As cool as it would’ve been, we didn’t have a table read for the show. I felt like I was already asking too much from my cast, who were all working for free. Besides, it was a cast of 50, and I wasn’t even sure where I could do that. No, it was actually easier to meet up with a few of the main actors individually and work the scenes. I also met with a buddy of mine, Jim Pirri (who is also in the film), who did a fantastic job coaching me through several of my key scenes.
Fight rehearsals were essential to keep folks safe, and I met with Gary Kasper at the LA Fight Academy downtown almost weekly for a few months before filming. I also drove all over the city to meet with folks when they were available, meeting them at parks, dojos, gyms, wherever. I was able to get at least a couple days with folks like Bob Goodwin for the theater fight, Scott Rosen for the cop fight, Banzai Vitale for the meter maid fight, Dave Baker for the fight with Harry, and Josh and Taylor for the Vampslayer fight, which I also did a previs for in Maya. I also set up a rehearsal day with Anthony DeLongis with myself and all of the slayers for the finale. I then posted all of the fights on Youtube so everyone could remember the choreography.
I tried to keep all of the fights fairly simple since I knew our shoot time was going to be limited. There were also several cast members who were unavailable for fight rehearsals, and fights that were location-based (such as the theater) that would have to be choreographed on the day. Luckily, everyone in the cast were professionals who knew how to use a sword, so I wasn’t too concerned about the action or safety.
I realized though, even though I had some of the most amazing stunt people in Hollywood working on my show, I couldn’t ask any of them to sell out and risk injury. They were working for free. And if they got injured, they wouldn’t be available for their next paying gig.