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Demonica Pre-production: Post Harder! (Or Five)

May 4, 2012

Chris “Turnip” Simmons

Before I get started on this post I just wanted to remind everyone about the second round of auditions happening in Ottumwa this Sunday May 6, at Indian Hills Community College Arts and Sciences building room 120 from 11 am until 2 pm. We still have lots of roles available and would love as many people as possible to come by. For more information head over here.

Anyway, when we last left our story Mike had just given his approval for my 3rd draft of Demonica and we were ready to move forward with notes and rewrites. We pulled together a committee consisting of “Insane Mike,” Jason, Justin Beahm, and myself to provide notes and discuss the finer points of the script. As much as it must have been hard for “Insane Mike” to give up his baby to me to tear apart and remake into a better baby, it was equally difficult to turn what I had created lose onto a group who’s entire purpose was to find it’s flaws. I had a certain amount of pride in what I had done and, as such, I had a hard time of seeing where it was terrible. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a bunch of rabid movie fans to find the plot holes and terrible dialogue.

Justin Beahm along with John Carpenter. Admit it, you kind of hate Justin just a little bit.

The group immediately went to work and had our first meeting to discuss the script, line by line and page by page. After about three hours we had made it about twenty pages into a one hundred page script. This was going to take awhile. One problem we immediately ran into was that the four of us were geographically dispersed. Well, really just Justin, but we don’t want to single him out…Justin…Justin Beahm…who lives two hours away from the rest of us. Fortunately, just when it looked like it would take us months to find time to workshop the script, technology came to the rescue!

During this process Skype wound up being our best tool. There were a few meetings, several hours long, conducted conference call style on Skype. These calls consisted of a LOT of back and forth. One person wouldn’t care for a plot point that another would defend. Another would have to fight to keep a beloved scene by agreeing to lose two others. It was a hard process and the script that emerged was similar to what I turned in but changed…for the better. It was an amazing expereince to work with a great group like that on a labor of writing love.

So where do we stand now? Why, tune in Monday to find out of course!

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as Chris “Turnip” Simmons relays the often rewarding but sometimes harrowing journey of an indie film from page to screen to release.

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