pre production stages pre production checklist alaska documentary

Pre Production Stages — our Alaska Documentary

Been meaning to write this pre production post for about five months, but I’ve been absolutely slammed. Apologies aside: as those of you who subscribe to the updates know, I’m in the thick of pre production for a documentary which — if funded — will start in Alaska and likely involve other interesting places around the world. I’m going to litter the bottom of this post with some pretty pictures my wife took on the second film survey in hopes to show off one of her hobbies (full gallery, click here). Then I’ll provide another upgrade for those of you who want some advice on the stages of pre-production:  our current pre production checklist — click here for that.

Of course the first piece of this whole shindig involves assembling the team, which in this case included both producers. The two of us got together and feeling each other out. His name’s Paul Brown, lives in the neighborhood, and was the main brain behind the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts:

He’s also a producer of a couple of PBS documentaries, a very effective activist on a national scale (I’ve watched his work play out in national newspapers without his name attached, which is slightly creepy and cool at the same time). He’s also a recent dramaturge.

Aside from that, I like the guy a lot: he comes regularly to our third Saturday marathon brunches and has showed up pretty faithfully to our artist support groups. He’s an encourager, a deep thinker, the kind of guy that aggressively questions people to get to the bottom of things but just as easily sits quietly and listens to the room. I’ve learned a ton from him over the last few months.

Whether or not this film progresses, I’m eternally grateful that I met Paul.

Well Paul and I found each other by Adam Jones here in Sunset Park and we started talking about documentary ideas. I normally don’t talk about film scripts because, let’s face it, there’s a ruthlessness in the film industry that simply does not exist in the fiction world. Fiction writers have a “please don’t tell me what to write” attitude whereas filmmakers tend to say “tell me more,” and turn on the voice recorder.

But I was busy enough and had JUST gotten the idea for a documentary so I stepped out there and told him. And three hours later he and I had the first seeds of an idea.

He, his friend Jack Hickle (son of the former Secretary of the Interior and former Governor and father of the London economist Jason Hickle), and his friends Malcolm and Cindy Roberts all paid for me to fly out to Alaska and stay for a time and learn and study and start to see if the interest is there in a film.

If nothing else comes of this, I never expected people who were strangers a year ago to pay for me to travel to Alaska twice. And I never expected to get to spend a month of this much concentrated time with any of my new Brooklyn neighbors.

SHOUTOUT :: to one of our monthly patrons
who paid for Tara to come on the second trip.

In any case, I assembled our current checklist — click here for that. We’re currently in treatment / storyboard mode as well as assembling the core team and seed funding.

READ NEXT:  If Earth is a Globe

And here are some pictures. If you’d prefer to unlock the full gallery, click here

As always, more to come…

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