Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts in New York State’s Southern Tier
Good day ladies & gentlemen, my name is Todd Douglas Bailey & I’ll be your guide into the wonderful, yet challenging world of independent filmmaking! So sit back, grab a snack and get ready for a bumpy ride!
I have been making short films and indie feature films for several years now and the one constant that I face from film to film is our lack of money and resources. When writing a screenplay, I find it helpful to write around the resources that I know I have access to or it is something that is easily obtainable. I learned to think this way from reading Robert Rodriquez’s book, “A Rebel Without a Crew.” In 2008, I released my award-winning film called “The Moretti House” which was filmed in Elmira at the old Langdon-Pratt mansion. The Community Arts of Elmira allowed me to film there while they were renovating the building. That was a case of me seeing the building and creating a story around it. I knew I had access to the building and I wrote the story using what was already inside the mansion. In Hollywood, a set like that mansion could cost thousands of dollars. “The Moretti House” was premiered on the big screen at The Palace Theatre in Corning. Rob Hesch, a local teacher from Campbell-Savona wrote our new script that we have been working on. He doesn’t share my philosophy in screenwriting! We have been in pre-production since May 2009.
The film is titled “Echo”. Producing this film has been challenging to say the least. It has elaborate locations, multiple costume and makeup effects needed, and a large cast of characters. I like my stories to have few characters to minimize the actors that would be needed. We have 25 actors in “Echo”…and that’s not including extras! There are 50 total scenes and approximately 10-11 different locations. To put this is prospective for you, “The Moretti House” had 8 actors and 5 locations. Needless to say, we are being very ambitious with “Echo”. It will be my biggest movie yet! My film company, Tizodd Productions, L.L.C., is not a major studio so building sets is not an option. What that means is that I depend deeply on the community to help us create this film. We approach local businesses that fit the scenes that we need. Most business-owners that we have approached are very helpful and grant us permission to use their locations in our films. Without this type of support we would be dead in the water. What’s great about this is that these businesses donate their locations to us…that is great because our budgets are usually very limited. What I do for these businesses is bring in patrons as extras and require them to buy something from the business if they want to be an extra. Good thing we have lots of friends and family that want to be in our films! Our main cast is compiled with local actors. Matthew Faulisi is one of my veteran actors from “The Moretti House” that will be portraying one of the lead roles. This will be his second feature film. Richard Mathy, Jr. from ABC’s “The Bachelorette” will be appearing in “Echo”. Tina Field Howe, author of the Alyssa of the Fields books will be making a cameo as well. Tina is another alum from “The Moretti House”.
I think I’ll leave you there for the moment but make sure you keep checking back. I’ll fill you in on more of our producing struggles and triumphs throughout the month. Things will surely begin to unfold as we approach our start date for principle photography, which is set for March 20th! So ‘til next time my friends, keep watching the movies!