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When I wrote 'Fool' it was in the wee hours of the morning, typical for my creative musings. I was trying to go to sleep. I do this by putting a long video on YouTube under my pillow and let it play out as my mind wanders. Typical. Then someone on the other side of my pillow said the word "Fool".
Instantly my brain said, "Hey, a real writer could take any word, like FOOL, and develop a story around it."
It was 2am and my mind raced full speed ahead. Around 3am I had the full story all planned out in my head and I gave up on sleeping. By 4am I had typed out a first draft.
And only then, was I able to sleep that night.
Time passed, and several drafts later it was ready enough to go into casting and pre-production. The script was ready, but were we?
The series of challenges we faced before and during production were just shy of 'Lost in La Mancha' and it wasn't lost on me. It's truly a testament to our cast, crew and the community that we were able to pull this off. When I watch this short film I see the backstory and the efforts of each individual on screen.
I see our first 1st AD, Keaton Slanksy, that got so incredibly sick 2 days before filming began that he had to reluctantly ask a friend, Marco Scaringi, to step in for him as our second 1st AD. And wow we got lucky. We couldn't have done this without both of these guys. When Keaton called me that fateful night with his decision I was on the road, and snow started to fall. It was dark and freezing and starting to get slick. That was the beginning of the worst snowstorm in Seattle's in recent history.
I also see our no-nonsense Wardrobe Supervisor, Madeleine Zoeller. It was her very first time on set in this capacity. She rose to the occasion and beyond. She was with me in the car when Keaton called. By the time we got back to her AirBnB it was impossible to drive on the roads, the car was slipping around and it was very dangerous.
I see Zubi Mohammed, our tireless Supervising Producer. Even with the snow storm, the city around us frozen in time, he plugged on full steam ahead. Nothing was going to stop him and his positive and mellow attitude meant the world to me in those moments.
The next morning we all woke up to a white winter wonderland. Roads were closed. Offices were closed. That meant we wouldn't be able to do the Grip and Camera pick-ups for THE NEXT DAY when filming was to begin. Marco pushed the call-time the following day to 1pm so that pickups could happen in the morning and we just- freakin-prayed that the roads would get salted and be safe by the next day to start filming.
By that evening enough roads were salted that Madeleine and I could go to the storage unit and pick up the wardrobe. Thank GOD. This was the night before we were starting filming and she was with me in a storage unit knee deep in clothes for the shoot, sorting and making fast decisions. Meanwhile, a tragedy was taking place.
On screen I see our Key MUA, Lauren Young, who had a tragic death in her family the night before we were going to start filming. I got the call around 8pm while at the storage unit with Madeleine. Amazingly, she found another wonderful MUA for us, Chelsea Burns, who filled in for the first day. AND THEN LAUREN STILL WORKED the rest of the shoot! Wow, again. Color me forever grateful.
Oh the stories do go on. Here's a few more and I'll let it lie.
That night, the night before camera's up, our lead actor, Weetus Cren, was flying to Seattle from LA. However, his flight was delayed several times due to the snowstorm. He ended up arriving around midnight, maybe later. Silver lining- we had pushed our call time to 1pm already for equipment pickups. He was grateful.
I see my dedicated DP, Seth Halleran. With the weather in mind, I listened to him and either cut all the outdoor scenes from the script entirely, or I moved them inside. And that's where Addi Forras comes in. Our too-good-to-be-true Locations Manager who found 10 locations and scheduled them all within a 5 day shoot, accommodating actor schedules and pulling a CHURCH location out of her hat at the last minute when we decided to NOT shoot the final scene in a graveyard. It was a miracle.
Oh and Rey Goyos, an incredible actor you'll see in the film, flew to Seattle from LA for a couple quick days a filming - and he had a newborn baby at the time! Why would he do that? He loved the script.
There are even more stories to tell and in my eyes they're all told in this short film. Each and every person on this shoot brought 110% to set each day and I don't know how to say THANK YOU adequately. It's not possible.
This film should NOT have been possible.
No matter where "Fool" ends up, I am infinitely proud of what we accomplished as a team. Filmmaking takes a village and this short film is proof.
(originally posted on LinkedIn July 14, 2017)