“The Hooker & the Transvestite” in pre-production

The clock is ticking. . . we have less than 15 days to produce, shoot, edit, score, color correct and do the final sound mix for our sequel to the award winning “The Hooker & the Transvestite” (La puta y la travesti) and upload it to the jury round of the filmaka.com “Hard times” contest.

So, what do you have to do before you shoot? It´s an endless list, but here are some of the basics in a fiction shoot:

1) Write the script. That seems obvious, but before you have the script locked, you have no idea what locations you need, the lights you need, the crew you need, etc. And if you want to get the best people on board, you better make it good.

2) Get your key people on board. These are the heads of each area: production, direction (ast. director and script supervisor), photography, sound, art. Each head is responsible for finding their crew members and creating lists of the materials they will need. Production is then responsible for making sure these requests fit in the overall budget and coordinating the different areas.

3) Cast. We decided to continue working with the same actors, but our lead actress is in Spain. So we decided to replace her with the very talented Lola Berthet, who at 28 has played many supporting and comic roles on TV and films, and is quite famous for her original look. The “drunk” will be played by Luis Machín, a talented actor most known for his roles as the bad guy.

Lola Berthet strikes a pose. She can also do absurd comedy.

Lola Berthet strikes a pose. She can also do absurd comedy.

Luis Machín, a great character actor

Luis Machín, a great character actor

4) Find the location, and have all the key department heads look at it and see how the lights will be set up, if the sound will be usable, and logistical concerns (is there a bathroom nearby?)

5) Get permission for that location. See my other post on how long that can take!!!!

6) Rehearse with the actors. For this short film, two rehearsals will be fine.

7) The script is the guide, but in a fiction shoot a storyboard (literally a sketch of each scene as it will be seen by the camera) is created as a guide for the technicians, and also so the editor can see if a key shot is missing.

8) Maps of each set. These aerial views show where the camera goes, where the actors and key set pieces are located. Mainly used to keep the technicians from getting lost on the set (which happens after 10 hours of shooting in the freezing cold).

As you can see, a lot of planning is done to make sure that in the heat of shooting nothing is forgotten or taken too lightly. Some people say this stifles creativity, but I think of it as enabling the director to be creative because he or she knows that every detail has been thought of beforehand.

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