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The Shadow & Act Filmmaker Diary Series (w/ Matthew Cherry) Episode 5: "ATTACHING TALENT"

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 10, 2011 5:11 AM
10 Comments
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Continuing on with the series. I don't think any introduction is necessary at this point, so I'll just let you dive in. But if you're just joining us, click HERE to go back to the beginning, find out what this is all about, and catch up!

Here's entry number 5:

ATTACHING TALENT

I spent all weekend editing the Kindred The Family Soul "Magic Happen" music video I shot last Friday. It is by far my best work. The 30 ft techno crane we used really added a lot of production value to the shoot. Now all I have to do is get the video colored and do some beauty work to it and it will be good to go. We shot the video on Canon 5Ds and 7Ds and the footage looked so good that I decided that I was going to shoot my film on them as well. I have shot 8 different projects so far this year, with all but one being shot on the Canon 7D (the other shoot was on a RED), so I feel comfortable with that camera and what it takes to make the footage look good, so it's done. "The Last Fall" will be shot on the Canon 5D and 7D cameras.

Monday I reached out to the guy who I want to play my lead actor and asked him if he wanted to start working out together to start preparing for the role. He is already in pretty good shape but I want there to be believed as a football player. Also I haven't worked out in a little over a year and so it would be good to have some motivation to get back into working out as well. Surprisingly he hit me back and said he was down. I joined a gym in Hollywood and on Monday June 6th, and we started training together with a personal trainer, Taylor Reed. He also told me that his agent was finally going to read the script and that he told them that my project was a passion project and that he really wanted to do it so we'll see how it all works out. My only concern is that his agency will try to block it. At the end of the day his agency works for him so if he really wants to do it then he will. The fact that he is working out with me before we have the deal finalized says a lot in itself.

Monday myself and my two producers Scott Hebert and Nikki Love had a production meeting. We discussed a little bit of everything but the main things were the budget and locations. Our budget fluctuated so much, ranging from as low as 16K to as high as 200K and we just really needed to lock a number down and go with it. We decided to stay at 50K for the time being but to really try to push our investors to go as higher. We have some meetings set up and basically it's put up or shut up time. We gave them till this Friday to make a decision. With our budget being as low as it is we have to get some major love on our locations. We all agreed to think of spots in both LA and Chicago that we could film in for free and to meet again on Wednesday to reveal our findings so that we could start locking locations down as well. We set a deadline for two Monday's from now to have all of our locations locked in.

On Wednesday I made one of the most major decisions of my filmmaking career. It's crazy how everything works out sometimes timing wise. With my mother passing away suddenly a few weeks back she put me in a position of financial empowerment due to the circumstances at her job. Luckily she had life insurance and she named myself and my sister on the policy as benefactors. Without going into too much details I am now in a position to where if I wanted to fund my entire movie myself that I can and today I decided that I was going to put my money where my mouth was. I told my producers to up our budget and that I would put up the rest of the money up to make it work myself. However that meant that we were going to have to go back to our initial investors and rework our deal. With the caliber of talent that I want to work with on this project my initial budget idea was no longer feasible and I wanted to be able to work comfortably.

I also talked to our potential leading guy's manager on Wednesday giving him some bullet points on the project. His agent and manager both seemed really surprised that we had our funding together and a concrete start date, July 11th. He asked me if I had an agent or manager myself, and I told him no I do not. Guess I haven't made it onto anyones radar yet. That's fine, I'm not worried about it. Who needs an agent to take 15% of something you created without them anyway.

On Thursday we had the conversation with our investor about the updated budget situation and surprisingly that seemed to make them even more excited about the project. They decided to match what I was bringing to the table and this upped our budget significantly. My mother always told me, "Why should someone invest in you if you are not willing to invest in yourself" and today I found out the true meaning of this quote. This gives us some wiggle room to move around with but not much. Most importantly this allows us to shoot in both LA and Chicago and fly some crew out.

I also got the go ahead from our leading guys agent and manager to send them a "better" offer for this actor we want to cast.t. Me and my team decided what we were willing to offer and without going into too much detail we had our entertainment lawyer start drafting up the paperwork so that we could send it out Friday morning. So far I have worked out with our potential leading guy everyday this week but one, so we have been able to have candid conversations about the project in person. On Thursday I stressed to him that we were sending the update deal out on Friday and to push his reps to close quickly so that we can announce his involvement hopefully by this upcoming Monday. Our audition process really starts to get going next week so that will only help and besides it's not like we can offer the world anyway. I want to put the money on the screen where it counts.

Today, Friday morning my producing partner Scott Hebert went and incorporated "The Last Fall" as an LLC. We also are getting a poster designed and are starting to design our website. We're crewing up and locking stuff down. I'm getting excited, we are 5 weeks away from shooting now. This weekend I am really going to get started on my script analysis and will work even harder with my leading guy to get him ready for the role. I hope to have a press release about our film hit the trades next week. God willing I'll see you guys next week.

-Matthew A. Cherry
Transparent Filmworks
"You can't reach for a dream and remain safely medicore at the same time. Dream Big!"

Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/MatthewACherry
Follow the film twitter http://twitter.com/TheLastFallFilm
Add us on Facebook http://facebook.com/thelastfallmovie

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10 Comments

  • Wendi | June 12, 2011 2:37 AMReply

    Matthew,
    Loving this blog and you taking us through the process of how you are making things happen. Because you are doing what you were put on this earth to do I know that you will touch the lives of many and bring the world a new, fresh, positive perspective about African American life.(which we need!) sending you much light and love as you continue on your journey of greatness.

  • EncouragedOne | June 12, 2011 2:17 AMReply

    Been following you and your work for a while, and this project - if anything like your past works - will be a success. I admire your focus and willingness to share and engage people in your passion.

    You're a true "MovieMentor" - sharing your director and creative processes helps those who aspire, to see the way and possibly encourages someone to consider the art.

    Keep Shining - We Need the light. @encouragedone.

  • Megsmeew | June 11, 2011 12:36 PMReply

    Very inspiring! I'm rooting for you, Matthew! Looking forward to your next post!

  • Monica | June 11, 2011 10:46 AMReply

    Really enjoyed your posts and your sharing the journey. It's inspirational to us other writers to get off our butt and do it...it CAN be done. Congrats and good luck with the project. Can't wait to hear what talent you attach.

  • Skye | June 11, 2011 8:58 AMReply

    I started following you about a month ago because I saw u was a film maker and im an inspiring actress. After reading this blog and your previous ones you are a very intelligent and positive man, that take pride in his craft. After everything with your mom you could have used it as an, excuse to give up but you didn't, you kept your faith strong. For that gods blessing you in many ways than one. looking forward to the new project and meeting you in the future. GOD BLESS

  • Carlos Demond Davis | June 11, 2011 8:37 AMReply

    Hey MC

    I cant stress it enough how much I enjoy seeing your journey from beginning to the end. I am always rooting for you and a Great successful project so every time you have good news Im excited right along with you. I haven't met you in person but just reading your journey is so inspiring So just keep pushing and Im sure the success will follow


    Carlos

  • Mofo Chronicles | June 11, 2011 8:31 AMReply

    Im loving this..its like an inside look at what really goes on.. I cant wait to see the end result. Break a Leg!

  • Joe Doughrity | June 10, 2011 10:16 AMReply

    Insightful and familiar. Good luck on your feature journey Matthew!

  • Cynthia | June 10, 2011 7:48 AMReply

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I'm excited and happy for you!

  • Jarika | June 10, 2011 6:00 AMReply

    Congratulations! It sounds like everything is going great!

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