Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pre-Production

Hi there, we’re making progress on the Citizen project. But let me back up. Earlier this year I had a productive and inspiring collaboration with one of my peers. We put out several drafts of the screenplay together, which yielded some interesting ideas and elements still present in the script. The way things go sometimes, in the end, we didn’t share the same final vision for it. So we parted ways.

Hopes of her coming on board as a producer unfulfilled, honestly, what followed was some deep frustration. I was running out of options. I needed a producer, a producing partner and my expectations by then were going against zero. Especially as a first-timer you start out with all these requirements you have for the person who could do that job. She has to understand, love and give everything to the story, have lots of experience, loads of connections, especially to financiers and festival programmers, good taste, good character, a nice haircut. Not that these don’t matter but I realized I couldn’t see the forest for the trees at that point.

Ralf Weinfurtner, a Line Producer and Unit Production Manager of smaller and bigger budget films of all stripes and colors had stayed in touch. I remembered, when we met a year ago he mentioned his ambitions to become a more holistic producer, adding financing, sales elements and creative aspects to his interests so why not bump him up to producer I thought. When we met again Ralf quickly gave me the confidence he was the right guy. He was into the story, he got it, he had the experience to produce an ambitious but realistic budget, an efficient schedule, the connections to help me put a crew together and he knows how to run a production. We understand and complement each other incredibly and unexpectedly well.

We just attached our department heads, the cinematographer, the editor, the production designer, the costume designer, the casting director, and the make up artist who will have an important role being in charge of tattoos, an essential detail. The casting process is in full swing, which includes several community outreach efforts with the help of friends I made during the production of Ticked, my first exploration of the youth violence issue a few years back. We’re scouting locations, developing visions with all our creative departments and finalizing the script. Shooting is scheduled to commence in Los Angeles on Dia de los Muertos November 1st 2013. The heat is on.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting! Can't wait to see the actors you casted! I love watching new talent, especially if they are upbeat and good at what they do!

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  2. ^ I agree, I think considering the film is about gang members. An optimistic character would be a perfect foil to the film. Even serious films need a lively person.

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  3. Hey guys, thanks for your feedback. Very excited about our cast so far. All of them - actors as well as non-actors - bring unique qualities to the film. Some are upbeat, most of them lively!

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  4. All props go to Moritz Rechenberg and his entire crew, straight from the hearts of Operation Street Kidz (OSK) - Philanthropy Kidz Club. What a great project - telling it like it is---truth, which sets minds free. We are honored to have this opportunity to collaborate with "The Assassination of a Citizen." Also, a big thanks to a Director who is fearless and true to the trade of filmmaking. Giving two of OSK's mentees, 12-year olds who have been cast as the characters "Huera" and "Pollo." Although they had no previous acting experience, he gave these kids an opportunity of a lifetime. Their daily life experiences, growing up in the concrete jungles of our urban inner cities, give them the credibility to portray their characters with genuine authenticity. This is truly the dynamic of mentoring. Leadership is an action and not a position. Moritz, thank you for your leadership. -Jo Jo Sanchez, Operation Street Kidz

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