Last weekend, I headed up the Cactus Flower Pictures team for the IFP Beat the Clock Film Challenge in which we had to make a coherent film in 48 hrs. They give each team a certain number of things you must have in the film, such as a line, a genre, and a prop. We chose comedy for our genre and a bowl from the selection of props. I got my entire team from posting on Facebook. I had the best cinematographer, Rich Goldstein, who did exceptional work editing the film together, and making sure that the colors and lighting were correct. He had some really impressive camera, sound, and lighting equipment. I had to organize a bunch of people, but they were all greatly dedicated. I was amazed with who was interested in being part of my team. I wrote the story for the script and my director, Matt Lowery, put it all together. He was a great director.
The plot of our short film is that a young woman finally decides to ask out her office crush on the day of an important presentation. She chooses to present a multi-purpose bowl and things go crazy from there. The premiere of all the short films will be at the Phoenix Art Museum the evening of July 23 at 6pm. Tickets are available at http://ifpbtc2015.brownpapertickets.com/ Our film had a few issues uploading, so we didn’t make the deadline to be eligible for awards. And I swear we would have gotten first place!
Here is a photo of three of us from the cast in the boardroom during filming:
We filmed at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa and the Church of the Master. I had an incredible time making this film. We had a call time of 6am to make sure we had time to film everything to perfection. And I am deeply proud to be the producer of this film. I’m not used to leadership roles. I have heard about aligning your actions with your career goals and I saw this as a first step in establishing myself as a producer of my own material.
My summer just got busier. I had a print ad audition on yesterday with the legendary casting director, Gay Gilbert, for whom I auditioned a year and a half ago for a student film. I’m crossing my fingers I book a part. My friend, Luca Patruno, is back here for summer vacation and we are going forward with filming, “Climbing Stairs,” and have a firm shooting schedule. I am very glad we are able to finally film the script. Additionally, I was cast in a student film called, “These Are the Breaks,” as the friend of the female lead. That should film at the end of July, or thereabouts. And there’s more: I was also cast as Tonton Julian in a landmark ASU Senior Thesis of Once On This Island. I always thought it would be cool to be in this excellent musical. What is unique about this production is that the director had audio-only auditions sent by e-mail. He decided to make casting choices on voice and ability rather than physical appearance or gender.
One really large project I am undertaking is producing The Go-Girls into a feature film in LA. I am just in the planning phases, but I have connected with people on Stage 32 and professional Facebook pages for advice and collaboration on making the film. I already have a lead actress and producer, which are both me! I downloaded a film budget form from online and filled it out. I think the tentative budget should be around $90,000. A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar through IFP Phoenix about crowdfunding campaigns. The whole thing was four hours long. Two of the guests spoke to us via Skype about their experiences with crowdfunding and also their production companies. The founder of Seed and Spark was one of them and she told us how her company works for supporting indie filmmakers through providing focused crowdfunding and distribution opportunities. I believe the case for most crowdfunding sites is that they are suitable for projects with budgets of $200,000 and under. I heard the average feature film campaign is for $50,000. I put together a tentative budget for La Famille and it will definitely be about $8 million. If either script could be produced for less, I would totally go for that. However, I wouldn’t do that at the expense of actors and crew being paid a living wage.
My friend, Lee, read La Famille and loved it! He was kind enough to make edits for me and even met with me to discuss them and gave me the marked copy of my script. I really appreciated it and having corrections made on a physical copy is the only way I can edit. Staring at the computer too long makes my eyes hurt. You can read the scripts for The Go-Girls and La Famille on my profile on Stage 32 at http://www.stage32.com/profile/21717/anna-sahlstrom
These are great undertakings, but it’s about time I got things rolling in my campaign for industry domination. There is nothing that I love more than acting and writing.
I really took my time getting back to the blog. My day job will be starting again soon and I will be enacting different money-earning plans. Ladies and gentlemen: here begins the countdown to the Anna LA take-over round two. My Facebook pal, Holly Dell, began a group for people wanting to re-locate to LA. She has been gathering a great deal of resources to help fellow actors, especially those in Arizona. I plan to get back to LA in a year or two. I want to make sure that I have enough money so that I never have to leave again. It may be hard, but the high-paying acting jobs are there and in New York.
Another announcement is that I have dropped another agent. My agency did not get me any work and kept telling me they had nothing for me. I was aware of multiple castings throughout this past year and a half of being with them that I knew I could book. However, without their submission, I wasn’t getting these opportunities. I am well under 40 in age and looks, so there shouldn’t have been any trouble. Some guy told me that essentially the client must do the agent’s job and find the castings for them, and then tell them every casting they are supposed to submit them for. That is a load of garbage. You don’t sign with an agent for them to do nothing. I didn’t think agents took on clients for whom they couldn’t get work. I’ll be looking for another one once the 30-day termination period has passed.
Some great news is that I was part of Studio Gaijin’s team for the Beat the Clock Challenge through IFP Phoenix. We had so much fun and there were so many good people there. We did a spoof of the infamous Amy’s Baking Company episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, called Escape from Zany’s Baking Company. The video is now public on Vimeo. The link is in the Blogroll section. I play the waitress that gets fired. The film was really funny and I enjoyed watching it among the many films at the screening this past Friday night. The Epicus team created an amazing horror short called Doubting Thomas, about a man who checks into the San Carlos Hotel and gets the scare of his life. There were tight camera angles and an excellent use of editing. All these films were written and filmed in one weekend.
I also filmed my first paid commercial yesterday with Andersen Crine Productions. As per professional protocol, I can’t give the name of the company it was for or other production details. I can say, however, that they are a great company to work with. I am really happy to finally be able to put the commercials line on my resume.