Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving ahead with Casualties

I've actually started moving forward on my Casualties of Love project after several months of other things. With the help of Chris Sullivan, a remarkable actor and writer, we've taken the first step to what might become a movie before the end of the year.

Just to refresh, Casualties of Love was a play I had written years ago and set aside. About a year ago I dug it out and realized, that if I added 20 pages more I would have a full screenplay. There was also another aspect to start working on it as a real project.

It mostly takes place in a single location.

And there's only 5 actors.

And that is about as low budget as anyone can dream of. Unless you have only one actor. A friend of mine once said that all it really takes to make a movie is a story, an actor and a camera. 

But I have five.

And I think I can make it with my friend Randy's formula of low-budget movies; use either 7 people as crew, or 17. Of course it's his rule, but it did work for him when he made 2 feature-length movies, back-to-back for $10,000. I've mentioned this in the past and for a more detailed explanation you can go to his website (

So besides 5 actors I will use a crew of 7 including me, for a total of 12 people. And by Randy's standard I should be able to do it for $5000.

But I want to use SAG actors because they are usually better. SAG (Screen Actors Guild) is a very powerful guild and tough on producers, but as I mentioned previously, they'd rather have actors working even if it's a meager budget then not working at all. And I do respect actors and their guild as much as I respect my guild.

So for the past week or so, Chris and I have been looking at actors on a website called It lists projects that are looking for actors and actors can check in and see what's going on. The listings usually stay on for a week or so.

I wrote out mini character descriptions for all 5 actors as the listing can't be too long. For those who are interested, these are the individual character descriptions:

Lou (38-40) is a take-charge guy, impulsive but approaching 40 and he's beginning to have doubts about his life.

Michael (38-40), never expected much of life, stumbled his way through jobs, always seemed to settle for less.

Kenny(38-40) admits to an ordinary life, always wished their teen band would have taken that big step they were offered 20 years ago.

Morgan (64) a famous fading rock star beginning to pay for that lifestyle and  haunted by the death of a bandmember, also needs money.

Andrea (17-18), tall, athletic, her age offers a fresh perspective, carries an on/off confidence and is into vintage rock.

The Casualties of Love is a feature-length character drama. Will be videotaped for private use only. Lunch, coffee/snacks and gas money and DVD if requested. Reading will be done twice, cannot guarantee role if film goes ahead.

That's the ad, we've had about 30 people so far, as well as a Reader who will read the description parts of the screenplay. I will sit back and listen and take notes as this reading is mainly for me to see how the words work, where I can tighten it and where I can improve it.

Chris will play the aging rock star and there will also be someone to operate a video camera.

This type of reading occurs often, the other type of reading is when the film is cast and the actors selected read their parts. But since we're not really casting, I have to be brutally honest in that I can't guarantee those parts to the actors we use here.

Yes, the life of an actor isn't an easy road. 

But I'm open to a good performance and they might shine.

(Mon: Casting the roles)