Indie Filmmaking: Sweating the Details

I suppose if you are in L.A. and someone is supplying you with a good portion of the 19 million dollars it takes to produce your film, you can farm the details out. Small productions not so much. But even if you are a big time producer…someone still has to sweat the details.

dragon1Being as we (Xylon Productions LLC) are currently working on a no budget film right now-that’s right no budget, meaning no money-the driving force for details falls on the shoulders of volunteers. Especially me because not only do I volunteer to pick up loose ends that seem to be flying all over the set, but because I am passionate about seeing this story filmed.

And filmed well.

Details will be oh so ever important even if its the shine on a brass medal on the kings coat, the felt on the villain’s hat, or the the gun case that carries the assassin’s weapon. Some props are plot props. They are vital to the story. Fortunately so far, I have a team willing to craft these plot props (try saying that with a mouthful of peanut butter!) by hand in their homes and at their workshops.

Fate has me laboriously making a set of saddle bags. My gosh I haven’t made anything leather since I was a young hippie sitting in our health food store! Back then a good buckskin hide cost $20, and deer was even cheaper. Today you’d be surprised at the price of a tanned piece of leather. I was thrilled when my son-in-law presented me with one. These rustic leather pouches that swing over the equine’s rump carry a mysterious letter to the Duchess of Leinberg via the main character Cassandra. Our heroine doesn’t know what the letter is for and it’s sealed with wax so she dare not peek. She thinks she’s carrying an appeal to the king.

Her curiosity is not totally frustrated though. Cassie does look inside the gun case, though she doesn’t know it’s a gun case until she opens it. One of our team members found a very lovely gun case, with gun included, and exactly like the one we need. Unfortunately it was $7500, and that was just the starting bid.

I’m so thankful I have team members that are skilled artisans! We have the vision, the tools and the know how. One courageous gentleman offered to make the case and everything (but the Winchester carbine) that goes in it.

We’re making the costumes by hand. I have two fantastic costume designers who are slaving away. I may even cast them as extras for castle servants they do such a IMG_0084grand job (Just kidding Vicki and Alaina!) Seriously you know there is passion behind the project when people work so hard. And I have to admit, I see a lot of that passion here with WA filmmakers. Right now we’re all working toward getting a bill passed that will help the Indie Film Industry lunge forward. A much needed piece of legislation for a state where even vampires refuse to settle.

Granted there are some hiccups with our project’s process. A lot of them at this point, but nothing that a cold glass of water and holding one’s breath can’t cure, as long as we count to ten, right?

If you want to see our progress you are welcome to visit our Indiegogo campaign as I’m posting updates and pictures on that site. You can toss us a bone while you’re there too if pity compels you!

Hollywood says we can’t do this, but we will! It’s all in the details!.



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