April 25, 1996

This evening Alex, Bill, Robin and I met with the extremely nice and helpful Nancy Larsen, the co-producer of John Young's upcoming feature Parallel Sons. Nancy gave us quite a lot of information on the practical aspects of pulling off a low-budget production. I enjoyed seeing Alex and Bill absorb expertise from Nancy without me having to worry about the details. Until now I've never really had the luxury of having producers take care of big portions of the filmmaking process for me. The collaboration with close friends on this project is working out very well so far--we started with a level of trust and interdependence that would have taken a while to build with strangers.

Of the issues that Nancy raised, the one that gave me the most pause is the insurance question. Production insurance is expensive enough that no-budget filmmakers often go without, as I did on my previous film. But without insurance you can't get permits to shoot in the city, and without permits you can't get some locations, and leave yourself open to being chased away from others. We've been trying to plan a tight, professional schedule that the cast and crew could rely upon, but that may be difficult to pull off if we can be thrown out of our public locations. More thought and research is required.

We audition four actors tomorrow, and at least four more on Monday. Some of the actors we're seeing are recommended, others are friends of friends. Whether this process is more effective than a full-scale cattle call remains to be seen.

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