Homeless for the Holidays

I met George Johnson a few years before we shot this.

George is another one of those people you meet in this industry whom you want to know forever. Despite the awesome people involved, this was a grueling movie to shoot. Most of the crew were volunteers and that's how it can go on a low budget film sometimes. Megan Didyk (my grip) and I were the only industry professionals and had to carry most of the weight of the actual production. That's not to diminish the involvement of the hundreds of volunteers that helped, but they were generally there only for a couple of days in the beginning. And due to their lack of knowledge of filmmaking, their help was limited in terms of actual production work. The longer a no-budget film drags out, the thinner your volunteer base gets. Ginger and Ashlen Covely were the exceptions. They were there from the first to the last day. We shot for 22 principal photography days on this. We never finished a day in under 14 hours, and one day was over 20 hours. I'm pretty sure that still stands as the longest day I've ever worked.

I can't remember how many people showed up for the audition. I think it was around 800. They had to extend the audition to another day just to see everyone. It was incredible. The male lead was Matt Moore, with whom I worked during the Doritos commercial on my reel. And they found co-star Crystal Dewitt-Hinkle just a couple of days before photography began.

I lit this entire movie with two main lights and a small Arri kit. I wouldn't want to do them all that way, though.