I set out on this remarkable journey to write, produce, and direct the Wantin sizzle reel. I was adamant that I wanted to have people aligned to me who were passionate about their craft and deserved an opportunity to be showcased for their abilities.
Anyone who is associated with the development of a film can tell you from their experiences, that it is seriously hard yakka. There isn't an aspect of any department that's not integral to the success of the production. Hence, I knew from the outset that it was critical to engage and surround myself with a talented crew.
Thanks to the assistance of Ignition Pictures I was already well underway with auditioning for a full cast for the reel. Their willingness to drive the casting call outs and screen tests set the pace for the production. Once the actors were in place, I ventured forward on my own to begin executing the rehearsals, location scouting, developing the storyboards, and creating the preliminary shot lists. Then in my spare time, I reviewed all the incoming crew applications from my shout out through Australian filming networks and industry service platforms such as StarNow.
"Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved."
Post developing a shortlist of candidates I steamrolled through the arduous task of calling to make a time to catch up with everyone. The interview process or meet and greet session offers a critical chance to see if you mesh with the candidate. The hope for most creatives is that their showreels speak volumes for their capability, so they don't have to sell themselves in person.
Instinct plays a part for me when I'm assessing people. My initial plan was to meet absolutely every candidate. I quickly found the rigidity of this approach was limiting my access to skilled applicants. With a quick adjustment, I switched to speaking with some applicants on the phone. Mary-Kate Winebrenner, my production assistant, was one such person and Hanna Palmer, a Steadicam specialist was another. It didn't take me long to appreciate that the individuals who were applying for the roles oozed passion for film making.
A couple of days into the process, I met with Konrad McCarthy for a coffee. Within minutes of our exchange, I knew I had found the person I wanted to appoint as my Director of Photography. His brooding confidence overshadowed his introverted demeanor. I held no doubts that he would be the right person for the job. He quickly demonstrated that he is a straight shooter who doesn't entertain drama and outcome-driven. I could tell by his probing questions that he held a high level of dedication toward his role of aiding the visual translation of the story to film. Post our meeting; I felt a sense of calm knowing my project was in the right hands. Honestly, I was stoked and couldn't wait to get started.
Gerard Mack was another of the applicants I was lucky enough to have met with and enlisted the services of for the sizzle reel. When I caught up with him at his private recording studio, I was blown away by his knowledge of all things sound-related and more so by the length of time he has been in the industry. I mean this guy was around doing the job at the time when calling out 'sound speed' in the good old film days held a real purpose.
Within less than ten days (thanks to the assistance of the appointed crew recommending other professionals to join the team), I had my full complement of people in place. The vibe of the group heightened upon discovering most of them knew each other. It made them eager to work together again. Opting to shift to interviewing 'recommended' crew proved to become one of the best decisions I could have made.
Thus our unified journey of manifesting the Wantin sizzle reel from concept to creation had commenced.
If you need a reliable crew to be onboard for your next creative endevour, reach out to any of the professionals listed below.
Writer / Producer / Director Truth Devour
Assistant Director Jillian Drenen
Assistant Director Miffy Wild
Steady Cam Operator & Gaffer Hannah Palmer
Best Boy Reza Zaki
2nd AC / Clapper Nicholson Ren
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