Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It...

This’ll be the third year that Tohubohu Productions will be entering the competition, and I think we’ve really got it down to a science now. Oh, we’re far from ready to roll (especially since I’ve got to fly out to Monterey for a video shoot on Thursday), but things are starting to gel.

This time around, my wife Pam, of MotherReader fame, will be stepping in to produce as I take the directorial reins for the first time since last year’s “The Big Lie (That Solves Everything).” We’ve got a strong roster of support folks (both cast and crew), and I am really excited about what we’re going to be able to do. I had hoped to have another podcast episode (available now in regular or iTunes varieties) ready before the big event, but as I mentioned, I’m going to have to fly out to Monterey for a video shoot on the day before the event. On the other side of the friggin’ country. I’ll be shooting all day Thursday, then hopping on a redeye that night to make it back in time to do all of our last-minute prep for Friday’s big kick-off.

My thinking is that if I can just sleep on the plane (I figure three Scotches ought to do it), then my circadian rhythms will be all messed up and actually be completely in sync with the production schedule.

Our official premiere screening will be at the AFI Silver Theater on Friday, May 12, at 9:15 p.m. And sure enough, I may be stuck at a video shoot in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but I’m still doing everything in my power to get back in time (or make somebody else go on the shoot).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the contest... I’ll direct you over to the official site for the specifics; I don’t have time to explain it all (again) here. But as for this weekend’s schedule from our perspective, here’s the (basic) rundown.

The kickoff event is Friday evening, from 6:00 until 7:00. A representative or two from each team heads over to the Warehouse Theater, finalizes registration, and draws a film genre out of a hat (literally). Then the event producers draw a character, a prop and a line of dialogue for the entire group (they’ve got 100 teams in the competition this year). Then, at 7:00, we’re off.

Friday night is reserved for the writing and scheduling groups. The first time we did this, we thought that’d be a great excuse to have the whole team get together, but boy was that a mistake. Efficient scriptwriting dictates that we keep that group as small as possible. We write until the wee hours, then email everyone with the script (or at least a synopsis thereof) and Saturday’s call times (we plan to start the first-shot crew call at around 8:00 or so, with an eye towards shooting by 9:00... or, to be completely honest, closer to 10:00).

Saturday is our big shooting day. And it’s a loooong day. We’ll be based in the city, but depending on our shooting needs, we may be venturing out into suburbia. It’s basically a whole lot of sitting around and doing nothing punctuated by brief moments of frenetic activity.

Sunday may see a couple of pickup or second-unit shots, but for the most part, this day will be dedicated to editing, cleanup, and output. If we were... fortunate enough to draw the dreaded “musical,” then we'll likely be working up until the last possible minute recording music and cutting it into the picture. And then we dump the whole thing out to tape and race like mad across town back to the Warehouse Theater for the official dropoff. They usually have a little happy hour (attended by a bunch of people who look like the Red Bull-enhanced zombies that they are), and then it’s off to bed.

Sound simple? On paper, maybe.

We’re still looking for a sound mixer and an editing assistant, so on the off chance that anyone reading this knows a good candidate, let me know. Otherwise, let the countdown begin...