Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What an Exhausting, Exhilerating Day!

I would really love to tell you all about my day, but I'm too tired. I'll try and tell you all the details tomorrow - when I have some energy and maybe some pictures to share.

What I will say is that the footage looks gorgeous. I am so incredibly blessed with a talented and patient crew. I love them all. And the cast did amazing - everything was very natural - they really did justice to the words I wrote.

Until tomorrow, I'm crashing...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

CASTING! Two Juicy Roles Up For Grabs!

Ah, the never ending cycle of change in making movies. And we haven't even gotten to the movie yet!

The script changes that I made on Friday resulted in VO of Dr. Parker and Detective Jones being added back in! These are both juicy principal roles when we start shooting the feature this summer! My goal is to go SAG ultra-low on this, so please submit regardless of union affiliation - my goal is to go with the best actors for the role regardless.

Dr. Parker, principal: Female, will be 40-ish at the beginning of the film and 60-ish at the end, so need a woman who can either be younged down or aged up... She is a kind, caring, juvenile therapist. Likable, huggable. A bit on the matronly side - not glamorous, more like a soft squishy grandma type. Dr. Parker is integral to telling the overall story of the film. VO experience a plus.

Detective Jones, principal: Gender unimportant, mid-30's and up, experienced homicide detective who is called upon to investigate a mysterious murder. Must convey authority, but be likable. Originally written as a role for a man, then changed to a woman, but now the way it is written it could go either way.

If you submitted for Dr. Parker previously, no need to re-submit. as long as you sent me you HS/R, we're good. Otherwise, please submit to Auditions are tentatively schedule for 4/10.


I love props.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Our First Glitch!

If you have been following the blog or Facebook page at all you know that things have been going swimmingly for us over here in MJD land. All the pieces have just been falling in to place perfectly and I keep knocking on wood - wondering when the hammer is going to fall and put a big kink in our plans (wow, that's a lot of cliches in one sentence).

Well, it fell last week. No, no, nothing horrible - just our first big glitch. Our darling star got a boo-boo. Nothing that prevents her from working - just from walking... Given that I gave her instructions to wear comfortable shoes because she was going to be doing a LOT of walking, that is a considerable glitch.

Now, I am not one to dwell on the negative. Problems are just solutions waiting to happen. Since the first day I started writing MJD, whenever I came across a glitch it forced me to think through things in a different way - and in the end has made the story much better.

Much as our star's boo-boo is making the teaser script even better. I re-wrote it around her inability to walk, and dagnabbit I like it better the way it is now. Instead of her chasing the action, the action comes to her. It makes more sense and is a more compelling way to introduce her character.

So there you have it. Yeah for glitches!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Countdown to Filming!

In 4 days we start filming the teaser for MJD. Shooting scripts and call sheets have been sent out and we are in good shape. Still need some props - but nothing I can't dig up around the house. Or, I have found, put a status update on Facebook about. Amazing how everyone just seems to have exactly what I need at the exact moment I need it. I love it!

Our first shot on Monday will be a lovely bit of dialogue between the main character and her best friend. I am sooo looking forward to the very first words being put on film. Seeing the action in the moment and capturing it all for the rest of you to see - I am totally geeking out right now! It will be a relatively low-key first day - no one is getting killed and there are no kids involved. It will give the crew a chance to work out the kinks before things get crazy on Wednesday!

Speaking of Wenesday, we are filming the complete polar opposite themes of the movie in the same day! In the morning, we will be filming a happy, cheerful scene in a toy store. Merriment and good times will be had by all. Then after lunch, we get to film a murder scene. No kids will be harmed (in real life or on screen) in the making of the murder scene, I promise. Not sure which I am looking forward to more...

So, you likely won't see a blog post between now and late next week. Because I will be busy. But don't worry, I promise to report back! Ciao for now!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have nothing but amazing things to say about this woman. And as it should be - she and I will be attached at the hip for the next two years! This is Speedie - Producer, Assistant Director, Friend. I first met Speedie while filming The Omega Pitch - a 48hr Film project (which also happens to be the same place I met Jay!) directed by Coree Spencer. When I first started looking for a Producer, it was Coree who chimed in and said, "How about Speedie?" My response was a resounding "YES! Speedie!" She kicks butt and gets things done, is highly organized, motivated, and down-right adorable while doing it. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this film will be better because of her involvement.

Speedie is a recent Portland transplant. She comes to us from Hawaii, although I don't know why anyone would move here from Hawaii, but YEAH, glad she did. She tackles every assignment handed to her with grace, and often thinks of things before I even have to ask. Welcome Speedie. We are sooooo glad to have you!

The Man Behind the Camera

We have been ridiculously fortunate in that our first choice of talent in just about every aspect of casting and crew selection have jumped on board and agreed to work with us. Our DP is no exception. We asked if he was interested on a Monday, sent him the script on Tuesday, had coffee on Wednesday, and did our first location walk on the following Thursday. He jumped in, head first, with enthusiasm for the project and willingness to indulge me when I told him that our first experience working together with me as director would be a long traveling shot through a toy store - with kids! It is with much enthusiasm that we welcome the talented Jay Cornelius (IMDb) to our growing crew.

He comes to MJD with a long skill set and impressive resume, with experience spread across TV, film, commercial and web. But what I love most about Jay, is his relaxed demeanor and get-it-done-however-we-need-to-get-it-done attitude. When he's not making film, he's teaching film at The Art Institute and Mt. Hood Community College. Welcome aboard, Jay!

Friday, March 12, 2010

All Hail Widmer Brothers Brewing!

We are so excited to have our first official product sponsor. Widmer Brothers Brewing - the Official Beer of Meet Jane Doe! our cast and crew is very, very happy...

Casting 101

How I cast the teaser trailer, in order of when they were cast:*

Jacqueline Gault (Ruby) - That's me! I cast myself first, so here I am. Gonna get myself all dolled up to play the villain. So looking forward to it!

Sadie Medley (Maggie) - There would not be a "Meet Jane Doe" if there was not a Sadie Medley. Seriously. Sadie is my Mastermind buddy - we were paired up in Lana Veenker's workshop - we were both newbies and had no contacts, little experience, but piles of ambition. She's the one who encouraged me to start writing when i was pissing and moaning about the lack of good roles for women. As I was writing Meet Jane Doe, I would send Sadie the script as I wrote it and ask for feedback. I think it was maybe 6 weeks in to the writing process that she announced she wanted to be considered for the role of Maggie. I made her do a reading with me just to torture her - I had every intention of offering her the role. Since then, Sadie has made huge strides in the world of Voice Over - a talent which appears to come naturally for her. She has done national and local gigs, and I see a very bright future for her. I am lucky to have her on the MJD team.

Audrey Walker (Jane) - We are all just absolutely thrilled to have the talented Audrey Walker on our cast roster. She is becoming quite the local celebrity - I see her face and name attached to a lot of projects around town. When I originally wrote MJD, I cast myself in the role of Jane. BUT, that was back when it was just a short film, when I decided to go feature - and direct - then I knew I needed to step out of the lead role. Yes, it was a tough decision. But I had the perfect actress in mind for the role. Audrey and I met at a WIF meeting and I adored her from the get-go. And I was fortunate that she said yes. Yes, I did make her read with Sadie before officially offering her the role - but only because the two characters are the very best of friends and there needed to be some chemistry there. The role of Jane requires a great deal of range, and I have no doubt that Audrey will pull it off beautifully.

Jon Ashley Hall (Doug) - Jon had submitted to audition for MJD back in November of 2009. The eternal optimist that I am, I thought we would be filming in January of 2010... I met Jon in person at the MoHo (isn't that where everyone meets everyone in this town - there and on Facebook) on Leverage night. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and I spent some time chatting with him and he wasn't annoying or creepy or anything, like most of the actors I know (I kid, I kid...), so I thought to myself "He would actually make a good Doug." I sent him the script and asked him if he would like to audition. He was definitely the front-runner, and I found that as I was doing re-writes I would picture him in the role as I was writing. A few weeks later, while at a promo shoot with Audrey and Sadie, Audrey asked me if I had anyone in mind for Doug yet. I told her I had a couple of guys in mind, but didn't say who. Then she chimed in "What about Jon Hall?" That was all the validation I needed. I sent Jon a message that simply stated "You are Doug."

Craig Johnson (Charles Hayworth) - The first time I met Craig was at the MoHo (see, it really is where everyone meets...) and it was like at first sight. He was giving me the finger from the end of the bar. Calling me Charlie. WTF?!?! So I called him Chuck. Don't really know why or how it got started... But in all seriousness, I think the reason Craig and I hit it off from the get-go is because Craig is like a boy version of me. Goofy. Charming. Funny. Outgoing. And to top it all off he's nice - and talented! He's just one of those people you enjoy being around. The sad thing is that he is skipping town and venturing to La La Land in June. So, we have to shoot his scenes first if we want him in the feature. At the very least, I will get to torture and abuse him as my victim before he goes. Stay tuned, though, for information on the upcoming hilarity that will be "The Chuck and Charlie Show" - don't know why he gets top billing - we need to talk about that...

*Please note that this is the cast for the teaser trailer only.

Next Up: Crewing Up! Meet the players that will make this movie even AWESOMER!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Up Next: Filming The Teaser!

Our schedule is almost set of filming the trailer. Just need to finalize some details, and we will be set. We are pretty much cast (for the trailer), with the exception of some kids for the background. If you have a little actor between the ages of 3-7, drop me a line at We would need them between 7-10 am on Wednesday 3/24. W provide the donuts and juice, they provide the cute. Please, only experienced, well behaved kids need apply! This will be a very complex traveling shot and we need little pros that know how to hit their marks.

So what is this trailer all about, you may be asking? Well, it's not your typical trailer, where you find bits and pieces of the film all smooshed together with dramatic music and effects. No, this is a Proof of Concept. We are filming two complete scenes from the movie that we feel best represent what the movie is about and display our cinematic prowress, and we present those scenes (along with various other info) to potential investors. Will the general public be able to see it? Of course! We have some crazy momentum going on in this film and we need to keep that momentum going!

Our production schedule is set for the week of 3/22, and we have to film in a toy store, public transortation, an apartment and a dungeon. Ok, not really a dungeon, but a really gross icky basement room. We are combining the spectacular "look what we ca do" shots, with the dialogue and interaction that will keep people wanting to come back for more. We're teases.

So, you ask, when will the trailer be readyto view? When it's done! That's the best answer you will get out of me today!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Little History...

Even though we are plowing forward at light speed, I think it is worthwhile to take a step back and talk about the origins of Meet Jane Doe. Not that it is a particularly interesting story, but for sake of posterity and documenting this whole process, I think it is necessary to delve into the origins of Meet Jane Doe.

I didn't intend to write a movie. When I started writing MJD back in July of 2009, it was going to be a short film about a really wild character. It was to be my showpiece as an actor and nothing more. I started writing it out of frustration – as an actor I was tired of being the mom, the wife, the secretary… I had 4 auditions in one week, and each one of them was for a "crying mom." Blech. I wanted to play characters – fully developed CHARACTERS! But, alas, they did not exist...

So, I decided to create one. As a writer, I knew that I could write myself an amazing short and I could play several characters and I would find someone to shoot it and it would be a fun little project that would take no longer than a weekend, and I would have the best demo reel on the planet.

That is until I started writing. The more I wrote the bigger the story got. It quickly grew bigger than a short film, so I decided to make it into a series. After all, a series would be manageable – I could film 8-10 minute episodes on a manageable schedule – no problem. But then the story went and did something horrible to me. It ended. It was at that point that I threw my hands up in the air and declared, "It's going to be a feature length film!"

With that realization, came a whole new set of problems. I didn't know anyone well enough in the industry to just be able to pick up the phone and say "Hey, you wanna help me make a movie?" So I had to go out and meet people. I had to get some advice. And I had to let go of some things in order to take on the additional responsibilities of making a movie.

The first thing I decided I had to let go of was casting myself in the lead role. I couldn't do it all, and I no longer was making a showpiece for myself – I was making a movie. So the first thing I did was find myself a new leading lady. The first – and only – person that came to mind was the talented Ms. Audrey Walker. We had spoken about the project at a Women in Film mixer, and she knew that I had written the role for myself, and she was over-the-top flattered that she was my first choice. And she said yes.

So, now I had a script and a leading lady. But that was it. Oh, and I had the leading lady's best friend, Maggie (Sadie Medley). I met Sadie years ago in our other jobs (advertising), but we didn't connect and become friends until we were partnered together in Lana Veenker's workshop (which I highly recommend for all actors…). Sadie suffered through reading the script from it's infancy and I have her to thank for the way it grew and evolved. When I stand at the podium and accept my Oscar for best screenplay, she will be one of the first people I thank! A close second and third will be Lanie Hoyo and Jason Rosenblatt – my other script reading guinea pigs!

But I digress. I had my lead actor, her best friend, and cast myself as the villain – still a nice juicy role, but one that was more manageable given the additional responsibilities that I placed on myself. So, now I needed to meet my crew. I started chatting people up on film sets, and I became a major networking whore! I attempted to attend every networking function on the planet – sometimes 3 or 4 every week. My husband and son started to get a little lonely….

I hit up everyone I could find for advice, and was fortunate enough to get the ears of some of my local heroes: James Westby, Todd Freeman, Phil Bransom. All of these fabulous and talented filmmakers took time out of their schedules to talk to little ol' ME!

So where does that leave me now? A million miles from where I started. I now have the finest film crew money can't buy. A crew of amazingly talented and dedicated individuals who read the script and jumped on board – fully confident that one year from now we will be sitting on a festival-worthy film.

Up next: I will introduce you to the fabulous crew that I mentioned I roped in. Each one deserves to be singled out and praised individually. Stay tuned – I will chat them up in the coming days!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Casting: What and When?

We are currently casting for the role of Dr. Parker. Female, will be 40-ish at the beginning of the film and 60-ish at the end, so need a woman who can either be younged down or aged up... She is a kind, caring, juvenile therapist. Dr. Parker is integral to telling the overall story of the film. VO experience a plus.

In the fairly near future we will be casting other roles. Right now we are casting for the trailer only - and will spend the following three months fund-raising like a bunch of money hungry fiends. When we acquire enough to proceed, then we will start casting for the feature. And just so you know what is to come in the future, here is a list of characters we will be casting when the time comes:

ADAM: Principle. Male, mid-30's, nightclub owner. Player. Women fawn over him, and he eats it up. He is handsome, stylish, and over confident. He can have any woman in the club, except for the one he really wants. Ruby. And his desire for her will ultimately be his demise.

DETECTIVE JONES: Principle. Gender unimportant, mid-30's and up, experienced homicide detective who is called upon to investigate a mysterious murder. Must convey authority, but be likable.

The Homewreckers: Gina, Jenny, Sarah and Emily. Ruby's back-up singers and dancers. Very glamorous ladies, in a gothic burlesque sort of way. Gina has a decent amount of dialogue with Detective Jones, the rest are under 5's. Must be able to dance and/or sing as there are 2 big choreographed production numbers.



Toy store customers: We need angry parents, a wealthy mom, and lots and lots of extras.

RUBY'S VICTIMS: We need a few guys who are willing to be tortured by Ruby, one of the lead characters. Some are under 5's and one in particular is a decent size role with lots of dialogue.

We need a bartender, waitress and bouncer. Under 5's.

POLICE OFFICERS: we are in need of several men and women to play police officers. Non-speaking role.

If you would like to throw you hat in the ring for any of the above roles, you can submit your HS/R to We will be filming the feature in late June, so please only submit if you will be available this summer.