Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Process - Partners

An account of the recent developments of the ‘Citizen’ project. – Part 2

Earlier this year I started to shop around a draft of the Citizen screenplay. I'm lucky to know so many amazing, talented people who know even more talented people so my priority has been to directly assemble the core creative team: the Cinematographer, the Editor, Production Designer and Costume Designer, the Casting Director – the departments in charge of turning the script into the best film it can be. And I was already able to meet with some very promising cats. Considering shooting is currently scheduled for Spring 2013 we’ll be making crew decisions by January 2013.

Especially on this project the most important position to fill will be that of a creative producing partner, a hands-on collaborator that shares a similar vision for the film, helps to keep the project on track from a creative and organizational standpoint. For a while now I've been in talks with one of my CalArts peers, a unique filmmaker in her own right and as that someone who has been active in after-school programming and gang prevention measures for youth in low-income and minority neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Her desire to dedicate her time, energy, creativity and her craft to that world is incredibly inspiring to me and makes me think we could be a good team to pull this off. We had a number of creative meetings and are currently developing the story just a little further. Once we have a final draft I'm hoping to make things official.

For a couple of months now I’ve also been working with Homeboy Industries in Downtown LA to recruit some of their clients for jobs on the Citizen production. After some of my connections into the gang scene turned out to be unreliable and unsuitable I was able to hire Victor and Michael from Homeboy as well as Ruben from Venice, CA as advisors on the script. The story, the language and content was received really well so it seems my research (read about how I prepared and what I experienced here, here and here) is evident on the page. However, the three of them had some critique, insightful notes and contributed invaluable details. Vic, Ruben and I established a good working relationship so far and we’re planning to collaborate on other upcoming tasks like Talent Scouting, Art Department jobs, Music and Locations. This endeavor became so much richer with them on board.

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