Wrapping Up on P.A.

I've been very quiet about this short film. Actually, who are we kidding, I'm always quiet.

But this film has been quite a feat and I was really concerned it was not going to be finished. This film is absolutely my most ambitious thus far and I'm a very proud to be bringing it to a close.

P.A. is the brainchild of writer Vic Olam who approached me, along with producers Brandon Violette and Nathan Kaestle, to direct and act in the film. I had not tried tackling both acting and self-directing but I was interested in doing so. I also really liked Vic's story because it fit right in with movies I've been making since my years at COC, yet was more ambitious without being complicated on a technical level.

P.A. is the story of Randall, a 30-something writer who is finally granted a meeting with the less-than-professional Norma at a fairly prominent production company.

Having worked with Rebecca Honett on projects with Motown Maurice, it was very easy to see Rebecca's clear talent and incredible range. I was eager to work with her and I knew Rebecca would bring her own flair and energy to the strong personality that is Norma.

I met Malorie Felt when she auditioned for my previous film, Harshest Critic. Though we did not work together on that project; I held onto her headshot and, sure enough, a project I thought she'd be perfect for came along. Malorie always brings great enthusiasm and ability to any role she takes on. I've already worked with her on another project.

The original plan was to shoot P.A. in April. Since only Rebecca and Malorie were needed together, it seemed best to get their scenes out of the way first; that way our small crew could have a little flexibility while shooting the rest of the film with me, out and about. This planning turned out to be a good idea for more reasons than just simplicity.

But it's a long story that basically boils down to, we shot and wrapped Rebecca and Malorie in the first two Mondays of April. Then, we took a long hiatus. But in July, P.A. was finally back on track to shoot the remainder of the film. It was a few long days but it was also a lot of fun for our remaining three man group of Vic, Aaron Zwirn, and I. We learned a lot about each other including the fact that we're all eager to work together again soon.

Without the strong support we had on this film, it would have just never been. There would have been something else; something simpler, less ambitious, or nothing at all. In many ways, I feel at the end of my 'no budget' rope but this project has ignited that spirit in me; fired up the desire to continue to push the limits of what no money can do.

Aaron stuck with P.A. the whole way through; he did perfect location sound and is now working to compose music for the film. I am quite a stickler for music; I love my indie and 80's temp music but Aaron has already blown me away with the tracks he's brought to this film.

I have to give a shout out to Rachel Tolliver as well. I'd just met her in April while acting in a scene study assignment I had done for a friend at CSUN. I called on her last minute to be a camera hand for a short shoot day with Rebecca that no longer had any crew other than Aaron and myself. She was an invaluable camera assistant and her involvement allowed me to keep the day on the calendar; I didn't have to cancel a simple three shot shoot that would wrap Rebecca.

There's still some post-work to be done on P.A. but with any luck, you'll soon be seeing it at a film festival near you. If not, it'll join the legacy of shorts that are rediscovered later in one's life.