Monday, December 28, 2009

The Many Faces of Elizabeth

Today is our blended family's second "official" Christmas, so suddenly there's much ado about turkey and tinsel all over again. I have benefitted a bit from the practice I got from the first run though, so this morning - between the wrapping and the stuffing - I found myself the time and space to properly look at the audition tapes we've received so far on our Facebook fan page. And one word comes to mind: generosity.

Have the rest of you had a chance to see Julia, Melissa and Shelby's auditions on the fan page? Wow, girls - good work, all of you.  And let me say, each one of you clearly has the courage and determination that Elizabeth eventually discovers in herself - in spades! 

I know everyone else is in holiday mode as well this week, but I would encourage all of you to try and look at the work of these young women at some point over the next few days or so - they've all given a lot of thought and time to these tapes - and it shows.  

Once you've done that, then I would really like to hear from you - I'd like to know what kind of reactions you have to the scenes as interpreted so well and so differently by each of these young artists. Let me know what you think! Comment here or on the fan page or both - that way, I'll be sure to hear you above the din of the family mish-mash, who are even as I write this, starting to crowd around our valiant, but overworked Christmas tree. Better go run crowd control - meantime, happy continuing holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tiding House

For those of you who enjoyed my mom's blog entry last week, I'd just like to say she's flattered by the attention. And that she will consider contributing another entry or two in the future - from her next roost, Ajijic, Mexico.

In the meantime, you're stuck with me! Well, most of me - at least the me that remains after my titan (and ongoing) struggle with microscopic visitors that, unlike my mom, seem determined to overstay their welcome... 

And speaking of hospitality, we have been receiving some emails from Elizabeth auditioners saying that they were having trouble posting their self-tapes to our Facebook page.  Although one savvy candidate did manage to do it (way to go!), I think there may be some compatibility issues with certain computers...? Either way, we have received a couple directly to our email address so where there's a will, there's a way. For everyone who's already contacted us - thank you! We'll be in touch after the holidays. Meantime, check the fan page here.

Due to the interface complications (does it show I have limited computer literacy?) which some people may have experienced, we will be happy to extend the deadline and continue to receive your self-tapes over the holiday period either via email (info@palomarfilms) or directly posted to the Facebook Fan Page.  Just know that Theresapedia is enjoying a well-deserved vacation from today until January 4, 2010, so you can only expect to hear from her after that date. 

Someone who will be working over the holidays is our champion first Assistant Director, Francine Langlois - our newest and much needed, long-awaited member of the team.  She's got the fresh version of the script and will be labouring over it between now and New Year's to give us a real nuts and bolts picture of how much we're shooting, where, with whom and for how long - according to the words I've put on paper. Big thanks to her for the work that lies ahead.

Also reading this new version over the holidays is the actor - our as yet uncommitted but interested heart's desire - for the part of Marion...  Hope to have some concrete news for you early in the New Year!

As I sign off, let me wish every one of you a healthy and happy holiday with your loved ones. Thank you for being "out there" for me. I look forward to many more fruitful exchanges in 2010 - The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom Becomes a Movie!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Note from Home

Dear Faithful Blog Readers,

This is Tara's Mom - as I'm sure you can tell by the handwriting. 

I am writing this note to ask you to please excuse Tara from handing in her usual weekly assignment.  You see, she spent most of today in one of those walk-in clinics, where you actually do walk in, but then you wait for four and a half hours until the place has emptied out and someone finally calls your name. And then you go into the doctor's office and he doesn't even look up from his other patients' charts at you when you come in all hungry and dehydrated from your morning in the waiting room. And then when you describe the problem that's concerning you to the point you're willing to waste an entire half a day just waiting around NOT writing your blog OR your script rewrite which is due on Wednesday,  he doesn't even bother to stand up and come around to the other side of the desk to take a proper look at you. 

Instead, he sits there and types something in his computer and swings the monitor around to show you what you've got - on WIKIPEDIA! Gee, you think, if you'd only gone to medical school for seven years, maybe you would have been able to figure out how to do a Google search and become a doctor too! And then when you ask if he would mind taking your blood pressure on an unrelated, but equally bothersome matter, he smiles and says you can use the machine in the pharmacy while you're waiting to have your prescription filled.

So, in light of this eventful morning, I hope you will go easy on Tara just for this week. Also, she's coming to pick me up at the airport in an hour and I don't want her to be late (or god forbid, get in an accident because she's rushing)!

Thank you very much for your understanding,


Tara's mom (really!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

This One Goes Out to Agnes...

...and all the other fine folks at the Shaw Rocket Fund who read our script, considered our project and as of last Friday committed to come on board this crazy train!

This amazing financing news could not have come at a better time. With our scheduled shooting date looming ever closer and us still missing almost half a million dollars from our target (albeit bare-bones) budget, we were facing the very real possibility of me having to rewrite the script yet again - but this time in order to cut characters and whole chunks of story that we would simply not have been able to afford to shoot. 

So, I am not overselling our genuine joy and relief when the good news came... And it came, as these things seem wont to do in our project, at an especially banal and yet incredibly serendipitous moment...

Barbara and I had long-ago scheduled a meeting for that afternoon with a gentleman whose house we would very much like to shoot in (as the Gray family's home) here in Montreal. While we waited for Gentleman Tom to arrive at the little café, Barbara told me she'd asked Theresapedia NOT to text or call during lunch if BAD news came in from Shaw. Barbara said she left express instructions that Theresapedia was only to CALL Barbara's cell if GOOD news came in.  

I tried my best to put this out of my mind altogether. I hate waiting for the phone to ring.

So, Gentleman Tom arrived and we three started having a convivial meeting with Barbara doing much of the talking - G.T. having professed to being curious as to what an independent film producer actually does. 

So, we ordered and ate and turned around several of the many aspects that make up a producer's job description... and as Barbara was detailing the process of raising production money, she mentioned where we were at in our film's budget: "As a matter of fact..." (okay and here I confess I was already hearing bells - but I told myself to chill, that was NOT Barbara's cell phone ringing) "... as a matter of fact", she continued, "we're still trying to raise money to complete ..." (seriously, that ringing sound's coming from inside her bag right beside my feet) "...our target budget, and actually, we're waiting today for an answer from the Shaw Rocket Fu - Is that - ?" (oh God) "- that's my phone!" 

Barbara interrupts herself to dive into her bag to get to the phone before it stops ringing and I'm left, frozen-smiling across the table at Gentleman Tom, telling the butterflies in my stomach not to get their hopes up. Just because Barbara's phone's ringing RIGHT at the moment she's talking about getting an answer from the Shaw people in no way means that it IS - 

But Barbara's frantically waving her hand up and down, yelling into the phone for Theresapedia to stop screaming, she can't understand her... nonetheless the message soon became loud and clear to the entire café... WE GOT IT!!! They said yes! The Fund's president, Ms. Agnes Augustin herself called the office to say they love the project and to give us the good news. The Godsend. 

Amidst some tears and a lot of goosebumps, we eventually learned that we have been granted the amount we asked for, the maximum allocated by the Fund.  So in that glorious Friday afternoon, the amount we have been missing to make this film was suddenly cut in half! There are, of course, reader's notes to look at and address in the next rewrite, but the bottom line is that with the generous investment from the Shaw Rocket Fund, we no longer have to cut people or story from our little film - and we are one whole giant step closer to our final destination!