12-10-22 Pre-Production

    There are weeks that tend to blur together, not because they aren’t busy, but because they are so busy. Even during the first few journal entries, I had to refer back to my calendar to see what happened, so I could recall it and then write about it. I’ll not deny, there’s some of that with this one too.

    But, Monday I remember.

    I had sent out some emails to a few of the actors, not sure if they were committed to the roles or not. Now, when I say “committed” I don’t mean in their craft, that they’re not committed to working to the limits of their abilities, but whether they were committed to this project, that they actually wanted the role. As it turned out, every single person I’ve asked has been extremely excited to be a part of it.

    Anyway, back to last week. Despite my concerns, all the actors responded.

    The next day I sent out emails confirming the actors who are going to be a part of the Kickstarter campaign videos, at least the shoot on October 28th because I needed to know if I could incorporate them into the script, which I had promised no later than one week prior to the shoot date.

    Despite all the scripts that needed to be written, all the actors with whom I needed to coordinate, there were also some background logistics. For instance, while I had a tentative verbal agreement with the 28th shoot location, the owner (my brother, James) requested a liability release agreement. There won’t be any stunts in THE ROOT KIT, nor in any of the corresponding media. However, people can get hurt for any number of reasons. So, James’s request was perfectly reasonable, aside from the fact that I need one to cover my own legal needs.

    And then there’s SAG. Good actors get good gigs. Many of those gigs in Hollywood require that the actors join SAG. So, in order to work with them, I have to work with SAG. This week I officially began the signatory process. There’s still some paperwork I’ve got to fill out, but it’s gonna happen. A lot of people gripe about how nasty and inflexible SAG can be. But, the New Media Agreement, under which we will be filming THE ROOT KIT, is more than reasonable. While it doesn’t cover theatrical release, SAG allows for a renegotiation of the contract, should such a need arise.

    I don’t want to give any spoilers, but writing the script was fun. Per a suggestion from Lucas McNelly, who is helping me out with the Kickstarter campaign, I’ve been trying to cut the main pitch video down to four minutes. I don’t think I’m going to hit that number. But, it also forced me to do what I should have done anyway, one of the key screenwriting rules, get in late and leave early. The scene should only contain what it needs and nothing more.

    On top of the pitch video, I’ve got another six videos we’ll be shooting that same day, for a total of at least 30 minutes of videos. This is great because, as I mentioned last week, most of the actors at a single location on a single day. That probably won’t happen again until either the table read, or the cast and crew screening (probably happening in late 2013 or early 2014). Also, keep your eyes peeled, because an invite to that cast and crew screening will be available as a Kickstarter perk.

    Someone once said that being a director is partially crisis management. Let’s just assume from now on that each week has contained a crisis, of varying magnitudes. And, unless I let you know otherwise, let’s also assume that each crisis has been successfully resolved without any major change to THE ROOT KIT. The reason I bring this up is because this week was no different. A crisis arose and was resolved. If you want to talk specifics, let me know. I’ll happily tell you what happened and how it was worked out.

    So, where is THE ROOT KIT at now? All the pitch scripts are out. All but one of the actors has confirmed their participation. The location is secured and I’m working on the legal background stuff. Oh, I almost forgot. I made a poster. Check it out at therootkit.com and let me know what you think; either on Twitter @jschiefer or send me an email: jonathan@spiritusvult.com.