The saga continues for this new production, The Car. I placed an advert in the New Producer’s Alliance newsletter last week to try to get someone else to do the production work–basically making sure everything cast, crew, props, equipment, etc is in the right place at the right time for filming. The newsletter doesn’t come out until September, though, and I’ll actually be away when it does so that’s not very helpful.
I call around to cast actors I want rather than trying the writers’ suggestion, “Let’s get big names!” Yeah, right guys. And who is going to do this? You? You are actually going to make the calls and find the people? Let me guess. Hmmm. I’m thinking perchance no. They mean well and I love them to bits but I just don’t think it will happen.
So I brush that aside, ask them pretty please if they could sort out some kind of catering and call an actor who I think is really great, Blair Plant, formerly of Hull Truck Theatre Co and who regularly appears on TV. I ask him if he’d like to play the lead role of Charlie. He sounds interested so I email him a script. Then I call Jack Wood who was Fate in Fate & Fortune. He also sounds interested so a script is posted to him.
That leaves me two actors to find and I start realising that some of these people are going to want expenses. That means that I need to keep their days down to a minimum in order to keep my non-existent budget down. I call Lyn Fernee who appeared as a clubber in Last Train and would have been the lead actress but for her height. Answering machine. I leave a message.
Finally I dig around and come up with the name ‘Dorrie’ for the sweet old lady character. She was in a commercial I shot about six years ago appearing as a sweet old lady. Typecasting, I know. The commercial was never shown because the two proprietors of the computer company, which operated from a cubby hole in a cubicle farm, vanished into thin air with a lot of their clients’ money.
After some enquiries, Dorrie turns out to be Doreen Steward and I find I have her phone number so I ring. She’s there. I remind her who I am and she remembers, which is good, so I tell her what I’m planning. “Let me guess,” she says, “you’d like me to play the part of a little old lady.” I admit that, yes, it is something like that. “Well, I haven’t acted for a long time, you know,” she warns me. “I’ve been directing theatre for the past thirty years and I don’t really appear. I’m not sure I can learn lines.”
Having assured Dorrie that she won’t actually have any lines, I feel like this is a winner and I put a script in an envelope for her. I remember something in the back of my mind about Andy, the DoP, hating the Company of Ten–the theatre group Dorrie is part of–and make a mental note to tell him to keep his big mouth shut. If I use him. Which I’m not sure I will.
Finally, I get hold of Sandhya, the clapper-loader, and she good-humouredly agrees to join the crew, “As long as I’m not doing anything else.” Like paid work. This isn’t totally helpful as it’s not a total commitment, but it’s a start and another script is dispatched. Pete, my photographer buddy, promises to ask his cousin–who works at a Porsche dealership–for a flash car for us to use and I feel like I’m making progress.
Next thing I need: location location location. Wednesday is pencilled in for recce’s. More soon.