by Michael D. Sellers

We’re now about 12 weeks out from the start of filming for MovieBank StudiosWay of the Dolphin and so I’m finding that my days are already starting earlier and going longer–no surprise there. Producer Susan Johnson has collected 794 resumes of crew applicants, which gives you an idea of how scarce work is for indie film-makers. When a little project like this one (albeit with a filming location of the Bahamas, after all) gets inundated with resumes from one CraigsList posting it really tells you something.

At this point we’re going through resumes and identifying potential crew members; huddling with writer Wendell Morris and working with him on the script revisions; having discussions with casting director Matt Lessall; emailing and phoning Cornelius McKinney, our UPM in the Bahamas, about everything from office space to banking to locations; emailing and phoning Veronica Cucurullo, the head of the dolphin program at UNEXSO, about our dolphin needs; doing research on the internet about the US Navy in the Bahamas (because that’s going to play a role in the story); guiding with graphic artists who are working on the key art which we need ASAP for corporate sponsorship pitches; developing a corporate sponsorship plan with our corporate promotions specialist Jack Scanlan; and last but not least (never least) — running after money so we can fuel this thing.

Next week I’m going to the Bahamas to spend about 5 days onsite working to get things set up and make sure the basic groundwork is in place there. One thing that I want to change is that last time, although I made a couple of advance trips, when it came to the actual filming itself I was only able to get there about 10 days before the shoot started because I was “stuck in the mud” back in Los Angeles working on money and other administrative issues (my “executive producer” hat, I guess), and this added a lot of stress to the system because the director really needs to be on the ground as early as possible in order to guide everybody else.

This time, I’m going to make sure that I have a fully “connected” office setup waiting for me there — excellent high speed internet, vonage phone, regular phone, the works – so that I can go ahead and work there like I do here, getting up early and multi-tasking through the day so that I can keep all the various balls in the air that need to be in the air. The thought process is that it’s really only during the actual four week shooting period itself that I will have to shut down my “multi-tasking” — because when you work 12-14 hour days on set and then need to go home, plan for tomorrow, then go back and do it all again, six days a week–it just doesn’t leave time for much multi-tasking. But that situation only applies during the actual filming, and perhaps the final week before filming starts. Prior to that, while it’s busy — it’s not so busy that I can’t keep up with the rest of my responsibilities as long as the communication setup is there.

So, with that in mind — this trip to the Bahamas will make certain that come April 23rd (the date I’m set to come back to the Bahamas ‘for the duration’), everything will be in readiness.

We’ll see if it works.

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