish I could get them to help me in this. I wish I could make them understand that the details matter.