Breaking Story

On Saturday I had a meeting with Myles Miner and Ryan Hill to start some more focused development on the Safe House web series (see the Projects page).

We had already shot most of episode 01, and production went well, but we needed to come up with a cohesive story for the six episodes we plan to shoot this fall. Here are some reasons this is important:

  1. Shot lists are good. Since I’m also the AD for this project, I need to know how much we have to shoot every day so I can actually get everything done on schedule. This doesn’t work when you just waltz into each shoot day without a clear idea how many shots you have to get and how difficult they are.

  2. Pre-production is better when you only do it once. The script for episode 01 changed several times right before we shot it, so that much of the pre-production work had to be done multiple times. When you’re shooting on a tight schedule with no budget and limited access to talent, you can only get away with this for so long.

  3. The best stories are ones you don’t make up as you go along. After we shot episode 01 it turned out that it was really episode 02. This is fine, as we were able to outline the other episodes to fit around it, but you can imagine the kind of wreck the story would be if we did this sort of thing every time.

The meeting went very well, and I really like the story outline we have now. Myles is going to go off and write it, and I’m sure it will evolve and grow as he does, but it was a great start that gives some structure to our planning.

We also talked through some issues of tone, style and character, which helped Ryan get a feel for exactly what he was getting himself into. Since he’s relatively new to acting, I think starting to take ownership in this meeting will build some confidence in his own ability to pull this off.

On a more “meta”, career-oriented note, I continue to learn about all the different ways making movies (or web series) is awesome.