Preproduction –Entering the Bloody Knuckle Stage of Filmmaking Should I stay in Cali or should I go?


So we had our second cast meeting the other day and everything seemed to go well. Now the script is in yet another edit stage (because everything can always be improved and why the fuck not make those improvements!) and hard decisions have to be made so we can proceed and attempt to produce something amazing.   First hard decision is where the fuck we are going to shoot this. I am in Southern California and most people think Hollywood the film capital of the world where else would you shoot a movie? Well California is not the most accommodating place for small indie productions where you are trying to get every damn dollar you spend to show up as value on the screen. In fact having owned part of small businesses here in California for the past 15 years I can say the state has gotten increasingly more difficult to operate in over that time. There is of course the inherited issues that come with an area with such high costs then you have a highly litigious climate and of course throw on a host of regulations that in an effort to protect people from themselves go to far and actually stifle smaller operations and you got one fuck of a mud river to navigate. The problem with making a movie here is a lot of those costs which drain a limited budget are of no value because they do not improve what shows up on screen. So with that in mind I am weighing filming in Arizona as well. Originally I was going to film in the Phoenix area for two reasons: Psycho was set in Phoenix and it is the greatest movie ever, and I plan on moving out there at some point to semi retire, so it seemed like a natural fit. Checking with my cast everyone is open to heading that way so it is time to do some more due diligence and cost/value analysis and see what makes the most sense. Of course all this would be unnecessary in a perfect world but that is not the world we live in.   Another upcoming series of hard decisions is hiring crew. Fortunately it looks like a very talented actor/producer will be joining the production team so not only will she be a valuable asset in helping with the crew hiring process she will also be invaluable in helping work with our cast since she is a trained actor and for me working with actors can sometimes seem like herding cats. Bringing someone on with a fantastic skill set and attitude who really understands what I am trying to do and the message underneath the work will be such a benefit to everything we do. Formal crew interviews should begin in January so if you or anyone you know is looking for a crew gig (as mentioned either in Southern California or Phoenix Arizona area) feel free to send a resume to dan@abiproductions.com for consideration.   The next tough decision is the music and soundtrack. There are a lot of talented musicians out there and a number of different ways I could go so it is really a matter of finding the right people to work with and structuring the right deal that is mutually beneficial. One thing I really want to focus on is bringing in people who haven’t had their shot and giving them the opportunity to be part of something and attached to something with a much bigger marketing budget than most other projects they have been a part of. So with that said if you are an unsigned musician interesting in having your music in a feature film feel free to contact me at dan@abiproductions.com   So what does my life look like till the end of the year? Making another series of script edits, conferences with cast, reviewing potential crew members, making wardrobe & prop decisions, integrating my new production collaborator into the process, making music selections and structuring related deals and of course deciding where the fuck we are going to be shooting so if I seem a bit preoccupied or a tad bit frazzled well, come on what do you expect? I will leave you (whoever the hell is reading this) with a recent post I put on Twitter abiproductions1 that sums up my attitude and might explain why I stress so much. Oh and I took that picture in the background a few minutes away from my house, which is one thing I’d miss about California. Speaking of Twitter make sure you follow me we are working on a cool giveaway that we will announce on Twitter so stay tuned. aim for