Cirque du Mors

I’ll call this production my miracle baby: we had to focus very hard on the art direction for this one. Most of it was shot on green screen, it had a circus theme, all the effects were done in post, and all of the characters spoke French. We used the Red Epic camera, and the visuals were stunning! During the Cinema World Fest Awards 2016, the production won 7 awards: Award of Excellence First Time Filmmaker, choreography, cinematography, costuming, special FX & makeup, lighting, and set design.

I had nothing to do with this production when it first started, but the director/writer Taylor Walsh come to me with concerns a month before the shoot. The first producer wasn’t communicating with him, and he didn’t know what was going on with his own project. Within 5 weeks, I locked down the cast and crew, and we found actors who were willing to speak French in a short period of time. Once everything was set, the production was on schedule.

On the first day of shooting, we were busy setting up lights, cameras, and props. Everything seemed too big for the green screen, and then the stylist came to me with doubts that the wardrobe wasn’t coming. The stylist felt like the designer sent her on a wild goose chase, and perhaps she was right- we had five minutes before the shoot time and there were no costumes. We were freaking out.

Finally, I decided to tell the stylist what I always say in times of uncertainty and hopelessness- “We’ll be fine”- and then I went to work. She had all the cast sizes, so I sent everyone on a lunch break, and the stylist and I were off to an find the nearest mall and costume store.

When we got to the costume store, everyone there helped. In less than 15 minutes, we had our outfit for the main character. A maid outfit, white string, scissors and hot glue gun turned into wardrobe magic. We made that outfit in less than an hour and no one knew it. We were so proud of our wonderfully rushed design. There was so much craziness on the first day: the cast, wardrobe, and visual effects, but this production came out great. There were a lot of heart dropping moments, but we worked through them. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s almost always true for production.

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