A Secret Project

I got super lucky in January in terms of roles. I managed to worm my way into four short films, two as the lead, one bit part and one background. But apparently that wasn’t enough for me, because I wanted to make a short film.

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Pic: Aaron Babin

If you’ve been around very long, you may remember SIV, the first short film I directed and co-produced as part of Pippin Productions. Well Pippin Productions is done now, but I still want to create films, so I made my own production company, Foolish Fox Films, and we filmed the first short film, “Phone Call”, this past weekend (in association with L120 Films). I say “we” because obviously I did not do this myself.

First off, I had Ximena and Mark from L120 Films. I’ve known them for two years now and have worked with them twice where they co-directed me as an actress and once in one of the recent short films (Faded) with Ximena directing and Mark Assistant Directing. We work well together, and there’s a lot I can learn from them. They know their stuff, and know how to work on minimal budgets, too. For the short film, I had Ximena as my Assistant Director and Mark as my Director of Photography, and things would not have gone as smoothly or looked as good had I been without them. They’ll also be helping (a lot, probably) with post-production, which means Phone Call might actually get finished some day!

David and Aaron I met nearly two years ago through an acting gig. They’ve seen the worst of me and still stick around, so I figured they’d be less likely to walk out when I turn into Director-zilla on set. David did our lighting and it was on point! Like, great for filming as the sun goes down and also great for Instagram selfies. I’m glad he knew what he was doing even though I didn’t. Aaron was our Production Assistant and did Behind the Scenes for us. He did so great with Behind the Scenes, I’ve got through all of his pictures and footage and there’s so much to share thanks to him! I was hesitant about have a PA because it’s a small film with a small cast in a small room and I didn’t want to crowd it too much, but having Aaron was really great for everything from slating to dog-watching, to helping crew who needed it and moving furniture. No regrets with these guys.

Robert was our sound guy and I cannot stress how completely lucky we were to have him. First off, I met him at a YouTuber meet up at a local café where he mentioned he was a filmmaker specializing in sound, and that’s how he was recruited. He had better equipment than I did and knew how to use it, too. Not only was he an amazing sound recordist, he was knowledgeable about other aspects and was willing to help wherever he was needed, which I appreciated with our small crew. Overall, as with the others, I couldn’t have done it without him.

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Pic: Aaron Babin

Also, my dad took care of lunch for everyone both days and it cannot be understated how important food is for morale, especially when you can’t afford to pay people with actual money and you’re running two hours behind because you were trying to get a gimbal shot where a still shot on a tripod could have done just as well and maybe better the whole time. My dad also vacuumed my room for me while I was meal-prepping, which is nice, even though by the end of the two-day shoot the carpet was pretty messy again. Thanks Dad.

Last but not least are my cast. I met Leysan and Tyler through different acting classes. Tyler got the role through an audition process, and I had some trouble getting his self-tape open on my computer. I nearly gave up on it before it worked, and when I finally got to see it I was smiling so big because he was perfect for the character of Max. Leysan, on the other hand, approached me after our last class in the fall and said she wanted to make short films and needed someone with equipment, which I had. I ended up being the first of us to finish a script, and I wrote it with her in mind. So the role was made for her, and Phone Call itself because of her.

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Pic: Aaron Babin

Oh, and Foxy was in it. With the exception of one scene which was too long for her liking, Foxy hit all her marks, and was pretty happy being on set getting so many treats and pets.

Aside from the casting call I put out a while back, I haven’t really advertised Foolish Fox Films or Phone Call. So far, it’s just been my secret project, known only by those who worked on it or who are close to me.

But we’re done filming and will soon be moving into post-production, and hopefully it will get into a festival and be sent out into the world to be seen and judged by people who don’t know how hard it was to make, or how well everyone worked together, or how much fun we had doing it. They won’t know how Robert and I found each other in a coffee shop, or how I made Ximena my AD because of how she handled a particular day of filming two years ago, or how many times Foxy decided to get up from her mark in the middle of a take in order to get pets from off-screen crew members.

They’re just gonna see Phone Call. The rest of the project will still be a secret.

 

 

 

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