Day 13 – 15

IMG_0680Young actors. They can bring a lot of headaches. They also bring a refreshed energy and a drive to make a great film because they don’t know what can go wrong. They just know we’re making this “thing” and it’s gonna be badass.

IMG_0743We shot a hectic schedule this go around. 3 cities in 3 days with actors ranging from 14 – 39. The stuff with the kids sets up the emotional weight for the piece and sometimes, honestly, it was hard to watch. Credit to the actors. David Harrod Jr excelled at the bi-polar, oft not present father ‘Jack.’ Props to Twitchy vet Sarah England and newcomers Taylor Luke, Sydne Clark, Emory and Janelle Stephens from providing some comic relief the whole weekend.  Doing the shoot was weird.  Sarah is the only one who had appeared in a Twitchy film before.

IMG_0663I loved the ensemble and it was anchored by two actors I can’t say enough about. Reece Ryan and Leslie Solcher had to breathe life into the kind of romance that was young and fresh, yet felt like two people destined to be together without playing it too sweet. Watching these two actors was a breath of fresh air. So natural together. You feel for Reece’s angst and Leslie is so natural as the girl every guy wants to date. Both of them have a future in film.

So we’re in the home stretch. Just 4 days of principal photography left. The end of a film is always a bit depressing to me and I’m already missing this one.

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Day 11,12

IMG_0535As we move toward the end of production on the film, it’s been a very weird project for us. For the first time, we’re doing a story that spans various points of the same character’s life times. On any given day we’ll have the same character played by three different actors.  It’s been a trip. But also kind of weird in the sense that the principles are almost wrapped – yet we still have just under 1/2 of the movie to shoot.

 

 

It’s been a fun experience to see the crew experience the movie. So much of what we’ve shot so far has seen the characters

IMG_0545dealing with the loss of relationships years old. Now we’re seeing how those relationships started and, ultimately, where they met with hard times. It’s a gamble for the production and the script to be sure. One mistake in the casting, one actor not quite up to speed and the film is in trouble.

 

 

IMG_0563On Saturday we shot a fun scene with the kids playing a rousing game of GI Joe in the IMG_0551backyard. I took the scene right from my childhood. My buddy and I used to recreate epic battles in our backyards and bedrooms trying to bring real characters to life in the guise of our plastic paramilitary action figures. For the cast, we got to shoot with the wonderful Shelby Surdam. We also used some of my former St. Austin students for some of the younger versions of the actors. It was also the wonderful Allison Gregory’s day to shoot some scenes with Reece Ryan, Taylor Luke and Sarah England. Something about young people on set that adds so new energy to the whole crew.
IMG_0581The next day we had an early run out to Sabinal, Texas. The good folks at the Sabinal PD IMG_0590
opened up their offices for a few scenes.  Not going into much of them, but they were pulled from a past reality and really hit home. Thanks to to Reece, David Harrod Jr and Angela Tropea for doing a great job.  And again, thank you to the Sabinal PD for being so helpful.

 

IMG_0593We had some more small stuff to pick up in Sabinal before shooting the “end” of the movie. There was, at one time, a 50% chance of rain. And we were banking on it. We loved the idea of our big moment to occur in a torrential downpour.  So we set up.  And we waited.  And we waited.  And we were sweating through our clothes. Nothing. So we pivoted. Thanks to the good folks at Rustic Charms for helping us out last minute.

 

So what’s left? 6 more days.

But the cool thing?  I’ve been editing as we go.  And we’re not far from a rough cut.

Day 10

IMG_0586This week was lighter for the production…just one day. Indie schedules can be weird like that since we can’t always afford to just shoot for 3 weeks and wrap the whole production. The schedule is allowing us to cut the film as we go, however, which is providing a lot of flexibility.

 

So, since schedules were weird and we knew we’d have just one long day, we put two of our most emotional scenes

IMG_0590on them. Both actors, Derek Babb and Rob Novak, did a great job. This film is all about the personal. it’s not about high concept plotting. So if the actors miss, then the film misses. I’m happy to say that they both did a fantastic job. Derek also had a scene by himself that really blew me away.  It’s the emotional “bottom” of his character arc and he really showed why he’s one of the best actor’s I’ve ever worked with.  A normally fun, jovial set was struck silent while this artists did his work. It was a joy to behold.

We also got to welcome Owen O’Toole to our set. He did a great job!  It’s always fun to see how the set reacts to the presence of a younger actor. Matt and Cyndi have been great supporters of ours!  And of course, Twitchy is always about family. So I was tickled to have Mark McCarver, who’s given some amazing performances throughout our time and of course, the lovely Jennifer Nicole on set on Sunday.

So, now we move int the next phase of the production. Most of the adult leads are near wrapped.  We’ll see how the younger versions of these characters do! So far, we’re really excited about where it’s going!

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DVille Day 7-9: Sabinal Bound

IMG_0312Well, we shot our first sequences in Sabinal, Texas.  We can’t thank the people of Sabinal enough for opening their town and their homes to us. We want the movie to feel like it takes place in a REAL small town. And it does. These guys have just been so accepting to the film and the company. It’s why Texas is a great place to be an indie filmmaker. All I can do is hope that we measure up!

 

Also very cool to have our favorite Torontonian back in Texas. Mike flew in to cover theIMG_0384 role of PAUL for us.  He was nervous/excited and the verdict is in…he did a great job.  Also excited to have had Nick Lortisch and Vicky Illk join the team. Nick is the talented filmmaker behind BORN AND RAISED. He came down here on his own volition and really brought a great presence to the set.  Vicky is one of my favorite actors to have joined our merry little band in a long time. Can’t wait to a long career with her.

 

 

IMG_0306Friday night we gathered in Sabinal to shoot at Sabinal High School and at the street dance. Of course, nothing is easy in indie film. We dealt with a flat tire that included a wrecker driver who sold his tools for Meth. Seriously guys. He showed up with his wrecker an hour late. Then didn’t have the tools to help with the situation. I tried to be Zen about it.  I really did. Emily started to direct the scene until I arrived an hour late. Can’t say enough about Emily. I have nothing but respect for someone who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.  That’s what it’s all about in my opinion…you have to bite off more than you can chew some times. Only then will you grow. This chick is undaunted.

 

IMG_0323We finally got rolling and got some great stuff. I was very impressed with our Sabinal IMG_0320crew. Tiffany, Marina, Dylan, Joshua, all worked their rear ends off and really jumped in. You can’t help but be inspired by young film students learning their craft and being reminded of why WE’RE doing this in the first place. Also have to shout out to the Krings. They come through for us at every turn. This time was no different. They kept us fed and…well…hydrated through the night. Shooting at the street dance had its challenges. But with those challenges came some great shots. Thanks to Javier Flores and the Sabinal Chamber of Commerce for being so flexible. Their help is adding thousands of dollars of production value.

IMG_0343We followed up with a great day at the football stadium. Something about being on a field in aIMG_0346 small Texas town just felt….right. Old age really slammed me in the face.  I’ve got anywhere from 5-6 really good throws in me at any given time. Then I’m done. We finished the day shooting at a VERY cool Rodeo arena. This movie and the locations lend themselves to a lot of wide shots. And the rusted arena with the blue Texas sky in the background just pops.

 

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We drove the 2 1/2 hours back to Austin where we unpacked then went to see Texas Renegade at Cheatham street. Cinematographer Chris Copple shot some of the cast just hanging  out.  Great footage.  We’ll see how it cuts in.

We wrapped Mike the next day. He went out of his comfort zone for this part and he trusted me.  And it came through. There is a pain that comes through his performance thats not in the script that makes this thing richer.  So now he’s wrapped and were cutting his scenes already. Everything is coming together.  And last, a thanks to my wife, who, with an hours notice, prepared food for 12 hungry filmmakers and entertained us watching the movie Jaws…

It’s what Twitchy Dolphin Flix is all about.  #Family #Film.  And an epic Texas sky.

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D Ville Day 3 – 6

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We scattered the shoot for this feature out over a longer length of time for this movie for a couple of reasons.  Chief among them was the ability to edit the film as we go, working to make sure we exactly what we want and shape the story as needed.  So this weekend was the longest stretch we have in regards to consecutive days.  It was exhausting, touching, intense…and a blast.

IMG_0167We opened at the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos.  We can’t thank the good folks over there enough.  We ended up shooting 8 pages there.  The crew rocked. IMG_0163
Well oiled machine.  I can’t say enough about some of the newer folks who have joined our merry band of filmmakers.  The day featured a lot of actors that we hadn’t worked with in years!  Funny Books vet Anjelica Hymel made the trip in, along with Orion Gallagher who returned to our set. We also had Abram’s vet Madison Weber back. It’s been too long yellow dress. We also have Hannah Borel make her debut for us. Can’t wait to see her on the Sorority Slumberparty set. But the featured actor today was Twitchy pal Marc Wasserman in from LA. He did an amazing job. Great night.  And a little dab will do ya.     IMG_0184

The next day felt like…well a boxing match.  Allison Wood kicked us off with such a touching, heartfelt eulogy moment that had the rest of her cast mates in tears. It’s such a humbling experience to see

IMG_0211that happen based on words you wrote. Then we went to our next location. This movie has a lot of emotion in it, depending on the dynamics of an estranged father/son relationship. So while not spoiling the scene, I will say…it was an amazing example of how two incredibly talented actors can feed off one another to make some magic happen.  They were exhausted afterward.

And then a little girl showed up…had one line…yea…IMG_0225

Shooting out of continuity is always weird for the actors and the crew. We followed it up for the next two days with the scenes leading up to our big moment. It was an interesting challenge for the actors to find the place BEFORE the emotional explosion they experienced.  So, a great weekend.  And of course…now…Wass is in town.  So we ALL know what that means…right?

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So now we’re 6 days in. 30% of the shoot is already behind us. Next week we head to Sabinal, Texas for our first two days out there…

 

D Ville Day 1-2

IMG_0021Well, its always weird to get started after some time off. With our pace slowing down, it’s actually been more than a year since we’ve been on set for a feature film.  For us, that’s a long time.  Nathan Bybee looked at me and one point and asked me if it was good to be back…

We had an interesting night to use to kick start our movie.  Working with two actors that wereIMG_0011 both under 6 years old will make even the most mundane evening eventful. You have to be on your toes and working fast or you’ll lose their attentions quick, fast and in a hurry. It’s such an interesting challenge trying to coax the right reactions out of the kids.  I think we
accomplished the goal and the shots do look great, but it did make for a more frantic shoot as we tried to get all we could in the time the kids would allow us to shoot.  And of course, we didn’t REALLY know how long that was.  At one point, Easton declared that he was “over making this movie.”  But the kids held firm and we got what we needed to finish day 1.

IMG_0031Day 2 was a much more typical day for us, but no less exciting. As we’ve been on the film fest circuit, we’ve encountered lots of personalities from around the world.  Some I just want to work with! And Marcie Price Jackson is one of those! We’ve been kindred spirits since we met IMG_0023
at a fest in Cleveland two years ago and I love everything about her…her talent, her energy.  It just feels very…Twitchy.  So we found a role that she could do in a day and she came down from Oklahoma to do it. Now, it’s not an EASY part.  And its very important for setting the tone of the entire film. We needed a couple at the end of their run, their marriage collapsed. It needed to feel sad, vulnerable and defeated, not angry.  Derek Babb and she nailed it.  it’s a very raw moment that will really set Chris (Derek Babb) on his course.

So, Nathan.  The answer…yes.  I missed it and I’m glad to be back on a film set.

And I’m excited to welcome new comers Emily, Josh and Sofie!

We ended the night at the Salt Lick. Which needs no further explanation as to the degrees of the awesomeness involved there.

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Open Letter To Sabinal, TX

Dear People of Sabinal, TX:

Diss Tracks poster copysWe at Twitchy Dolphin Flix want to start by thanking you for opening your city and your homes to our movie. We’ve been scouting the city for a few months and think it is the perfect backdrop to tell our story.  We’re excited to feature your town, business and shine a great light on the city.  We’ll even need some extras if you want to get your 15 minutes of fame!  We’ll also be looking for PAs that want to learn about the biz!

In regards to our impact on your daily life, we’re gonna try to have it be as minimal as possible.  No big trucks or Hollywood stars throwing their weight around.  We are a Texas operation and are going to do our best to blend in and not be a nuisance!!!  We are a friendly group and are looking forward to just being around!

So again, we say thank you! We can’t wait to get started!!!

Twitchy Dolphin Flix

Audition Notice:

TWITCHY DOLPHIN CASTS DISASSOCIATIONVILLE

Twitchy Dolphin is casting their new independent feature film DisAssociationVille.  

Seeking several characters:

TOM:  mid 20s, former athlete, now living in the glory days, despite his rounder mid section.

CHRIS:  17/18 high school student living in an emotionally abusive home.

PAUL:   17/18  Chris best friend.

SUE:    17/18  Chris female best friend

Other roles will be filled from these auditions.

Roles are deferred pay only.

Texas actors only.

Please send HS and resume to

dville_producers@twitchydolphin.com