steev's blog

Production!

For a little over 2 weeks, we've been in production for Truth On The Line, the new project I'm directing (and wrote). It's been very exciting, and things are going quite well other than feeling like each shoot is very rushed.

We have been shooting at quite a speed - an average of 6 script pages a day. Usually 5 is a good rule of thumb for an "indie" project. We've been pressured by time constraints involving the location and the natural light, as well as my own inexperience at scheduling, but for other shoots coming up I'm hoping that we can have things be a little more relaxed.

However, as I said, things are going well, and I'm quite happy with the performances of all the cast, as well as the look of all the footage we've shot. I've started to put together some of the footage into rough edits to make sure I have what I need, and it is working! I'd like to have a little more coverage, and more takes, so that's another reason to try to relax the shoot velocity, if possible.


We've been blessed to have the help of 2 very cool local establishments here in Tucson: BICAS, the non-profit bicycle repair and education collective, let us use their 4-wheeled bicycle-car, which we put to work as a dolly and which functioned great as such!

Also, Revolutionary Grounds Books and Coffee was our wonderful location for the 3 cafe scenes in this pilot episode. Many many thanks to Joy, the generous proprietor, and to Matthew, the amazing barista who opened up early for us at 5am on 2 mornings, and also to Diana, another barista there who had utmost patience for us and makes a great iced americano.

I'm having a great time, it's wonderful working with all these actors and the extremely talented and helpful crew, and i'm looking forward to cutting it all together and seeing the story we're creating unfold.

See http://www.flickr.com/photos/steev/sets/72157620097751914/ for more production stills.

Here's a great behind-the-scenes clip (shot by Ryn) of us shooting at the cafe, which I hope will be a location for many great encounters and dialogues during future episodes of the show.

Tax Day Message About My Film About Taxes

"Happy" Tax Day, everyone!

A month ago I started an online fundraising effort to raise additional
funds for the war tax resistance film that I've been working on.
(See this blog post for more background.)

Anyway I just wrote up something for the Facebook folks and spruced up my
spiffier, flashier fundraising web page: http://deathandtaxes.detritus.net/

Here's the FB cause announcement I just sent out this morning:

Today is the day, more than any other, when citizens of the U.S. think
about where their taxes get spent.

On this day, which is also 1 month after creating this Facebook cause
and starting this experiment in online fundraising, I'm sending you
this reminder about taxes and to remind you that I'm still trying to
fund the completion of my film about taxes and war. Since starting the
fundraising campaign, I've raised a little over $400, which means I
only need less than $3200 more to finish the film. That $400 is
already going toward work on the film, because every time I raise
$100, that pays for one more day of editing, and I sit down at my
editing station and get to work! With that $400, I will soon be 4
more days closer to finishing "Death and Taxes"!

So for you on this day, I've uploaded a 7-minute excerpt from the
rough cut of the film which should give you a better idea of what the
film will be like. I've also re-vamped the fundraising webpage with
lots of exciting stills from the film, and given the page a new URL: http://deathandtaxes.detritus.net

Check out the page and the clip and think about this day, and our
wars, and this film, "Death and Taxes". Maybe while you're thinking
of all that money going for all that killing, you can find it in your
hearts and pocketbooks to channel some dollars toward this important
film. And maybe you can tell others about this film and it's need for
funding.

Just think, if the 33 of the 36 members of this Cause who have not
donated yet were to recruit one more member each, and then if they and
all those recruits were to each donate $50, that would be enough!
That's all we'd need to finish the film, and in 2 months, it would be
all done. Kind of cool to think about it that way, isn't it?

Thanks for your support,

Steev Hise
Director, "Death and Taxes"

New Video Content On News On The Line

This week I posted a third segment in the video series I started in January about the borderlands and the hopes and dreams of people living in communities affected by border militarization.

This latest installment is an interview with Mono Mono, an artist who makes electronic pop music that frequently addresses issues of the border and cross-culturalism. I first met him at the No Borders Camp in 2007 and then at a show he did here in Tucson. I visited him at his home in San Diego when I was out there in January, 2 days before the inauguration of Barrack Obama.

Scheduling A Large Cast Is Hard


We're still in pre-production for the pilot of Truth On The Line, the TV/web series that I've been developing for the last 2 years. I finished casting a couple of weeks ago and I'm now trying to schedule rehearsals and shoots, and it's really really challenging. There are 14 speaking parts, so trying to arrive at times where even most of the cast can be there has been crazy.

We did have one meeting where we did a first read-through and I managed to have all but 2 or 3 actors there. That was impressive and it went really well. A photo from that is above.

Truth On The Line Pre-Production

I'm in the middle of pre-production for a new project which I do not think I've mentioned before on this blog. Truth On The Line is a TV/web show which will be a hybrid of fiction and nonfiction, news journalism and drama. I like to say that it's a cross between "Slacker" and "Broadcast News", and the news will be real.

I first came up with the idea for this project almost 2 years ago, and have been gradually thinking about it and keeping it simmering on the back burner of my creative stove every since. It was this spring that I finally finished the script for the pilot episode and began.

I cast 5 of the 15 speaking parts first, people I knew. Then I did a casting call about a week and a half ago. Since then I've been working a lot on casting, sorting through the dozens of responses to my call and holding auditions. It's been incredible. Fun, but lots of work. It's great though just to meet some very creative actors, and I find myself wishing I could work with almost all of them, but of course, I can't and I have to make some choices. Hopefully a week from today, or so, I will have made those choices.

The other thing I'm doing is trying to decide if I should create a new blog for the project. It will eventually need a website. I'm tweeting in twitter about it using the #totl tag. But should it have its own blog?

I'm very inspired lately reading the blog of Christopher Sharpe. He's been diligently blogging and tweeting about his film, The Spider Babies, which is in pre-production too. He plans to ask his main castmembers to tweet from the set as well. That's a really cool idea. But he hasn't created separate site or blog for the film yet, as far as i know. So, maybe I shouldn't either. Yet, at least.

Anyway, stay tuned for more on this project as it progresses.

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