It isn’t often that my Month of Fun overlaps with business. That usually only happens at the Marche du Film in Cannes. Last week it happened three times in Los Angeles. One was the weekend event I’ve written about in the Sybpress blog Seeing the performances of Brenda’s incredible stories was a wonderful treat for someone who is a writer and a publisher. I count that as quite a treat.
Another happened earlier in the week and involved an audition. Those have seldom been any fun, let alone something I’d call a treat. However, this was both. We’re planning on shooting some short films as proofs of concept for funders and distributors interested in our features. We’re starting with the most developed of the small features, a romantic western called The Gunslinger. Here’s the short version from the Dragoncor Productions website.
The Gunslinger is the story of Shadow Smith – a wanted man who has been wrongfully accused of murder. He has had no end of confrontations over his ill-deserved reputation. While in New Mexico, he rides into a range war to confront a gunfighter who has been using his name. He can’t allow anymore killings associated with that name than he already has. Instead, of a would-be gunslinger, he discovers K.D. Delaney, a beautiful young woman posing as Shadow to fend off two factions that want her land. The real Shadow stays because he can neither resist the fight nor the woman. K.D. is strong despite being wracked with grief over her father’s recent death. And she gives him the first home he has known for a long time. If they survive the superior numbers and weapons against them, will they be able to prevent the law from hanging Shadow?
Because we wrote it, it is a twisted romance. There is a wild subplot involving the fictional Shadow Smith in some really awful dime novels and how KD has fantasized him into a character that no one could live up to. Thus we needed a tall, good looking man (I know, who doesn’t) that can really act and is willing to do the short for the tens of dollars we’ll be paying.
Travis did such a wonderful job with the audio excerpt of Rik on the website for A Soldier’s Choice, he was our first choice for Shadow. And he was willing to audition. Even with all he had going for him, he was not a shoe-in. I had a good feeling though. He asked some really good questions after reading the script and the short. So early one morning last week, I watched him become Shadow Smith before my eyes. Even though the KD he was ready with was Jon, not a lovely blond, he still bowled me over with his version of my sardonic and charming desperado. He was very charming, a little shy and very, very sexy. That was definitely a treat for the day. I can’t wait to shoot the short.
The third business related treat was a movie screening. Every event like that is, at its heart, about business. This was an advanced screening for Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End for the crew and some of the cast. My date was one of the actors in the film, Ho-Kwan Tse who played both, Hadras and a crewman from the Black Pearl. The screening was at the El Capitain Theater. I’ve always wanted to see the inside of that theater, but the ticket prices are really steep there. The film itself was a blast, and that’s all I can say without major spoilers. Seeing a film with crew is really different. They don’t react to scenes the way a regular audience does. They laugh at odd scenes because of some inside jokes, I assume. And they cheer folks like the stunt guys. It was a most interesting experience along with a great film. Thus this was a big week in the whole Month of Fun.
During all this excitement, I managed to fill notepads with the sequel for A Soldier’s Choice. I am distressing my boys, so that is distressing me. But there are some really hot scenes developing as well. I should have excerpt in the next week or two.