Happy Fucking Thursday!!!! Yes, Mom. I swore. And no. I won’t edit it out. hugs and kisses
So… We’re slowly but surely getting the word out about the fact that our indie feature MY APOCALYPTIC THANKSGIVING (MAT) got distribution!!!!! MAT distribution info: HERE. Just plain holy shit. I will say that we got five offers. But we went with FREESTYLE MEDIA. Why? They were the most transparent and kind. I’ll write more about that on our website for MAT since it deserves its own write-up instead of just a blurb.
But there’s this saying always in Hollywood: WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?
Well… I’ll tell you: An indie feature called 3 Wishes.
Great. What’s it about? An Asian woman gets a fairy godmother to grant her three wishes in a psych ward. As the woman grapples with her controlling father’s passing, her brother involuntarily commits her instead of facing his own.
What will be my role? I’m the writer, producer, and director. But the producer term here is like it was on MAT: a catch-all phrase since the buck stops with you on indie films. This is also true on larger productions except you generally have enough money to get help when something falls short. Not so much with an indie film. I’ll be honest that this was such a gift on MAT since I learned sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much.
Got it. What now? We’re having a table read of an early draft this Saturday. I’m beside myself with joy! No, not all of my cast actors are able to attend. But I’ve got some amazing folks helping me. And my friend Halle Caponewill be recording it with her boom for my actors unable to attend. As she wants to get her hours to join the union, feel free to reach out to me about her. I can hook you up since she is an indie filmmaker not afraid to roll up her sleeves.
My actors? Phenomenal actors have agreed to participate. I want to write about each of them instead of dumping all their names at once. Each of these actors brings so much. And an even cooler part: I’ve had the pleasure knowing all cast so far. As the old saying goes… A fun time will be had by all.
And the script? God knows that it went through a ton of revisions before I committed to the draft that I sent out. Damn. That was hard. Let me repeat: THAT WAS FUCKING HARD. Whew. I can go to sleep now. In all seriousness… This story is about mixing in my psych ward experiences, sort of. I decided against forcing my main character to be shackled twice and six orderlies pin her to force medication down her throat like they did me. It’s dark except it’s not that dark. I also decided that it would be more fun to mock those “helpful orderlies” by having my main character inject herself. I won’t go any more into the story because it’s evolving at this point. Oh, wait. There is one thing: I chose each of my actors because they have delightful skills. So, I will always make sure that each will have their “moment to shine” regardless of how big their role is or isn’t in the story. WHY?
Every single one of my actors should be in A-list movies ALL OF THE TIME.
Right but what about the script’s nuts and bolts? Its current page count is 61. You may be think… Huh? Isn’t this supposed to be a feature full on movie? This means that I don’t have a conflict strong enough to support the page count of a feature film. Absolutely true if I was submitting this to the major studios since their film runtimes can be as low as 82 minutes or as high as the Zack Snyder cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE or more if that’s even possible.
Ah… Here’s where this is a tricky question for my script: I left out most of the character actions and descriptions. But Holly… Writers need to direct on the page. No, really they don’t because they can’t control production conditions or how other people interpret their words. Their better choice would be to suggest the gist of actions instead of blow-by-blow. The only real information that needs to be included is what makes the story fall apart without it. I digress.
Now back on track… I plan to work with my actors and director of photography for the movements and blocking. Yup. It’s that those individuals have spent a long time studying and applying their craft. As I still feel like I have training wheels for my directing, I feel that it would be idiotic for me to not build something together with them.
And I also anticipate after I work out the movements including blocking… 3 WISHES will roughly have a run time in the 80-minute range.
It’s my plan to rework my draft based on this table read, sessions with all of my actors unable to attend, members of these different communities, friends, and other sources. Oops. I forgot to mention what qualifies me to write about Asians and mental health. Some will argue that my husband’s family is more Pacific Islander than Asian since he’s Filipino except I see similarities from when I lived with my stepmom and her family. My stepmom was originally from Hong Kong. She worked hard to get her family out prior to when Hong Kong when it reverted back to China from the British because no one knew what would happen. Some of them lived with us for a while. I also have friends from Taiwan. And I’m super excited that my sister-in-law will be giving me notes tonight. She’s originally from India and is familiar with mental health there. Yes. India is part of Asia.
Next steps: I plan to put together a pitch package for a fiscal sponsor to help me with development. It’s that I want to rehearse a ton and work things out prior to our shooting in order for production to buzz right along.
Plans for production: I’m building a budget for eight-hour days. People in the film industry may not understand the significance of this other than hearing stories from horrible productions like Alec Baldwin’s movie RUST. It’s that it’s pretty standard for shoots to be anywhere from 12 hours to 18 hours. These days are back-to-back. We had some of that on MAT. Not the 18 for 12 was hard enough. And I hated it since it good sleeping habits are important for my bipolar disorder. This got me thinking about others similar to me that are unable to have a viable film crew career due to the expected work days.
As this is no longer my first rodeo like mom would say, I can have far more say in my schedule and budget. I also don’t want to patronize folks with only virtue signaling about inclusion… Why not actually make it happen? So, I’m going to see what I can to get my schedule work around eight hour days. It’s also more cost effective now with AB5 where everyone is an employee. As a result, everyone hits overtime at eight hours. And it would be different if I had big fancy locations that cost lots of money. This story takes place in four locations. I already have access to three. And I don’t out my actors with having to go through an ungodly number of pages each day.
Small update: My sis-in-law gave amazing notes!!!! Yippie! I’m so excited for Saturday’s table read.
One last note: The word “Talaga” on the poster is the Filipino word for “really.” And I think that it’s hysterical that I know that word in about five languages. Why? It’s so damn fabulous! Really.
After a little sleep note… I realize that I forgot to say one last thing. And IT”S REALLY IMPORTANT:
MY APOCALYPTIC THANKSGIVING ended up being what is to through the love and help of so many people. We’re honestly so grateful. And we also want 3 WISHES to be a similar community effort too since we can learn so much from one another. If you’d like to involved, please let me know. It can be a small or big committment or somewhere in between. We can work out compensation. My last last thing: You also don’t have to be in the film industry since it’s more imprtant that you love movies than you be perfect at making them!!! Pumpkin time for real.