Step 2- Planning
Step 3- Casting
The first draft of the script was completed in February of 2006, 5 months after the formation of White Hair Productions. The company was formed to allow two Indianapolis natives to realize their lifelong dream of making a film.
Kenny White wrote the script as something he never intended on being made, but more of an experiment on "How far can I test someone's sense of humor?" What he ended up writing was something that he fell in love with that included some of the greatest characters he had ever created.
The script went through four drafts before Kenny finally felt that it was finished. The script was then protected by the Writers Guild of America. A select few not involved in the project got to the opportunity to read the script and even then they first had to agree to a few terms: Be interested in a dialogue driven film, have no problems with vulgar language and have some interest in the story based on the synopsis.
Kenny White and Harry Masengale didn't want just anyone to be able to read the script, "We'd rather them go see the fucking movie."
So, the script was complete and the time came to figure out exactly what we planned on doing. We had an (unspoken) idea of when we wanted to shoot, which was eventually pushed back to when we could shoot. The timing was one of the biggest decisions. The date chosen was March 23rd 2007. The factors that went into this were knowing this would give us enough time to be as prepared as possible, enough time to complete the casting process and our desired number of rehearsals (or so we thought).
The first big issue we tackled was the budget. We decided not to have one and to get the equipment for free from an outside source. Really, how hard could it be to convince someone to give us $12,000.00 worth of equipment for two months? We had roughly a year before we were to begin shooting to secure the equipment, assemble the cast and put together the perfect crew. So we spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people.
We actually got a few different people interested in providing the equipment, but of course with that being the most costly part of the film it never worked out. We also asked for a lot of advice. That was a bit easier to obtain.
The thing we heard the most was, don’t make a feature, make a short. There were a lot of folks that wouldn’t even offer us advice due to the fact that we were making a feature length film. There were also a good number of nice supportive people ready to help in any way possible. During this time we made some great and talented friends.
Aside from the equipment, cast and crew we also had to secure a few locations. We expected this to be just as big of a nightmare as the equipment, but thankfully we were wrong. It took about 3 weeks worth of phone calls before we got our 2 main locations.
Randy’s Tobacco Shop (www.thetobaccoshop.com) &
The Bean Cup (www.thebeancup.com)
When time begin to grow short and anyone who had promised us equipment had bailed out one way or another we were forced to purchase it all ourselves.
The casting process was one of our favorite parts of pre- production. We decided to start with a few open casting calls. We didn’t get near the turn-out that we expected the first time and not quite the second either. We figured out to get a decent number of people it was best to schedule auditions and maybe leave an hour or so open for walk-in auditions.
It was pretty simple to locate a facility to hold auditions. We held our first casting call and a number of other auditions at The Alley Cat Lounge, but we did most of the casting process at The Murphy Art Center.
While fun, casting was also a huge headache. It went on for about six months. During that time we met dozens of really talented people that we hope to work with in the future. It seems that we met every talented actor in the state of Indiana. We kept videos of each audition for a future reference along with contact information to speed casting for future projects.
We started in August 2006 and things didn’t start coming together until around November. When we started making our final decisions we had to give the actors a date. We knew our timeframe and took a shot at how long it would take to complete casting and we decided to start production on March 23rd 2007.
Each person that we cast was honestly the perfect person for the role and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The only bad thing about having the “perfect cast” was that we were reaching our predefined deadline (2 months before production starts) and we were still missing 2 core cast members, one of which being the lead role. Thankfully things came together just at the right time. A couple of the smaller walk-on roles weren’t taken care of until a few weeks before we began shooting.
As said before while being a headache casting this film was a great experience. It is obvious when we watch the film that we made the right decisions.