SNAKEHEAD IS IN THE CAN!!!
AND WE ARE WRAPPED!
How are you all? Hope all is well. It's been quite a journey since we last spoke and I appreciate your patience with these updates! So, after 6 months, 5 cities, dozens of miracles, a shipping freighter, two Chinese banquets, a big rig, numerous dim sum days, South Florida, a massage parlor, San Francisco, sponge cakes, aquariums, lobsters, cold pools of water, more water, AMAZING PERFORMANCES, and a crew and family that went to war for me, WE have a movie in the CAN!
It's been an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life and I am excited to share with you all more behind the scenes content as we work through this next phase of post-production.
Now that we have time to breathe, we are going through the Kickstarter rewards. So, look out for an email/mail/shoutout soon!
For now though, I'll share this one story about a boat in Florida.
If you didn't realize this already, Snakehead had some big set pieces. For most indie films, you get 2, maybe 3 of these scenes. Set pieces are usually complex action-oriented scenes that take more than just two actors talking out a scene. Snakehead had about 22 set pieces. When I first started writing, one of my mentors said write huge and then you can cut for budget. So, I wrote big anticipating the cuts.
ENTER BRIAN YANG, indie movie producer.
Brian and I had differing expectations. He was not going to let ridiculous conventional thought stop him. His plan was to get me everything in the script in our budget which was basically next to nothing. And now, 6 months later, he actually did. One of the most significant reasons why this movie took so long was because we built the schedule off of situations, locations, and logistics to meet our budgets-which basically meant as little as possible. If we were a big hollywood movie, we would just throw money at all these problems and they could work around our schedules. Alas, we didn't have money but we had a lot of set pieces.
I knew the shipping freighter scene in the script was going to be problematic from a producing stand point, but during production we had so many other problems that I didn't press the issue. So, when we were actually faced with shooting this, Brian didn't even ask me to change the script.
For over 6 months, Brian called everywhere in the world while producing the rest of this crazy movie. He then did something logical and creative. Brian took a map and called every coastal state in America. From Washington to Louisiana to Maine, he called every port, film commission, and private shipping company that he could google. In our extensive research for a boat, (we know more about shipping freighters than anyone should ever know) we discovered the hardest obstacle was the boat itself. No one would allow us to shoot on their boat for nothing. The costs, the risks, the insurance, were just too great for our little movie. It looked like I had to either change the story or cheat it tremendously.
ENTER KEVIN and the MONARCH COUNTESS
Out of nowhere, a shipping company based out of West Palm Beach, Florida responded to of all things, a bulletin board post! KEVIN, owner of a small family owned shipping company that ships between Florida and Haiti, saw what we needed, emailed us the 2 boats he had and told us to come on down. Now, this seemed to be good to be true.
A free shipping freighter for 2 days was something that we never got close to getting anywhere in the world. After several hours of phone logistics with Kevin, the port of Palm Beach, and the film commission, we decided to take a chance down there and test our karma. Skeptical, but in hopeful spirits, we discovered this was all true. We got a 300 foot boat near free because of our passion and the good will of mankind! Now, I just had to make a good scene!!
Moral of the story, Brian is incredible, Kevin is incredible, and Thank God for google maps!
The next problem was: how do we get 100 Chinese extras in Florida?
ENTER BRIAN YANG
The actual shoot went incredible. It didn't come easy, but that's a story for another post.
They say you write a movie three times- Once when you write it on the page, second when you shoot it, and third when you edit it. We have graduated to the 3rd process. I've teamed up with Master Editor, Greg Louie, who I've been collaborating with since the Last Trumpet to BLT Genesis to Linsanity. So, we got this.
Editorial is quite different than shooting but it still has its own set of challenges. The days are long and dark but they aren't any easier when time is short and money is non-existent. But we will prevail through this process just like we did with production, because we must.
Stay tuned for more updates, more footage, and being my first fans, you get the honor of spreading the word first about this movie. We need all the help we can for this project. The internet should make this a little easier, but there is nothing more powerful than word of mouth and community support. You're all a part of the Snakehead team.
I think I do this in every update, but I can't Thank You for believing in me and this project. The crew heard all the support, buzz, and cheers from of all you the past 6 months and that momentum has carried us. Its truly amazing what can be done when the passion spreads to the community.
Evan Jackson Leong