June 13, 1996

Dylan McCormick accepted my offer of the lead male role today. It was not an easy sale: Dylan had a number of reservations about the project, both aesthetic and practical, and I had to make several concessions to convince him to take the role. I am not in a good bargaining position, as I don't have a lot of options, and time is running short. But Dylan's readings always struck a chord in me. He's the sort of actor who brings a distinctive personality to his roles, in the tradition of old Hollywood stars like Grant and Stewart. (Actually, his speech patterns remind me of Christopher Plummer in WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES, which makes it hard for me not to like him.)

We never found a good way to hire SAG actors like William Sage and Mitchell Lichtenstein without paying out tens of thousands of dollars. I spoke to a very helpful producer today who outlined for me the common way to get around SAG rules: create a fake script for a short experimental film, take advantage of SAG's experimental waiver, hope that a SAG representative doesn't visit the set, prepare for difficulties if you're lucky enough to get distribution. I don't know if I could live that dangerously.

Alex and I visited Brooklyn College today, only to be flatly rejected in our attempt to use it as a location. The professors and administrative people in the theater department had been encouraging, but it was a different game when security and public relations got into the picture. A college is a difficult location to secure. We've got a few other options, but pretty soon it will be time to get creative.

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