Movie Making: Journal Entry #4 — ‘Stitches’ TeaserBy
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about my experiences making movies. My previous posts all concerned my short film Broken, which currently is in post production — the process of refining all the raw footage can sometimes take much longer than one would think. In April, I had the opportunity to travel down to Chicago in an effort to help fellow Movie Masher Mike Eisenberg make a short film produced by Tall Tale Productions titled Stitches. Mike co-wrote, directed, and edited the film which is based on a young boy who learns to deal with loss. The film is set to debut online this Father’s Day, June 17th. Until then, you can check out the teaser for the film and a brief summary of my production experiences after the jump.
For two weekends in April I bused to Chicago, well, Crystal Lake just outside the city, to assist the production as Script Supervisor, essentially being Mike’s right-hand man throughout filming. With everything going on during production and all the questions Mike was pressed to answer during the shoot, someone had to keep track of his thoughts, write everything down, help prevent continuity missteps, and be a second set of keen ‘cinematic’ eyes. Despite many of you never hearing much about Script Supervisors, their role is crucial. This was my first time in this role, but having my own directorial experience, it was easy to assimilate into. Like our collaboration here on the Movie Mash, Mike and I work very well together.
Walking into production the first day my senses were in overload once again — working on set is something I live for. Our first scenes were talking place in and outside a church. Early on Mike and his established production team worked with precision, most of the time, to get the shots they needed to tell this story right. Mike and his Director of Photography (who also co-wrote the script) Mitch Koepp did a good job coordinating their shots and directing the team to complete them. It was a pleasure to watch.
This story follows a young boy going through a big moment in life — so this obviously means a young actor would be needed to fill the role. Finding talented kids on a limited budget can definitely be a challenge. Thankfully Mike and his Casting Director found the young man for the job, the multi-talented Steffan Argus (he can also sing and write music). Mike created a strong relationship with his lead, an extremely important task to get the best out of less-experienced actors. While I know Mike is definitely reading this (hi Mike), I’ve gotta give the man one more nod before I move on. Mike was great at making his talent comfortable with what they were doing on camera — he was also good at making small changes to the delivery of lines, the blocking of characters, and other important details to help the production progress to better takes as we moved on (something I also assisted with).
Working with and really getting to know the cast and crew I quickly learned this was a talented bunch. From the sound crew to the lighting crew to the on-point Assistant Directors to the producer Kailey Brackett pulling the strings behind the scenes, we all worked together, some times better than others, as professionals to accomplish this goal. Anyone with production experience will tell you, “Production is collaboration.” And what fun and stress that collaborative effort is.
The experience was one I will never forget. Working with Mike and his crew was not only fun to dodespite the very long days, but it was rewarding. Now as a group we have a product we can stand behind proud. The teaser for the film can be seen below. The actual film itself set to hit the web this weekend and we will definitely be posting it here on the Movie Mash. Mike and Tall Tale Productions are also busy sending out copies of Stitches to film festivals — I’ve seen the final cut, Stitches is definitely going to get some attention. Check out the teaser.
I took some of my favorite pictures from the weekends, taken by the Set Photographer Vito Selvaggi, and added them below. To check out the full spread of the weekends’ photos and to stay up to date with everything Stitches as it strives for festival recognition, head the Tall Tale Productions’ Facebook Page.
Are You Excited To See Stitiches?