Jess had researched various budget and scheduling packages such as “Movie Magic”, “Gorilla”, and “Celtx” and we decided on a free web-based system called “Scenechronize” which was recommended to us by New Deal Studios. The software is pretty amazing and it does everything exceptionally well except generating nicely formatted call sheets – go figure. Another free web-based program called “Lightspeed” was a close second.
Jess taught herself the software and began breaking down the script. It was at that time we began to realize just how ambitious this was. I wasn’t too worried about the VFX or crazy stunts, since that was the stuff I knew. No, it was the 20 locations and 50 or so cast members that was a challenge. The only things missing to make our lives more difficult were animals and small children.
In the past, whenever we shot a Hunted episode, we just looked around at the resources we had available – people, places, props, events, and then got very creative about how we could tell a story. With the feature, I wanted the story to come first, which is a noble idea. But unless you have millions of dollars at your disposal, it’s also a crazy idea.
But Jess has always been a natural for finding great deals online, and she made for an amazing producer. She somehow found us an affordable two million dollar insurance policy (which we needed to book locations), and she used websites like filmla.com to secure some amazing locations like the Warner Grand Theater.
She even convinced a few locations like the El Tarasco restaurant in the valley to let us shoot for free. And we never had to pull a single permit.
There were a few locations that we couldn’t afford which we knew we had to shoot guerilla – Venice Beach and Hollywood Blvd. Our plan was to shoot with the Canon T2i and run a wireless mic. Jess also had her Pepperdine teacher ID, which could be used to convince anyone that we were a student production. Luckily, we never had to use it.