Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kevin Alexander Boon on "Ghosting”

What was your filmmaking background before making Ghosting?

KEVIN: Ghosting is my second feature film. The first was Two Days Back, which premiered in 2011.

Both Two Days Back and Ghosting were the result of the Mont Alto Film Project (MAFP), a two-year practicum in filmmaking originating on the Penn State Mont Alto campus where I am a professor. The goal of both projects was to produce legitimate, micro-budget independent feature films. The MAFP provided students with hands-on experience working on most aspects of film production, but the goal was never to produce student films.

Legitimate filmmaking demands that you set the film as the standard upon which you base all decisions. You do what is good for the film, and that is not necessarily what may seem fair and equitable to all people. The people involved who had the best ideas saw those ideas implemented. The people who were dedicated and hardworking and ready to make sacrifices for the final product excelled.

Where did the idea come from and how was the writing shared among the five listed writers on the project? 

KEVIN: The MAFP begins with four months of discussion about micro-budget filmmaking, narrative, story arcs, how screenplays are structured, and so on. Early on, we begin to toss ideas around. Questions of genre, character, and so forth are put forward, discussed, and either embraced or rejected.

Some students bring very strong ideas to the table. Some barely talk. But the nature of the project allows each person the opportunity to contribute as much as s/he is capable of, always without sacrificing the quality of the script. If all goes well, we end up with a complete beat sheet (usually laid out in Excel).

For Two Days Back, we had outline all beats in the film as a group. For Ghosting, we had everything but the finale outlined. Then students who are interested in writing have the opportunity to draft several sequences from the beat sheet. After the semester ends, over Christmas break, I read through what the students have written, keep what works, change what doesn’t, and write a working script, which we all review at the beginning of the next semester.  Every student who stays with the project and contributes to the discussions gets a story credit and every student who tried their hand at writing sequences gets a writing credit.


Can you talk about how you raised your budget and your financial plan for recouping your costs?

KEVIN: Penn State provided about $15,000 for the Mont Alto Film Project courses. This was the basis of our budget and went a long way toward making the film possible. It wasn’t enough to do everything we needed to do to make the film professional, but it was a good start. I pay for everything beyond that out of my own pocket. My out-of-pocket amount went up quite a bit on Ghosting because, having learned from our mistakes on Two Days Back, I realized that we could up the game quite a bit with Ghosting. 

The overall plan was different. We used outside professionals in key positions like director of photography and photographic design. Many of these had links to Penn State – like our DP, who was a graduate of the film program and who was working in a professional capacity when we began the project – but the idea was to have the students involved working side by side with more experienced filmmakers. Because this greatly improved our chances of making a quality, entertaining film, I was willing to invest substantially more of my own money into Ghosting.

As far as recouping my costs…well, wouldn’t that be nice. The reality is, if you’re making these extreme micro-budget films, the chance that you’ll make any money is negligible, and you’d be crazy to count on that. So I don’t. If I don’t get my money back, I am okay with that. My goal was to make a professional, entertaining film – one that audiences will enjoy. That is my reward.

Let’s face it, if you set out to be a filmmaker working on a shoestring and expect money to rain down at the end of all your efforts, you probably should find a different avocation. If I get back enough to make another film, I will be totally content with that.


How did you cast the film and did the script change much once you had your cast in place?

KEVIN: We hold auditions. For Ghosting, we had three open-call auditions. Two took place on the Penn State Mont Alto campus and one took place at the Shenandoah Conservatory for the Arts. Because our first effort (Two Days Back) had won some minor recognition (it won best picture in the sci-fi/horror category at the Bare Bones International Film Festival), we benefitted from an increased turnout for Ghosting auditions.

From those auditions we cast about 12 of the 18 roles available. I had to hunt down the remaining six. I would find actors close by (usually in the Baltimore and DC area) and invite them to audition one on one until we have a full roster.

The script is always changing. There are, of course, actor related changes. For example, we had a role for a “Mr. Winkler” which we changed to “Mr. Vitelli” when an Italian actor (Ralph Mauriello) won the role with his audition.

But on every front, it is important to adjust your story to fit what you have. This is vital for films without a significant budget. I tend to cast the best actor for a role. We may have imagined a particular type for a role, but if an actor of a different type has chops, we shift the story. Better that than to have bad acting.

I see a lot of micro-budget films and I can see that a lot of filmmakers are inflexible on their original vision and end up with an actor who comes off as artificial on screen. It kills the material.


You wore a lot of hats on this project -- Director, Producer, Co-Writer, Editor. What is the upside and the downside of taking on that many roles?

KEVIN: Believe me, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have to. The upside, of course, is that you have control over the quality of the work. I know I can count on myself to obsess about details and take the time necessary to make something right. So if I’m editing, I know that every effort will be made to make sure it’s the best cut we can get out of the material.

The downside, of course, is that you have to do a tremendous amount of work. Once you complete the assistant editor work, you have to do the editor’s work, then you move on to the sound editor’s work, then you move on to the music supervisor and composers work, then you move on to the color-editing work. It’s a long road.

The more you can turn over to talented professionals, the smoother everything runs. On Ghosting, for instance, I had a Director of Photography (Edwin Koester). He was invaluable. He brought so much to the production all of which freed me to concentrate on directing. I also had a godsend of a first AD in Gillian Colley. Three creative people working toward a common goal is always better than one.


What kind of camera did you use to shoot the movie -- and what did you love about it and hate about it?

KEVIN: We used two cameras. Our main camera (A camera) was a Sony FS100. Our B camera was a Panasonic HMC 150. The Sony performed beautifully. It has a super 35 sensor and the dynamic range is very good. I like my blacks to be black. With lessor cameras the blacks are where you run into problems. We had no trouble with the Sony.

The Panasonic, however, gave me a lot of trouble in post. I had the idea to use it for crane shots and cutaways, but when I got them in post, most of them had to either be thrown out or manipulated to death to make them work in the final cut.


What was the smartest thing you did during production? The dumbest?

KEVIN: The smartest thing I did was plan everything out. Call sheets, DODs, script-day schedules, prop lists, and so on – they are all indispensable on a professional shoot. You run your set like a professional set and it becomes a professional set.

The two things I regret most from production were 1) not checking the waveforms on the camera for every shot and 2) not have the sound mixer, when we were shooting in noisy locations, take the actors someplace quiet and give me a wild track of their dialog. We did it some, but not as often as we should have. I won’t make either of these mistakes on the next film.


And, finally, what did you learn from making the film that you have taken to other projects?


KEVIN: The stronger your creative team, the better the final film will be. That and, of course, check the waveforms on the camera and record wild dialog whenever you’re shooting in a noisy location.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tucker Garborg on "Adderall"



What was your filmmaking background before making Adderall?

TUCKER: I have been making videos as class projects for a couple of years now. I started out focusing entirely on just being silly and making my peers laugh. I used whatever camera I could get my hands on (sometimes just my iPhone) and iMovie to edit it.

Eventually, I became interested in producing more high quality videos. I started to acquire the necessary equipment to make everything look nicer in my projects, but I still was just making funny little videos for my classmates. Adderall is the first thing I've ever made that I would call a "short film."

I've also been an actor since I was very young and used to audition for movies and pilots quite a bit. I've been on a few professional sets, but at that age, I was never interested in anything outside of acting.

I have never had the opportunity to take any classes on video production or screenwriting. I read a few chapters of the "Filmmaking for Dummies" book my mom bought me over the summer, but almost everything I have learned has been by my own experience or observation. For this reason, I'd say I had no filmmaking background prior to making this short, just some experience in basic editing and a love for comedy and acting.


Where did the idea come from and what was the writing process like?

TUCKER: My junior year of high school, I was the Vice President of Student Council. I had the job that my character had in the short. I was told to "write what I know," so that's exactly what I did.

Just to be clear, none of the characters or specific events that take place in the film are inspired by anything or anyone real. None of the teachers or staff at my school have ever been anything but helpful and supportive, and no Student Council VP cares that much about relish. I just took my situation and replaced everyone in it with ridiculous characters to make the story interesting and funny.

I wrote a few drafts, each time adding new characters and seeing how they affected the situation. I always had the stern, unamused principal and the jerk teacher, but the story didn't really come together until I came up with Kyle. By adding this lovable idiot, I was able to come up with a reason as to why the police were notified (which is the reason why Tucker's adventure became such a big problem in the first place) and I could now think of an ending that wasn't as empty and predictable as the principal simply telling Tucker whether he could keep his job or not. On top of this, Kyle is just a really funny character. After I added him to the script, I was able to tie everything together.


What was your goal for making this movie?

TUCKER: I made this movie to use as part of my creative portfolio in applying to film schools, so ultimately my goal was to make something that could hopefully get me into college.

However, I made this film exactly how I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be an accurate representation of me, my sense of humor, and the kinds of projects I'd like to make in the future. In the end, I made something that shows my best writing, directing, filming and editing abilities and I'm very proud of it. Whether the admissions counselors are impressed or not is terrifying but it's out of my hands.


What kind of camera did you use to shoot the movie -- and what did you love about it and hate about it?

TUCKER: I used a Canon 5D Mark ii.

I love how easy it is to use this DSLR and the impressively high quality footage it is capable of recording. I also REALLY love how my dad owns it and lets me use it for free. That's the real winning reason behind why I used this camera.

The only characteristic I dislike about it is the small screen, which makes it hard to make sure all of my shots are 100% in focus. However, this is a stupid complaint because a bigger screen would not fit on the camera. Also, it's my dad's camera and I have to be grateful in order for him to let me use it again. Thanks dad.


What was your process for directing yourself?

TUCKER: I had been planning and thinking about this short film for months, and I planned how I wanted my character to act and speak. When it came time to film, I had practiced lots of my lines and narrowed down how I would like to deliver each of them. Still, I had no idea how difficult it would be to direct myself. I would watch each take of myself after we finished filming. Whenever there was an issue, I would go back and try again immediately.

It was hard directing myself as an actor when I wasn't able to see and adjust what I was doing on camera as I was doing it. However, I didn't know anyone else my age with any screen acting experience. Along with this, I shot lots of random scenes at very odd hours and I would have felt bad putting another high school student through that, especially since they would have been working as an unpaid actor.


How did you cast the other roles and how did you work with the actors on the set?

TUCKER: Josh Carson, Andy Kraft and Jim Robinson are all people I have met doing shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. They are all very talented actors and comedians who helped me find my own passion for comedy, writing, and narrative storytelling.

Josh Carson has written, directed, and acted in all three Fringe shows I've been in and all three years, he's always made me play an idiot. At the same time, he has a natural talent for acting like a loud idiot. In fact, he sometimes acts like a loud idiot when he isn't even trying. Combine this with his comedic timing and the chemistry the two of us have refined over the past three years as well as Josh's very real inability to tie a tie (he's like 34 and engaged to be married) and it's clear that Kyle was the part for him.

Andy Kraft is another actor I have worked with on three different Fringe shows. He has a subtle ability to make everything he says funny, even when it isn't meant to be. I've seen Andy play all sorts of characters, ranging from Snoopy from The Peanuts to Harry Ellis (the cocky coke-addict salesman in Die Hard) to an unqualified high school counselor. He always does a great job at delivering shocking insults to children, so I cast him to play the teacher, Mr. Kraft.

I had the pleasure of working with Jim Robinson in the most recent Fringe show I was in. He is one of the most talented, kind and understanding men I've ever encountered, so of course I recruited him to play the angry, stubborn principal. Jim is very good at making a character his own while also taking direction well. On top of all this, he looks exactly like I would imagine an angry principal to look. Even before I had ever met him, I have always imagined an angry principal to look just like Jim Robinson.

Since we are all friends and have worked together in the past, we all had an understanding on how the scenes were supposed to be. They seemed to understand what I was looking for immediately when they read the script. I would ask them to do one take of each scene strictly following the script, and then we would do another take where we would improvise. While most of it ended up getting cut, there are a few improvised jokes here and there that made it into the final edit. I am exceedingly grateful to have such talented people be so generous with their time to help me out with this project, and I owe a lot of the success to them.


Did the script change much while shooting and, if so, how and why?

TUCKER: I had to cut one scene for time's sake (the colleges required the video to be under ten minutes) but in hindsight, I probably would have cut it even if I didn't have a time restraint.

The dialogue itself is extremely close to what I had originally written, but I cast comedians for each role and they are masters of improvising. If I really liked something they did and it worked with the script without disrupting the flow of the scene, I added it in. Josh Carson (Kyle) in particular had a role where there was more room for improvisation, so a few of his lines were all off the top of his head.

Overall, the few changes in the script were just spur of the moment ideas that weren't inspired until I was actually there working with the actors.


What was the smartest thing you did during production? The dumbest?

TUCKER: The smartest thing I did was shoot the video in my own high school. I was able to plan every single shot and angle before each scene was actually shot, and I saved a lot of time this way. Also, I live ten minutes away and could come and go easily whenever I wanted to get any shots I was missing. Overall, it was just a good idea to write a story about something I am extremely familiar with taking place in a building I know like the back of my hand.

The dumbest thing I did was plug my shotgun mic directly into the camera when shooting the scenes in the principal's office. We were shooting at a separate location and my boom operator was unable to come with us. We were also under a bit of a time crunch, so I just put the microphone right into the camera. I learned the hard way that the white noise in a room changes depending on where you place it, so lots of the audio in these scenes is very choppy and fuzzy.

And, finally, what did you learn from making the film that you have taken to other projects?

This was the first project that was fully mine. There was no topic I had to talk about, no partners with different visions I had to compromise with, just a ten-minute time limit for me to create whatever I wanted.

I made this film exactly how I wanted to make it. I never expected anyone else to care about it because I only made it for me. After I posted it on social media the first night, I was surprised to see how much my friends and family enjoyed it. When I posted it elsewhere and it became more popular, I got a lot of other great feedback from strangers. I learned that I do my best work when I'm 100% passionate about it and don't go out of my way to appeal to anyone in particular.

I also see my technical errors and have learned what I could have done to avoid them. For example, I'm still learning that you can never be too thorough when filming scenes (and recording audio) from every angle and that consistency is very important. I look forward to applying all of this to future projects.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

David Gaz on "Kindness is Contagious"

What was your filmmaking background before setting out to make Kindness is Contagious?

DAVID: My background is in photography rather than film, but about ten years ago my wife and I co-directed a narrative feature that I wrote and screwed the whole thing up. I naively thought that after doing big budget photoshoots for people like Levi's Sony and Disney that making a feature film would be an easy transition. Boy was I wrong!

After that I co-directed three other films and that was my film school. Kindness is Contagious is my solo debut!

What was the inspiration for making Kindness is Contagious?

DAVID: My wife told me that a lot of the things I was doing, although socially conscious, were very negative and suggested that I do something positive for a change. I said "absolutely! I'm going to do a film all about being nice!!!"

Then I was reading an article by James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis in Discover Magazine about the infectious nature of kindness and the whole thing gelled.


What was writing process like -- how did you decide who to interview and which direction to head?

DAVID: My plan was to shoot 3 types of sequences:

One where I ask people what is the nicest thing that anyone ever did for you?"

Two, really smart people, scientists and authors mostly, who specialized in the arena of kindness.

And Three, people who were making a difference by doing kind things for others.

As for the direction, I began with James Fowler (fortunately he agreed to let me interview him) as he was the spark that started it all and then that interview led me to others and I followed the path laid out by these great minds.


What is your process for approaching the editing of a documentary?

DAVID: I came to the conclusion during editing that I have an Edisonian process to my work (I think it took him 1,000 or so tries to get the light bulb right).

Some people know what they want and make it that way, I know what I want, but have to go through tons of iterations until it looks right to me. It's an awful way to work and very stressful. I wish I was among the former group.


How did the movie change after your interview with Catherine Ryan Hyde (Pay It Forward)?

DAVID: I think she grounded the science, gave some humanity to it. Pay it forward is based on mathematics, but as a fiction writer she gave the math a human face and transformed the numbers into characters. So I chose to lead with that and I think now, once you are in the film, the other scientists are more accessible.

Then, most significantly, she has such authority in her voice that having her narrate the film gives it such presence that it is infinitely better as a result.


What camera(s) did you use and what did you love and hate about it?


DAVID: I used the 5D mk2 and mk3 cameras and loved almost everything about them. The shallow depth of field made the people that I interviewed look like they were swimming in butter, just gorgeous.

I also liked the small size and appearance of the cameras, especially for the street interviews. Most people aren't comfortable with a big film or broadcast camera in their face, but the 5Ds look just like the cameras we all grew up with so there is a familiarity about them that doesn't intimidate people.

The only drawback I saw was due to the incredibly shallow depth of field you can get. You have to be very careful with focus as the image can go soft very easily.


What was the smartest thing you did during production? The dumbest?


DAVID: The smartest thing I did was do a film on being nice, it was so easy to get interviews and people were immediately relaxed when talking about such a positive subject.

The dumbest thing I did was do a Kickstarter page without the proper research or planning. I got some big donations offline as a result, but I feel like there is a stigma of a failed Kickstarter campaign out there that I wish would go away.


What do you hope audiences will take away from the movie?


DAVID: I hope that the main premise holds true. That each kind act inspires one to do four more kind acts. So if we reach a decent sized audience, the film should have quite a ripple effect in terms of kindness in the world.

What's next for you?


DAVID: A book. I took photos of each of the people we interviewed right after asking them "what is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?" and I am in the process of making a book with the photos and answer side by side. It's amazing to look at -- the people all have this indescribable glow.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Steve Kopera on "The Cabining"


What was your filmmaking background before making The Cabining?

STEVE: I am a child of the 80s, and, like many of my generation, I grew up with a camcorder in my hand. I was one of those kids who wrangled my friends and family into acting in comically bad home movies, and I would edit from VCR to VCR. So I had the filmmaking bug from an early age.

I moved out to LA in 1996 without any connections or true knowledge of the industry. I hopped onto a few student productions and then some professional independents as a Production Assistant. These were not glamorous times. A grad student at Loyola Marymount, Kuang Lee, took me under his wing and showed me the ropes, helping me direct my first short film. After that, I focused exclusively on directing, writing, and producing my own work.

Back in the 90s, most indie films were still shot on film, so living in LA or NY where that infrastructure was already in place helped significantly. High quality digital video democratized our world and made it easier for us aspiring filmmakers to hone our craft anywhere. We don't have to rely on rushes from Fotokem. So, tiring of the LA lifestyle, I moved to Michigan and focused on making films here.

In the early 2000s, I directed a handful of short comedies, eventually writing and directing my first feature Solitude in 2004. It was a no-budget drama that was largely a passion project and an absolute blast to make. Of course the film went nowhere, but some of my most enjoyable filmmaking memories are from that flick. After Solitude, I focused mainly on features, dabbling in different genres. I wanted to expand my writing and directing skills by tackling unfamiliar territory like horror and action, and The Cabining proved a good introduction.

Where did the idea come from and what was the writing process like? 

STEVE: My feature prior to The Cabining was called Starlight & Superfish. It was a low-budget art-house dramedy that just didn't find its audience. The struggle to push that movie forward took a personal huge toll, and I was pretty burnt out on the whole low-budget world. Around this time, my brother Mike asked me to direct a short comedy script he wrote titled My Friend Peter. It was our first significant collaboration and proved to be a festival hit.

My Friend Peter brought us to the awesome DC Shorts festival, where we attended a seminar on low-budget filmmaking by Kelley Baker. Despite my struggles with Starlight & Superfish, I left that seminar inspired to dive right into another low-budget project! Mike and I, and fellow filmmaker David Silverman, riffed on a few horror script ideas that very night. After returning from DC, I started on the script, and a few weeks later The Cabining was born.

I had tried writing horror many times before with no success. I believe The Cabining came about so quickly for me because it's basically a comedy script with horror and gore sprinkled in.


Can you talk about how you raised your budget and your financial plan for recouping your costs?

STEVE: I'm a member of the online filmmakers group at filmspecific.com. It's a site for independent filmmakers run by former sales agent Stacey Parks. The site is packed with tangible, real-world advice on how to actually monetize our movies. I know this sounds like a commercial, but filmspecific has been a massive help for me and my brother in forming the financial plan. Sites like this can also save you money by connecting you with people with specific talents.

Stacey recommends that, unless you have a star, it's best to keep your budget as low as possible to more easily recoup costs. The horror genre is sometimes an exception, but our movie was a horror-comedy, not a true horror like 'House of Good and Evil' or a Jason Blum production. So we had to raise enough money to meet broadcast television standards, but we couldn't spend too much to blow any profit potential. With that said, it was difficult raising even our low-budget goal. It took us about a year to raise the money. We didn't go the crowd-sourcing route and limited the pitch to people we knew personally. Eventually, we found enough financial backing.

Once the movie was complete, the goal was to shop it at AFM - the best market for horror products. Thanks to the aggressive work of my brother, Mike, we landed a sales agent in Leomark Studios. They helped us score a handful of overseas contracts and a domestic deal with Indican Pictures. The domestic deal placed us on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, AT&T Uverse, Charter, WOW, Dish and several other on-demand services.

The Cabining scored a handful of awards at film festivals, and fans of horror-comedy seem to really respond to it. The goal now is to promote the film as much as possible to recoup our budget and make another movie. So if you like horror-comedy, I encourage you to check it out.


How did you cast the film and did the script change much once you had your cast in place?

STEVE: Casting the main character, Todd, was easy - it was written for my brother, Mike. He's first and foremost an actor. For the Bruce role, we wanted an actor who, like Mike, would also help with producing, and Mike found the multi-talented Bo Keister via imdbpro. Bo immediately responded to the Bruce character. Prior to The Cabining most of Bo's roles were in dramas and action, and I found it surprising because he was an absolute natural with comedy.

The two female leads were cast out of Los Angeles through ActorsAccess. Mike and another producer, Ian Michaels, sifted through thousands of applicants. While we were low-budget, we were still a paid, SAG gig, so there was ample interest. We happily found Angela Relucio and Melissa Mars who actually sent an audition video from her apartment in Paris. She didn't even know her character was supposed to be French -- it was a lucky coincidence.

Ian helped us land the fantastic Luce Rains, Richard Riehle, and Chuck Saale, and Mike convinced veteran Michigan actor Mark Rademacher to join us at the 11th hour.

Once we got to set, the script didn't change too much, except for Bruce's lines. Bo Keister had leeway to add and change lines as he saw fit. His suggestions were often definite improvements. As a writer, I'm not married to any lines. The script is just a guide. Besides, you never know what's going to ultimately work on the screen. What may seem like gold on the script may fall flat on set, so I try to keep an open mind.


You wore a lot of hats on this project -- Director, Writer, Editor. What's the upside and the downside of that approach?

STEVE: The upside is that I worked for free. The downside is that I didn't get much of a break/vacation from the material. For this project, it definitely helped to be both writer and director. I had lived with the characters for a long time and could answer any of the actor's questions about their character's motive or backstory.

Being the editor was a bit trickier. I would've preferred for a new set of eyes to interpret the footage. Yet, in the low-budget world, that's a luxury we could not afford. Ultimately, I powered through the edit a few weeks before my second baby was born. That was the deadline. :)


What kind of camera did you use to shoot the movie -- and what did you love about it and hate about it?

STEVE: We used the Sony FS100. Jeffery T. Schultz, our DP, recommended the camera, and I was not disappointed. It really surprised us with its ability in low-light. Still, the camera is only as good as its DP, and Jeff was wonderful. A good DP can make a hi8 camera look beautiful.

The only thing I hated about the FS100 was that we only had one. Our second camera was a 7D, and it was a challenge to match the footage.

What was the smartest thing you did during production? The dumbest?

STEVE: The first thing that comes to mind actually occurred during pre-production. I story-boarded every single scene and also devised camera moves and editing tricks that would give the movie a style and identity. Those weeks of prep really paid off because we were able to move super-fast in our compressed schedule without sacrificing quality.

Yet, the smartest thing I did during production was listen to ideas posed by the DP and actors. Jeff's ideas for camera moves and Bo's one-liners proved to be the most memorable in the movie.

The dumbest thing -- my biggest regret -- was I never got an exterior shot of the house at night. The house had huge vaulted ceilings. Jeff dropped several Chinese lanterns from the ceilings to beautiful effect. The west wall of the house was almost entirely glass, and the view through those large windows was truly impressive. We have plenty of exterior house shots during the day, but it was only during the evening that we could see the Chinese lanterns. Why we never got this shot baffles me. It probably would've made the poster!


And, finally, what did you learn from making the film that you have taken to other projects?

STEVE: Perhaps my biggest takeaway from this project was that the massive effort of preparation and storyboarding leading up to the shoot was totally worth it.

Storyboarding is often intimidating to non-artists like myself, but there's digital software (and old-fashioned stick figures) that can help. The storyboards gave the DP, the sound guy, the production designer, and actors a physical illustration of what I envisioned.

On a more macro-level, I discovered a real love of writing during this film. Prior to The Cabining, I was a director who occasionally wrote. Now, I've definitely got the writing bug. I've written three scripts since The Cabining wrapped, including one that continues the Todd and Bruce journey.