To film your movie? or Not to film your movie? That is the question.
This year we released what could be by definition my most successful movie ever. Our little supernatural thriller Abigail Haunting has become one of the most watched indie horror films of the year and has catapulted our company into the mainstream view with studios execs and industry insiders. I would be remiss if I did not note that having a global pandemic, where two-thirds of the population binged watched streaming platforms, helped us tremendously. However, this movie was on the brink of being completely sidelined.
About five weeks before production in 2019, we were dealt a serious blow. Our prime location was no longer in play. Despite paying tons of money and arranging for the shoot to take place in Canon City Colorado, we had to scramble to find a new location, if the movie was to happen. I remember sitting with the producers, Charisma Manulat, Michael Tushaus and Fernando Bucago discussing the possibility of postponing the production into 2020 – Glad we didn’t!
Fernando had located a back up location in Nevada, but it required us to rethink everything; the story, the setting, the vibe, the cast and the production management. Because of this, I started to feel things were getting away from me. Fortunately, team inspired me to stay the course. Although the conditions were not ideal at the time, it proved to be serendipitous.
The point of today’s post is if you’re waiting for the perfect conditions to film your movie, don’t. Even with the stress of Covid-19, you can do things to get your project ready and set for when things are safe for you. You’ll have to make that assessment. However, it can be rest assured that the heavens will never open up, beam a light down to Earth and present you with “the moment” to film your movie.
Critics, outsiders and “professionals” will lead you to believe that creating a work of art is a task privileged to the few in the industry. They will tell you this to simply feed into the elitism that the industry is mired in, not because it is true. This is not to say that your first film will be perfect, or that you won’t make mistakes or take risks along the way, because trust us, you will. There is no simple, ten step plan to creating a film. Every production has different risk, problems, and benefits. This post aims to offer motivation to keep on, and alter the thought process of “I can’t” to “How can I?” So stop waiting for the perfect conditions.
I will stress the importance to being safe on set. If you do decide to film your movie in this crazy time, implement strong safety protocols and be sure to enforce masks and other healthy measures to keep you and your people safe. Visit the CDC website for more information.