A Moment With Tim Haggard

Oh my, this has been a busy few weeks, but I am back at the computer logging all of the footage for my doc, plus I have been interviewing each of the actors from the show, then something interesting happened, the playwright asked me if he could speak with me. To be fair, he kind of makes me nervous, but I think that might just be me; in either case he offered to give me a face-to-face interview and if he liked it, he would let me interview him on camera later.

So without further ado, here is my written interview with Tim Haggard, writer of A Wonderful World taken on the first day of the table read.

PW: Thanks for taking a moment to speak with me.

TH: I figured if you wanted to get the whole story behind this project, you probably need to start at the beginning, so here I am.

PW: "A Wonderful World" has a ton of buzz behind it, how did you decide to bring it to the stage?

TH: To be honest, this is something that I had been thinking about for a long time, but I have to give credit to Saul Rosenberg, my agent.  

PW: So it was his idea?

TH: Not at all, but Saul kept pushing me to try something new, so I decided why not take it to the stage?

PW: Are you a big fan of theater?

TH: I like theater, but I love the written word.  For me it doesn't really matter the art form; theater, film, television or a novel, it all begins with the writer.

PW: Now that you are here working with the director and the actors, is the experience turning into everything you expected it to be?

TH:  Time will tell.  

PW: Sounds a bit ominous, am I detecting a little tension?

TH: Tension? Not from me.  

PW: No, I just noticed that... 

TH: Look, there I was, meeting the cast for the first time, introducing myself and the play and trying to inspire them, so they do my play justice. That's all. No big agenda beyond that. Just trying to get off to a good start. 

PW: Well the cast includes some truly excellent performers...

TH: Really?  To be honest I don't know if these people are talented enough to bring this complex and rich material to life the way it deserves to be, the way it needs to be. But I'm pouring my heart out to them--because, for me, this is all about heart. And I hear laughing! Giggling! I'm not saying anything remotely funny, and these f#$@ing dip-shit actors are laughing! 

PW: Maybe they were just nervous, what if...

TH: Nervous, try disrespectful. Who, I'm asking myself, do these people think they are?! Actors are a dime a dozen. They can be replaced. And maybe they will be. We'll just have to see. I'm not going to rush to any conclusions just yet, but we'll just have to see. The only actress I have faith in at this point is the one with the glasses, I forget her name, the one who was taking notes--as they all should have been! 

PW: Notes?  

TH: Seriously, they're idiots--except for the one with the glasses--don't they realize what a privilege it is to be working with me, and that this script is gold!  Projects like this come around maybe once in a lifetime; IF you're lucky. Well, maybe more than that, now that I'm writing plays, but not often, not often. Don't they get it? My play could well be the "Streetcar" or the "Death of a Salesman" of our generation. It could make their careers, each and every lousy one of 'em.

PW: What makes you say that?  Is there something that you specifically believe, makes this project a career-maker? 

TH:  Specifically?  Yeah, I can be specific.  Given the timeliness of the script, what with the war in Iraq resembling the hopelessness of the one we fought in Vietnam, this play may well serve as a rallying cry, a maypole, a lightning rod for this generation.  I've swung for the fences with this script; now I just have to make sure these actors, MY actors, are home run hitters and not a bunch of whiffers. this point we were interrupted by Jill Baynor the stage manager, the director was asking for Tim, so we had to cut it short.  Before he walked back to the group I asked him one last question.

PW: So, Mr. Haggard, is it all worth it?

TH: You kidding, it's Broadway baby!

 He then flashed a broad smile and off he went.  Next time I need to ask him about the ending, but in either case I appreciate his willingness to be so candid on the record, should be an interesting on camera interview as well.

Until next time - Pam Out!


After these messages, we'll be right back!

Can't say there is anything better than starting to film the documentary project, because this is my story, or at least it is my POV that will help tell the story. We set up in th director's office near West 53rd and he couldn't have been a nicer guy. He was forthcoming and I think he is going to make my job so much easier.

Not sure when I will have footage of the interview for everyone to see, but I thought I would add these pics to give you an idea of the setup. Jerry helped me set up the lights, but he had to get to his job, so he couldn't stay for the rest of the interview (but thanks Jerry, you rock).

So as promised, my next video blog. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions - thanks.

To be or not to be (letterboxed or 4x3)

So I have to admit, being a film major I should have known better, but many of my classmates (scratch that, ALL of them) had a comment or two about my first video blog. Mostly concerning my awesome hat, ok, not really, most of the comments came because of my formatting of the 1st vlog in a 4x3 television format.

Or at least that is what it used to be called.

...but I digress:

Pan n' Scan Pam

Widescreen Pam

Just as it was the European standard of a few years back, widescreen films at home (and now online) started taking over our sets when DVDs became popular. Now television sets are made with LCD and plasma screens, they have almost all gone to 16x9 as the format of choice. With web video (like my vlog), I had a chance to use a widescreen format but I was kinda rushed to get it uploaded so I made the decision to stick with the old style (but as Jerrry pointed out after it went online) all that does is reduce the actual amount of screen information.

Take the two shots above, the one on the right works out fine, but we are missing some of the environment, the city street, the car, whatever...and the widescreen version captures more of where I was, what I was doing at the time. So moving forward all of my vlogs WILL BE IN THE WIDESCREEN FORMAT.

Please stop sending emails complaining, at least my mom thought I looked cute, and (sometimes) that is the most important thing.

I'll have another vlog up later today.


Pam OUT!

Check out this trailer!

A friend of mine shot, edited and directed a short documentary project about a a musician, Travis Bilenski that I thought you might find interesting. The film will be screened at next year's Slamdance Film Festival, check it out and let me know what you think.


Drumroll Please........

Ok, here it goes, my first official VLOG.

Please be sure to comment, let me know if you like the blog, think the video is a good idea, etc. Comment below or you can send me an email, just click here.

Thanks for watching, Pam Out!

Thanks Jerry.

Ok, I am a bit nervous...

...I get word today about the new documentary that I might be working on, scratch that, that I AM working on, but luckily my friend Jerry (Hi Jerry) is going with me to see what all the hub-bub is about. It's like working with an A.C. (assistant camera) when you're the cinematographer. The A.C. works hard to make sure you have the right lens on, pulls focus for you and does what they can to make sure the shot looks great.

Today, Jerry has been kind enough to come with, camera in hand and is ready to shoot my first VLOG. Hopefully the meeting with my advisors will go well, but more on that later.

Short and quick, I'll talk to y'all soon.

Pam Out!


V-log versus B-log

Ok, this whole blogging thing just might get out of hand. So I was told that people check out blogs with either a specialty focus, or ones that have a famous person writing or about topical issues, so if I wanted to get more people to "check this out" I needed to do some video blogs or vlogs.

So just like the tools of the trade that we need in order to make a film, the tools I need in order to get people interested in my blogs, would be the inclusion of video entries.

Which I can do.

I have access to a camera that we used on a short film shoot last week where I was the script supervisor. What does a script supervisor do you might ask? Well I did everything from running to get batteries for the wireless mics to helping with food at lunch, but those weren't anything that goes with that job.

A script supervisor works closely with both the Director and the Director of Photography. They help breakdown the script, listing out the various set-ups and locations that we will need to cover within that given day. I also mark down each scene that we shoot against my shooting script, log any specific changes or comments (like when we use a special lens or the shot is an insert) so when the editor gets a look at the footage, my notes will help them understand exactly what we were doing and any changes to expect. I also manage the continuity. So when an actor steps into character and the glass he is holding is in his right hand during the first take, and he tries to switch it during the fourth take, it is my responsibility to make sure we stay consistent with the continuity of the overall film, helping to keep the story intact and the characters more realistic.

As a film student, it is great to be able to do ALL the various jobs that are required, so I have a better understanding of what it takes to make a film, but even though my focus is on documentary projects, the lessons learned working as a script supervisor still apply.

Which brings me back to the lessons learned from starting this blog, I will do everything I can to show you as much of what I am doing as writing about it, so expect a vlog, coming soon to this here blog o' mine.

Pam out, 'til next time.