Sunday, October 2, 2016

calling italy and los angeles

It has been two months since I've shared an update on creative preoccupations, so let's do it today!

[1]  I blogged about an initiative called Open Doors that funds films.  I followed up with them, inquiring about their Filmmakers Academy which takes place the first two weeks of August.  I asked them to send their packet of info, which hopefully includes an application.  It's a bit early to expect any real answer regarding next summer, so I'll follow up once more - at the start of 2017, in the beginning of January.  However, I need to meet executive producers who can connect me to seriously substantial funding for my feature film, so follow up I definitely shall do (hands on my hips).

[2]  Why, you may ask, do I need such substantial funding?  One reason is that I have the interest of a super talented, established, and experienced production designer.  I contacted her at the beginning of August, and her response was immediate - I think because she is a huge fan of Virginia Woolf.  She gave a preliminary thumbs up, but then promptly and responsibly said that the next step was to speak with her agent in Los Angeles...  Let me pause for a few seconds to briefly write about agents in Los Angeles, who are downright intimidating.  And I'm saying that, an intimidating person myself.

quick digression:  AGENTS IN LOS ANGELES

I've begun to always notify the talent agent of the day and time when I'll be calling them about their client.  When that time comes for me call the agency in Los Angeles, there are several hurdles, and the first one is a hip and breezy receptionist.  Specifically the hurdle is their question, "And who may I ask is calling?"  I respond with my name, and then there is a very long momentary pause...  If - and this is the most significant condition - if the agent is interested in me and my film project, the very hip and breezy receptionist responds with, "Alright please hold for one second while I connect you."

Once connected with an agent, Ihavetospeakreallyreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeallyfasttokeeptheirinterest!

The second hurdle is the talent agent remaining interested in my spiel for more then one minute, and I am not exaggerating.  Agents instinctively size up within ten seconds, so keeping an agent on the telephone for one minute ... even for five minutes ... is a small success.  And ultimately, an agent interested in moving forward with their client wants two sets of numbers - dates and money.

End of digression, but lastly one lesson I've learned about agents in L.A.: I've enjoyed speaking with all (but one) of the agents.  They are representing clients whose work they genuinely respect, and that's something they and I have in common.  I'm very excited about the artists I may work with.

SO I'm on the telephone with the agent of this super talented, established, experienced production designer.  We wind up at the place of dates and money.  My dates for principal shooting seem okay, but the agent questions if I can compensate the set designer at her going rate.  I have a short fuse with vagueness.  Vagueness annoys me.  Talk straight to me, and this is what I request of the agent, who responds that the production designer's rate is $43K per week.  This time the long momentary pause is on my end of the telephone line, but I quickly grab hold of myself and say "Sure okay yeah!" 

My mental wiring is shifting during this film production process.  A few weeks ago my therapist paused our conversation, looked down at his notes, looked back up at me, then gingerly asked what it feels like to be making this movie.  I bring myself to therapy because I'm introverted, and things in daily life can be very stressful for me.  I wish I could stay home all the time in my bathrobe.  (Close friends are laughing, because I basically say that everyday.  :)  But I don't stay home all the time.  I'm a turtle who is intrigued by the rat's race, even when the rat's race feels super jarring to me.  So I bring myself to therapeutic spaces for support, as often as possible.  In response to my analyst's question, I answered that making this film feels like stepping into a room which I never imagined existed.  A room where someone can seriously state a quote of $43K per week, to which I'll agree.

This agent and I have a phone meeting scheduled for the end of the year, after Christmas when I'll update her on source(s) of funding for the production designer's compensation.  Consequently, my attention has turned to Open Doors and other financiers.  When I approach them, at this point I'm inquiring about funding for this set designer - nothing and nobody else, not the music licenses, not legal protection, not travel and transportation, not catering, nothing and nobody else.  I'm focused on securing funds for this designer, starting with her and hoping that additional funding will follow.

Creative preoccupations always pulse through my life.  I could dotingly write about the wonderful script consultant I'm working with, or how I'm preparing my digital camera for a winter of novice photo projects.  However, those two things are likely to feature in future blogspots.  So thank you for reading, and I hope you'll return.  Broke Bridget totally hearts YOU.  Please stay wonderful xoxo.

this is all for Virginia and a small book she wrote