I wrote out a long post on part 2 of making I Just Want to Eat My Sandwich in my composition book, planning to copy it on here, but now I'm not sure how much of it is really that interesting. To catch a glimpse of making the film, check out the above video, made by our leading lady, Rachael Lillis. Rachael is entirely behind the camera in this video; you can see she has photography and editing talents as well as acting ones. The "stars" in this are Bill McNally, Patrick McNally, Jeremy Ward and myself. That was our crew -- yup a small one. Believe me, while I don't like to overwork anyone, it's always better to need one more person than to have an extra one laying around. Except, you don't really need that other person then.
There was one more person and that was my father, Bob Radochia. Dad took care of most of the craft services and lunch. That was such a treat for me as I've never wanted to ask anyone to do that for free so out in LA, I always did all the food. It takes up a lot of energy and it's so much better to save that for directing. We really appreciated Dad doing this. He also stayed around if we needed help in any other way. He took some photos, kept some people entertained and gave those who needed them, directions on a better way to get home.
We got off to a slow start because the sound mixing board was broken. Jeremy, who was going to do sound, became our DP. Yes, we didn't know for sure who would do camera until that very morning. We just figured that either Bill or I or Jeremy could do it. I would never have not had a set DP before filming except we had all worked together before so we knew we would figure a way. Also a problem was that the lights we had were giving us problems. We decided on using no lights at all since we had plenty of ambient light coming in through a big window next to the cube, as well as sky lights. Breath-taking cinematography simply wasn't a requirement for this little film taking place in an office. It was the acting and directing that really mattered. Not to say that Jeremy didn't do a great job -- he did. We had some challenging angles and he made them work.
Also at work, was one of Jeremy's co-workers who not only decided to show up unexpected, but use the phone as well. There were a few times where I had called "action" and the guy just then picked up the phone to talk. Nice. We were going to bribe him with food but he didn't stay too long -- thank goodness.
Saturday was the tougher of the two days as we had almost everyone coming that day. It was very much like Jimmy's House of Hugs that way. Actors came throughout the day and most were not there longer than two hours (and if so, it was only by choice that they were there longer). I think they were pleasantly surprised to find that even though we started late, that we finished on time, and that meant not only finishing on time for the whole day but for each person. I always write in the schedule what time I expect each actor to wrap.
We did have to push off some of Rachael's (Susan) shots until Sunday, but I had planned for this, anyway. After we finished filming all the cubicle stuff on Sunday, we really had fun, because all we had to do was the scene with Susan and Dave (Bill McNally) on the stairs. We all found out then, how much Bill McNally loves sandwiches. Well, all, except for Patrick, since he already knew his brother well. He warned us that "the kid loves sandwiches". When Bill looked longingly at his sandwich, whispering it sweet nothings, it so provocative that I could not allow those clips in this family-friendly film.
I really wish I had the energy to write about everyone in this film. I love my cast and crew. Everyone was so professional, talented and fun. Each brought something special to this film. I know that sounds so generic but I mean it. I do want to name a few people specifically, though. First, I must credit Bill one directing one shot. When Gary, the boss (played by Jonathan J. Donahue) pops up to give Andrea his $5, something was missing from the bit. It wasn't a crucial element of the film but if it didn't click, then it would feel like a waste of screen time. Bill suggested that Jonathan snap the bill in front of the camera before handing it over. It worked quite nicely. It would have been such a blah shot if not for that snap!
Second, and it may sound silly to some that I mention this, but Michael Sullivan (credited as Michael Patrick Sullivan due to the dozens of Michael Sullivans on IMDB, but I tell you, he should be THE Michael Sullivan) arrived early. This is noteworthy because the location, despite google directions and explanation from me, was really difficult to find. So a few people were a little late because of this, but Michael was not only on time but early. He said he hates being late. That quality, along with the fact he's a darn good actor and very intriguing to watch, and just a very likable guy should get him a lot more work in films.
Also, Michael and Jonathan were so supportive that when I realized I needed a little ambient background noise a couple of weeks later, both were very happy to come back and provide their voices for the background. I'm sure the pizza I offered helped but I know they both would have come anyway.
I Just Want to Eat My Sandwich was the most successful of all my films to date. I finished it in two and a half months, just in time to submit it to the Plimouth Independent Film Festival where it premiered in July. It screened in 30 festivals between July, 2007 and December, 2008 and won 4 awards (Best Comedy, 5th Place overall, and two audience awards). Note I was present for only one of these awards. (Just saying because attending a festival can influence the audience or judges a wee bit, so I feel good knowing that Sandwich still won 3 awards I wasn't there for!)
I had originally planned to put the film in only a few festivals, just so I could have it listed on IMDB. I made it to put up on YouTube, but when I found it was getting in to festivals at a higher rate than my other films, I put off putting it online, and enjoyed the festival success.
Again, I feel there are so many other people I should mention but I just don't have the time. I have written other posts about the film, so please click the I Just Want to Eat My Sandwich link to find more!
Thank you again, to my cast and crew.