Prepare and Organize

All right. Let me start by assuring everyone that I’m not complaining. Whenever I write posts about how crazy we are for making a low-budget, large-ish scale web series in our spare time, I get a comment or two about how people hope I stick with it. No one needs to worry about that. We’ve come too far and told too much of the story to stop now. PoPS is going to get finished. I have cast assurances of dedication and a rough timeline of my endgame. I really want to finish telling this story. It’s not only because of the people who enjoy it, comment on it, and put their hard earned money into helping us make it. I want to finish it for myself. February ’09. That’s when we started laying PoPS down onto mini-dv tape. I’ve dropped 4 years and 8 months of my life into this story so far. Why would we stop when we’re so much closer to the end than we are to the beginning? Sometimes though, the bizarre circumstances of putting on an independent production are on my mind and I want to talk about them. Oftentimes, those thoughts sound a little like I’m bitching and moaning. But let me tell you, I save most of that for my lovely wife. I bet she loves that.

So, it always happens when we get close to production again. Especially when we’re starting with particularly packed shooting days. This weekend, for example, we’re going to attempt to get 18 pages in two 10-hour days, with a backup day scheduled for the following weekend. Yep. That’s just how we do sometimes.

I have a mantra that starts repeating in my head the nearer we get to really tight weekends. I’ll be making a sandwich for lunch or something and suddenly the images of us scrambling to make our days pops into my head along with the thought. “You realize that normal people don’t do this, right? They spend their weekends relaxing, or catching up on errands or chores. They read a book. They catch a movie. They ride their bikes.” It just seems counterintuitive to purposely invite a lot of stress into your life. My dayjob is very low stress. It’s great. Very frequently during production I get to work on Monday morning and think—Whew, back at work. I can finally relax. And get to work on my job. That’s the opposite of how it’s supposed to work. Right?

Here’s the good news. The more you work preparing for it, the less insurmountable it seems. Just thinking about 18 pages in 2 days and a backup seems crazy. But production just happens one set-up at a time. I’ve shot listed for this weekend, I’m currently typing up those shotlists and ordering them to work with the schedules of my talented cast. Once that’s done and the props are properly prop’ed, then we just put the camera in a place, our actors emote in front of it, we move the camera to another place, and do it again. One shot at a time until we get everything we need. If we don’t get it when it’s scheduled, we keep scheduling backup days until we do have it. Easy as that. All you can do is be as organized and prepared as possible and then hit the ground running. We’ve never really been a figure-it-out-as-you-go production. And I think that shows in the end result.

Our Indiegogo campaign is going really well, we’re over halfway to ouyr goal. We’ve been updating with videos every other day and here’s our latest campaign update about how we reached out to sponsors, and how it didn’t work out:

I’ve been thinking a lot about crowdfunding lately (obvo), and here’s a video I found where Zach Braff talks about his experience using Kickstarter to partially fund the feature Wish I Was Here that he just wrapped production on. I just think his comments on the crowdfunding phenomenon and his comments to his detractors are really interesting:

Zach Braff is super cool.

Thanks for reading, guys. Wish us luck this weekend.

–Jake

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3 Responses to “Prepare and Organize”

  1. Whoa I love Zach Braff. I would love to have donated to this, but as usual Swiss paypal accounts were just no good. But I have been thinking about this sort of thing a lot:

    I mean, I enjoy watching you do your thing so much, I imagine that there would have to be a lot more people that are just as excited as you about making their own stuff. I’ve seen so many good TV shows, how is it noone has ever thought of building a community like you do, or like the one Zach talks about? Do they just don’t need it, seen as their network sponsored or do they just not see the potential? Or are they really not as passionate about their jobs? Or just too focussed on them to care about this sort of thing?

    The perfect example of this, for me, is David Graham. I like his behind the scenes videos way more than the actual clips – don’t get me wrong those are amazing as well. But when you see him in action, running around doing his thing, that’s just the best.

    So I hope to see more of that in the future, maybe we’ll even get to see a day in the life of Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Bill Lawrence or the likes…

    But for now I’m really excited to get a glimps behind the scenes of PoPS Episode 8 😉

    Ps.: I’m not sure it’s socially acceptable to leave comments that long, but I had to get this out somewhere 😉 .

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