Production Diary #4
One thing I’ve learned from trying to make this film is that nothing really goes according to plans. This last couple of weeks have been one hell of a roller coaster ride for me; full of ups and downs but mostly full of downs.
One major accomplishment for us was the successful launch of our kickstarter campaign. The week I posted my latest production diary, Sue and I, with our AC, Will, filmed a short video of us introducing our film and asking people to donate. Our goal was to get $1500. We imagined our budget to be a little over $2000 but we decided to aim low because we didn’t think we would be able to get even $1500. However, we were wrong! In three days we achieved half of our goal, $750, and in less than 2 weeks we reached our fundraising goal. Now, we have about $1600 in our account! While, of course we were happy to get money from our supporters, the best feeling came from the individual messages of support from friends and donors. One of my friends sent me a very heartfelt message (below) saying that she really supported the message of our film. We also had people we didn’t even know donate. Knowing that some people share my concern for the immigrant narratives that I am very passionate about, felt very special. It was amazing to see how much people cared about us and our project.
Meanwhile, we were also able to revise our storyboard and get props and ideas for production design. Over the course of the past three weeks, we workshopped our story board with our advisor, John Mann. I think this may be the final version storyboard, since our shoot is right around the corner. Sue and I also met with our production designer, Seola Lee, and brainstormed on how decorate the row house we rented for our shoot. In order to plan for this meeting, I looked up Korean dramas and movies to get an idea of what we wanted our house to look like. We made a list of props that we might need and divided it amongst ourselves so that we could start looking for and buying materials. After the meeting I went to thrift stores to look for the outfit for our grandmother when she goes out to see the cherry blossoms. After looking around about seven thrift stores, I was able find a great jacket and a pair of shoes. We still have to get clothes for our interior shoots, and we are planning to figure that out in the next week or so.
We did get some important things done, but there were also many downs that followed. Gaffing is important because we are shooting on film, and we had a gaffer until recently he texted us saying that he can’t help because he got booked for a shoot in April. Now, we have three weeks until our shoot and no one I know is proficient with gaffing. I messaged everyone who could possibly gaff and they were all occupied. As of now, I either have to use a part of my budget to hire an actual gaffer from a company in Baltimore, or gaff myself.
When I was working on Andrea’s set, someone told me that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong on a film set. I’ve heard many horror stories from friends, and really hoped that nothing horrible would happen on our film. But something went terribly wrong. In, the most important scene, the grandma looks up at the cherry blossoms and mumbles her line. In order for this scene to work, the cherry blossoms have to be breathtakingly beautiful. So, we planned our shoot exactly according to the cherry blossom festival dates from last year: April 16th, 17th, and 18th. However, this year, the weather is exceptionally warm and the cherry blossoms are blooming A LOT earlier this year. The moment I that the peak cherry blossom dates will be March 22nd, I wanted to throw my laptop to the ground, drop dead, and never regain my consciousness. This really is a big problem, even as I’m writing this, I am not sure what to do.
At first, I planned on changing our shooting plans entirely. I checked AirBnB, hoping the location would be available but of course, it is not available for the whole of March. I called the actor who is playing our grandmother and she told me that she couldn’t make it if we shot in March. As of now, Sue and I have a VERY BIG problem and the cherry blossom peak is this week. We might have to go to DC to at the very least get B roll of the cherry blossoms, but the weather forecast states that there will be a huge storm Friday so I’ll have to see what happens.