Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Awe shucks I'm producing a movie

I must confess there is more than a little bit of "awe shucks" in my voice when I tell you that I'm producing a short film in a matter of weeks.

It's my first.

In some respects, producing "Dance Step of Death" is a major stretch. I've never worked in movies. But on the other hand, it's a role I've been unknowingly preparing myself for my entire life.

The movie "Dance Step of Death" is about three everyday white collar workers who, bored with their jobs, moonlight as the superhero team the "Adventure Patrol."  The team find their way into a fix after investigating an unexplained series of dog maulings.

Being a professional writer, it might strike you as odd when I confess I never was a creative writer as a kid. Not one poem, short-story, or play.

But that isn't to say I wasn't a creative thinker. As an adolescent, I was the game master (or story teller) when we played our (nerd alert) role-playing games i.e. Dungeon & Dragons. In high school, I pushed to do video project at every opportunity. And working at a summer camp allowed my to express my inner ham.

Having a better grasp of what I didn't want to do with my life, than what I do want to do; my college aspirations drifted from film, to television broadcasting to print journalism. I'm proud to say I've had a successful dozen year career as a print journalist at a major metropolitan newspaper. But I'm also proud to say I've go other itches to scratch.

I've been edging toward this point for a couple years now: Daring to think I might have something interesting to say or write outside of the newspaper framework. Two years, ago I took an abbreviated screen writing class at Access Sacramento. This spring, I took a class is short film production.

This summer, I produce my film.

It is humbling to have people willing to put their time and/or money into this project based on words I've put to paper. Producing is like pushing a boulder up hill in a rain storm. I'm glad others are joining in.

From what I can tell, so far, producing is about solving the fiscal, logistical and human resource problems to allow the director, actors and technical crew to make the story come alive.

Problem solving is something I've done. I find myself leaning on skills I honed as a young man first in student government in high school, later as editor of my college paper, and also through my years helping to run a Boy Scout camp.

With AK Long, a recent graduate from UC Davis, on board to produce, we've been collecting an impressive roster of crew members willing to work far harder than anyone can expect steak sandwiches.

The exercise, however, was largely theoretical until I saw the first draft of drawings of the Adventure Patrol "Righteous Hoodie," "Friar Chuck" and "Lady Lynx" costume. Oh "that's what they look like," I thought examining the artists work.

That, I expect, will be the first of many "gee wiz" moments I'll have along this magical ride. Next up casting: finding our three heroes that will turn the words on paper to three living breathing people with hopes, dreams and occasional constipation.

Please join us for the ride. Post comments on this blog. Like "Dance Step of Death" on facebook. Check out of www.indiegogo.com fundraising video, which we'll launch in a matter of days and join us for our Superheroes vs. Zombies party June 30 at Marilyn's. And above all see the movie.

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