Moe and his camera operator B came over last night to discuss the making of the book trailer video for Escape from Beckyville. It’s amazing how quickly things are coming together. Just a little over a week ago, I asked him to come on board to direct the short script that I wrote for the trailer, and now we’re in pre-production. I was getting nervous about the time frame, because I want to have the video ready for the soft launch of the digital version of the book, around June 27, but my fellow Antioch University alum understands the urgency. It’s important to surround yourself with people who understand your vision and are ready to run with it.
During that initial phone conversation, Moe and I brainstormed for over an hour for ways to make the video pop. Last night, we discussed the logistics of the shoot. We’re filming here, in my apartment, and also up and down the block. His friend and colleague B was impressed with the cover artwork for Beckyville, and I can tell that, although this will be a low-budget, guerrilla project, production values will be high.
Moe stopped by today to make sure I bought a quality wig for one of the actresses in the video. Even though I assured him I wouldn’t buy a busted hairpiece, he wanted to check out the mane for himself. We walked to the weave mall a few blocks from my place to get a cheap but good-looking wig. This is a popular spot with black female celebs, who pay big bucks for premium extensions. We are slicing out a hank of hair in the back, so no need to pay top dollar for a hair piece that will ultimately be ruined. You should have heard us trying to describe our intentions to the young girl behind the counter.
We shoot on Saturday, three days from now, and I can’t wait. I have several actresses lined up, and Moe asked several peeps that he worked with in the past to participate. I’m touched and honored that people who don’t even know me are taking time out of their busy schedule to help with the shoot. The way everything is coming together so nicely is more confirmation that I’m doing the right thing.
When I first landed in L.A. more than a decade ago, I had one goal in mind: to write screenplays. Now, I’m the writer/executive producer for what is amounting to a short film. Even though it isn’t the big budget theatrical release I’ve been dreaming of all these years, it’s a project I wrote, financed and produced, and I have good people on board who are helping me to make it happen. This is a slice of Hollywood that won’t be written up in Deadline, but that doesn’t make our efforts any less valid. We have to be the change we want to see. Throughout this journey, I’ll be wearing many hats — but no wigs.