Editor’s Note: Obviously, A Year Without Rent cannot be everywhere at once. With that in mind, I’ve started reaching out to fellow members of the film community who might be interested in bringing the AYWR experience to a film shoot near them. Up first: Film Courage’s very own @KarenWorden. Enjoy. – Lucas
A couple of our friends launched a Kickstarter campaign in May for a short film entitled The Terrain. It’s almost every day that people we know (and many more that we do not know) reach out to us for help with their crowd-funding campaigns. (You can get word out about your project through FilmCourage.com by submitting an article to us. Email us for info). You can imagine our surprise when we heard about THE TERRAIN Kickstarter campaign through the gossip grapevine after they had eclipsed their $2500 goal. We’ve known Brian Durkin and Todd Cattell on a personal level for years, yet they did not press us for assistance. After we discovered the link, Brian, Todd, and producers Vivian Lee and Matthew Blanco had already exceed their goal in the first few days. The train was in the station and those who wanted to ride could get on if they wanted. Long story short, THE TERRAIN not only met its goal, it kicked its goal’s behind raising $7,310 in 30 days, exceeding the initial $2,500 goal. THE TERRAIN is a narrative short film written by Brian Durkin, starring Todd Cattell and Marisa Petroro, about two friends and fellow soldiers who return from war, broken and vulnerable, recruited into a covert Los Angeles assignment. Flash forward a month. I receive a new camera. Being thoroughly inspired by (i.e., copying) Lucas McNelly’s ‘A Year Without Rent’ campaign and its accompanying pictures, I wanted to take set photos. I e-mailed director Brian shortly after getting the camera, inquiring if he needed a volunteer set photographer. He thankfully obliged and after several e-mail correspondences sent me a very organized call sheet. Eavesdropping on Lucas a few weekends ago, he mentioned to a group of listeners that an organized call sheet is sign of a great production. Even better when it mentions the weather report. I had trouble sleeping the night before the first shoot. Yes, I was just a ‘volunteer,’ but what if I forgot the camera battery? What if the photos were not usable? Being a person who rarely gets a good night sleep, I tossed and turned on one of those hot June nights where terrors were hard to fend off. When the alarm sounded a few hours later, I wasn’t quite in the mood to be social, let alone take set photos. But David prompted me to get going, and after downing some strong coffee, we drove to the shoot location (a little late and slightly ornery). As we pulled up to the set location, the shoot was already in progress. I hate being late to things. Putting my ego aside, I readied the camera. This was my first shot as I quietly made my way to the set, shoot in progress.
The neighborhood was a mixture of cute little houses, one with so much ‘stuff’ in the front yard that someone on set affectionately referred to it as the “Sanford and Son” house. Another house across the street had a bunch of cute kittens and their mother cat in the yard. Cute cats in the yard always make me feel at home. While on set things flowed so well that I didn’t have time to be nervous or tired. The producer, Vivian Lee, walked by and I snapped a quick photo of her on the way to replenish some essential set supplies.