We chose Dream Date because we found the script charming and witty. We could relate as parents to the storyline, and as filmmakers, well, we are all about the humour.
So far in our films, we tend to stretch ourselves and try new things. So of course we wanted to change an aspect or two in this script.
We contacted the writers and found they were extremely helpful and right away they sent us back an updated script with our ideas in it. My only advice to the writers would be to get Final Draft or the like because it makes many tasks easier during production.
We had really talented people to work with whose creativity, expertise and inventiveness can only be commended. That is not to say we had no obstacles. For one, we had the perfect location, a hotel that we were basically allowed to take over for the day thanks to the generosity of the management. But we needed a bar, which it didn’t have. Fortunately, our production designer, being the resourceful and knowledgeable person that he is, transformed a living space into a bar with his equally ingenious assistant using a minimal amount of props. Our artistic DOP did his magic framing some excellent shots so we got just what we needed and the footage looks great. None of our extras showed up, and we needed quite a few for that scene, so again, thanks to our flexible and versatile cast and crew, we were able to make do with what we had using some great lighting and aesthetic positioning.
It was our first shot at directing, and I learned so much. It takes a lot of work and attention to detail during visualising, and if I could do it again I would spend a lot more time with my very talented partner on the storyboard and shot list. Needless to say, I found the quick thinking of our 1st AD and DoP to be invaluable during shooting because they compensated for many of my oversights.
It’s important to have a comfortable and calm environment on set and my partner has gifts in this area that are indispensible, lucky me. Being an actress herself she was able to get fitting performances out of our skilful actors sometimes on the first take.
It wasn’t until we saw the footage that we really noticed how we didn’t shoot a lot of coverage. We tried to shoot just what we wanted to see and sometimes it didn’t work out that way. I missed a couple shots we could have used. When we went through the footage, we were really pleased with how it came out though. And I can remember vividly what led me to miss a shot or mess it up, so I’m hoping I’ll learn from that for the next one.
We tried to think about the audience. We want the story to be as interesting as it can possibly be for the audience. So we see this production as a lot of good people working hard to tell a story. To quote Clint Eastwood, we were like a little army going out into the field and trying to make something. We tried to get everybody to contribute imaginatively. If somebody had an idea, we listened to it because people come up with good ideas no matter what department or job they are in.