After prepping all night long for a day of meetings (crashing somewhere around 3:40am) I'm up at 6am for a wake-up work out/run combo and begin working on my shot-list. By noon my DP Gus has arrived and we start to talk more in-depth on the overall look of the film before he takes a mini-vacation and goes off to to shoot a feature this coming month. We have a friendly catch-up, bouncing ideas back and forth on some particular scenes and shots, the equipment that might be needed and how to go about capturing it (all info that will be passed along to Grant to fit into the budget). I'll have an in-depth locked shot list to go over with him when we're closer to production, as well as some storyboards I've been doing and a set of image/film and painting references for visual aids I'll be emailing him on and off over the next month. He hands me a book of photography by the Hungarian born photographer, filmmaker and sculptor Brassaï. A lot of his stuff is dead on for a lot of the light/dark contrast I want to instill in "Things", as well as some of the silhouette imagery I want to play with. Our conversation leads into thoughts of eye lighting, dolly movements and a few other tricks I'll save for another day. Gus leaves and other than the three cups of coffee in my system fueling me I'm jazzed to put together some new images and tell a story I've written more visually then ever before.
I run to the West Village to have a coffee meeting/catchup with Meissa ("Gabby") to talk about her character and the upcoming agenda for rehearsals, fittings and make-up design. Meissa is an extremely versatile honest and has a great intellectual brain for details big and small in a character, dissecting little traits and extending them not just into words and movement but into props, costumes and overall look. We wrap up and now flying and running ten minutes late at that beautiful magic hour where cabs are all in transition I run back to Chelsea and the Grey Dog cafe to meet with Robb of DirtySugarPhotography.com who will be helping us shoot promotional images for "Things" and creating artwork for a poster. Upon arriving at the cafe I realize there's been a slight miscommunication and Robb is actually in the Union Square location I passed on the way to Chelsea. I jet back to meet him and we have a neededly fast-paced 20 minute meeting that is beyond pleasant and exciting. The jitters and raving coming out of my mouth, most resembling a cross between the guy from Shine and Miley Cyrus after that bong hit of salvia, are equal parts exhaustion, caffeine and creative excitement and energy. We plan to meet again to discuss further in detail what exactly we'll be shooting, some visual ideas and budget for the project.
I float home and crash before I can eat a bite of dinner...
I'm still deciding between the two actors I've narrowed it down for Parker. After a simple conversation with Molly I've realized I'm over=thinking more than I should be and not trusting my gut… i make my decision and write a few emails…
Aaron Mathias as "PARKER MCNEIL"
The road to Aaron being in this film is a long one. Back in December of 2006 when I was first casting for "...Around" I received his head shot and resume for "Doyle" but because he was SAG and I had no idea what the budget or how the budget for the film would come about, I never called him in to read. The rest of that matter is history, but I always remembered him and after creating the character of "PARKER" Aaron returned to my mind this previous summer. For a long time the role was left open for a "bigger-name" talent, to whom many were sent the script in order to secure financing. That never materialized before the financing came, so I had to cast the part and read him and several other actors. The role was always going to be difficult to cast… physically Aaron fit perfectly, but of the most important factors was being able to portray a tortured, withdrawn and dry individual yet still come across as appealingly full of life and energy, a flame of promise of what previously existed and may still be there and ability to connect to Violet's own emotionally withdrawn soul. During the audition the previous week, more than any other actor in this respect, he was able to get great reactions, sometimes both antagonistic and playful, out of Molly despite being under the weather. That kind of energy and easy charm would have to shine through Parker in way that wouldn't be easily performed with any big gestures, facial expressions, movements or tone of voice. Parker is damaged, holding onto demons and darkness in a way that is both similar to Violet and wholly different. He's in need of forgiveness he's not seeking and is reserved in a completely controlled way, but still able to find human connections that gnaw away at his resolve. Aaron is a director's actor, full of commitment, eagerness to try anything and mold towards whatever is asked of him. I'm excited to add him to the family and work with him on creating the perfect mix for this character and then playing him against Molly in her complete 180 from anything she's done previous…
the road to April 3rd marches on!
Coming up next…. Soundtrack and location, location, locations!