Lights: Difficult Decisions

Principle photography for Lights started this past Saturday, January 17, 2015. While I am happy to say that we’re now in production, I have a lot of things on my mind. While the cast and crew may be in production for Lights, I will be teetering between pre-production and post-production for the entire duration of principle photography.

I will go on to explain the situation and what this means for me during production here, since I’ll have to report this to my faculty advisors anyway. I might as well prepare something organized.

Once everyone arrived at the location on Saturday evening, I had to make a difficult decision. This was a decision that I had a feeling I was going to have to make at some point, but I was hoping I wouldn’t. This decision would practically put to waste the blood, sweat and tears of planning during my previous semester. I had to lose my main actor.

I do say that with a heavy heart because I feel that he would have been great in the role he had been cast, but our schedules just weren’t matching up. There isn’t much I can complain about. We’re all adults with responsibilities. He has things he has to do. I have things I have to do. When he’s acting on a volunteer basis for me, who am I to judge? It’s unfortunate, and I am disappointed, but I had to make the decision I made or else the film would have fallen severely behind schedule.

Now what was that decision? On top of having to demote my main actor, I decided to promote my secondary actress to the lead. Thankfully she was okay with that. I am forever grateful. Her availability is far more flexible to work with mine, so there’s always hope that we may even finish filming ahead of schedule or at least we won’t have to pack our days so full of shoots.

That’s the positives at least, but of course the many negatives are what continue to swirl through my mind. Since my secondary actress became my lead, I have to find someone to replace her. Unfortunately in the time I have available, I can’t find a new actress or actor to fill the role and become acquainted with the script. That would set me nearly a month behind schedule, and I can’t afford that.

Since I don’t have the luxury of finding a new actress to play the role, I need to step in, being the only person who has decent acting ability and is familiar enough with the script and is also in my vicinity. This is really rather unfortunate because I was very happy to not have to play a role in this film. One of my main struggles against submitting my work to film festivals is because I’m never keen to share my own performance or to see myself act. I was also looking forward to being entirely behind the scenes. That’s out the window now.

On top of that, since the film will now be looking at a friendship dynamic between two young women rather than a friendship dynamic between a young man and a young woman, I’ll have to go back through the script. I don’t think the dynamic should change too much, but I still need to go back through it to make sure the language sounds right. This takes me right back into pre-production which is not what I wanted at all.

I’ll be speaking with my faculty advisor about this progress/these changes this week. As for the details of the shoot itself, I’ll put that in a separate post in order to prevent this one from becoming too long.

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