12-08-15 Pre-Production

    I’ve been out late, doing things in L.A. By the time I drive back to Costa Mesa I’m fairly spent, my wife’s asleep I want nothing more than to simply crawl in bed and fall asleep. So, for the past several days, today included, I’ve had to write one day’s entry the following day.

    There’s also something cool that happens: the few hours of distance and a night’s sleep gives me a bit of a different perspective on things. It allows me to see the events more in context. That perspective is tempting me to write all the entries the following day, regardless of what time I get in.

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    I’ve started looking at the early reader notes from my technical consultant, Cameron. To paraphrase LETHAL WEAPON, Cameron has forgotten more about computers than I’ll ever know… and he’s got a photographic memory; he doesn’t forget anything.

    Cameron’s general note, when we met a couple weeks ago was, “It’s salvageable. I asked myself if I would want to buy this movie and I said no.” Cameron has high standards for everything he does. If there are just a few problems with the script I sent him, and there were, he’s not going to like it. Fortunately he also offers solutions to my technical mistakes. He also puts some notes in that are making me laugh.

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    Later in the evening, I met with Xander, who, unless something really serious happens, will be playing the lead role of Will in TRK. I discovered Xander when he replied to casting notice I posted on Mandy.com for my short FIDELIS. He’s friendly, easy to get along with, smart. And best of all, the man can act! I mean, he’s brilliant. During the filming of FIDELIS, he had a look on his face that nearly brought me to tears. With just a look!

    When I first created LU$er, Will’s hacker handle, I knew Xander could pull it off. He had never done anything like it before, but I could tell he had Will inside him. When we met and filmed LU$er/rant/social-media, we talked about the character, but I was exactly right. Xander nailed it, so much so, in fact, that I decided to write TRK just to see more of what Will is like.

    So, yeah, Xander’s got that role.

    We met last night over diner to talk about the scale of the project, some actor friends he recommends for other roles, and to talk about Will’s larger motivation and how all the pieces fit together. He had some interesting insights that I plan on incorporating into the script. I can’t be more excited to work with Xander again.

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    I still haven’t met with H. I’m still not looking forward to it tomorrow, just after a dental check-up. I’m actually looking forward to the dentist more. H’s my friend and I’ve got some hard things to talk to him about. He sent me an email asking for one of the major roles in TRK. He’s not right for the part. So, that little tidbit isn’t helping at all.

    I have this deep compassion in me where I want everyone with whom I work to succeed and I’ll do everything I can to make that happen. But, there’s only so much I can do. I’m not going to compromise my art for it. H has been struggling to break back into Hollywood for the entire time we’ve been friends. I believe TRK is going to do better than any of my other movies. But, like I said, H is not right for any of the main roles.

    I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I don’t want to shatter his dreams. I don’t want to lose my friend. And, I’m not sure how to address the issues I’ve got without doing at least one of those things.

    Some aspects of being a director aren’t very fun.