Pilot Update

Mike loved the new draft of the script. And, truth be told, although there are still two scenes that irk me ever so slightly, I’m quite pleased with it as well. We’ve now established our official start-of-shooting date as September 8th, come hell or high water. There’s a lot left to do, but at least we know when the train’s leaving the station.

Last night I met with Mike, his brother and co-producer Robert, and an actor named Anthony, who has been cast in the role of the crotchety newspaper owner, John. Anthony said he was “very impressed” by the script, which was nice, as he’s the only cast member who has seen the latest draft. He was a nice guy; it was my first time meeting him.

The other major news is that the Canadian production company for whom we’re shooting the pilot has recently signed a co-production deal with Comedy Central in the States. Which means that, in theory, if the pilot goes to series, it could end up on the same network that brought you South Park, Dr. Katz, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Holy cow… no pressure, right? 🙂 (All three of those shows, incidentally, originated far from Los Angeles, just like ours.)

I met with our composer David Brodt this morning. He’s going to start writing the theme tune and incidental music based on the new draft of the script. We talked about tone and mood, and I sent him away with instructions to immerse himself in the work of Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks). He believes he’ll be able to finish the music before we shoot the first scene — strange. I’ve never had the music in hand *before* shooting a project, so this should prove interesting.

We held auditions today in a local warehouse. Several people came in to read for the handful of remaining roles, and the actors we saw blanketed the entire spectrum: we saw everything from experienced actors with dozens of plays, films and commercials under their belts, who arrived early and well-prepared, with resumes and headshots in tow… all the way down to the drunk, homeless-looking guy who blundered in, demanded to audition for the lead role, and then demonstrated a complete inability to read simple English. (We videotaped everyone, and I hope to put his audition up on YouTube. It’s exquisitely awful.)

We’ve decided to cast two of the folks we saw today, though we haven’t yet informed the actors; I’ll be doing that after I finish this message. Sadly, we still have four more roles to fill. The role of Karen, the bratty teenage girl, is proving the most troublesome. We saw several actresses today for the part, and although three of them were satisfactory, none of them *owned* the role. I think we’ll keep looking. We’re going to arrange a second round of auditions for later in the week.

And just to prove that you shouldn’t get too attached to your pre-casting character conceptions, we ended up casting a British actress in the role of Sandy, the fashion reporter. I had her read the scene twice, once with an American accent and once with her natural British intonation. Her lovely English voice got her the role, I think… it immediately gave Sandy a sense of sophistication very appropriate for her character, although it would never have occured to either Mike or myself to cast a Brit before she walked in the door. (However, we would *not* have cast her if she hadn’t been a great actress. Her performance reminded me a bit of Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada, although they look nothing alike.)

The other person we cast came in to read for the role of Harold. But we ended up casting him in the (smaller) role of Ronald, because we liked his unique look and felt it would be more appropriate for this bohemian/artsy character. The search for our Harold continues.

Sorry this week’s episode of Cinemaslave is late. I haven’t forgotten about it, but I’m tremendously busy just now.

-CSJ

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One response to “Pilot Update

  1. Wow, Joe. That sounds great.

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