Director's POV: NOWHERE JOHNNY Part One
I've never been too conventional as a person, a man, or especially a filmmaker. There was never a REAL pre-production for this film. It meshed with production. A lot of it is plan as we go and a lot of is pre-determined. So it's 50/50. Haha. That's my way of guerrilla filmmaking. Sure, there were meetings in mid-2011 with two of my actors Hai and Alex at various coffee shops in the Bay Area (one of which was Colonial Donuts). In those "meetings," not much really got done and we mainly hung out as friends. We rehearsed, though, but it didn't feel like it was moving. How they came onto Nowhere Johnny is that they had experience in acting in most of my short films, bizarre web series, and other projects not worth mentioning. So naturally, those two were gonna be a part of Nowhere Johnny because I've built rapport with them already. Plus, they fit the roles I intended for them.
The first finished draft of the Nowhere Johnny screenplay itself was finished on the day Inception opened: 7.16.10. Hilariously enough, it's the same date of a personal issue that left me somewhat meh too. During this time, I felt like I wasn't ready to make Nowhere Johnny (at the time, it was entitled "Johnny the Fighter" and that was kinda corny).
That personal setback that was meh was actually a blessing in disguise. Since I felt like I wasn't prepared for a legit feature, I made several short films that warmed me up correctly: Disconnected, She's Not There, Revival, and Happy Madness Love. They all coerced me to learn much, much more than I already did. Sure, it was almost a year off of Nowhere Johnny -- but it was worth it because I now felt like someone who could make a movie that could set my filmmaking career and my actors' career off into greater or better heights. It is after making those shorts -- I felt larger than life again. I've gotten wiser, though, and in feeling that way -- that's the me that should direct Nowhere Johnny.
After casting most of the characters, I didn't bide my time any further. I jumped straight into it. Sometimes it's a one-man crew with just me, other times it's two guys; me and my Production Assistant; and other times it's 3 or 4 guys on crew. It depends on the schedule, really. Since it is a micro-budget indie film, everyone's working pro-bono. I'd get them a pizza if they want, but they usually don't want it. Weird. I love pizza! The shoots took place in various parts of the Bay Area. San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, and the shoots are usually fun and smooth. Hardly any problems, other than time being a factor since sometimes some of us has work or school. As I shot more and more, I began to hire the rest of the actors -- see what I mean about pre-production kinda being blended in with production? These actors are all very capable in their own way. I can always expect an honest effort!
CHECK OUT THE NOWHERE JOHNNY TRAILER!
I've lost count on how many shoots we've done so far and I'm sure it's been over 20. It's been nearly 4 months of shooting almost every weekend or weekdays. Depending on when I'm free. Are we almost done? With shooting, yes. I'm, however, overwhelmed by editing at the moment in between shoots (and life). Man, I despise sound editing though. I am not a fan of sound technicalities. I like the visuals, but the sound in this movie needs a lot of work and I'm currently doing my best to stylize the sound. People won't forgive bad sounds.
In the next Director's POV blog, I'll cover the last bits of the shoot- which will take place at a boxing gym, Treasure Island, and other places in the Bay Area. Overall, what was the point of this blog? Well, I just wanted everyone to know how Nowhere Johnny came to be and briefly explain how things are at the moment.
Until next time, stay cool -- check out our Facebook page if you'd like:
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