I haven’t spoken much about it, but my first big project of 2016 is a bit different than what I’ve done in previous years. Rather than producing one of my own films, I agreed to take the producer role on someone else’s film.
I’ve had a decent amount of producer experience leading up to this point. I’ve produced three different television shows, and I’ve produced the last 5 of my short films. This still feels a little different because it is someone else’s creative vision.
Similar to how I produced Lights as my senior project last year, Rooty is the senior project of one of my friends. Since it is a student film, it doesn’t have a set budget. It’s more of an out of pocket expense. I have never really worked on a film with a set “budget” unless you include my last two films which were made with the money I earned on a freelance job.
My role as a producer for Rooty has so far included input on various drafts of the script, as well as scheduling and supervising at shoots. Going further into the film, I’ll also offer input on the post production process. The biggest thing I need to remember is that despite having the producer role, the film is ultimately someone else’s school project so they need to be the one to make the biggest decisions.
That being said, principle photography for Rooty began last week on January 8th, 2016. We had scheduled a lighter day for production, and it’s a good thing that we did. Since it was the first day, things were a bit unorganized, so it took longer than would be expected. We also had to deal with winter weather which resulted in us having to take precautions with equipment and wait out some rain in our cars. Overall, we did accomplish everything that we set out to do during the shoot day, and I’m very glad about that.
There are definitely things we need to learn from that first shoot, and I’m hoping that we’ll bring those lessons into our next shoot, currently scheduled for January 15th. It’s a much heftier load scheduled for that day, and we’re still facing some Chicago winter weather issues. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to stay on schedule and be well prepared for this upcoming shoot day.
While I would definitely be doing things differently if it were my own film, it’s definitely a good experience for me to be working with someone who operates differently than how I do. I’ve grown comfortable working with the same crew of people over the years, but that’s not how the world works. Not only will this be a learning experience for the director of this film, but I hope to learn my own lessons as well.