Going into production for Copiii we knew we had a lot to cover. Our plan was to shoot 97 pages in 14 days. One of the most challenging things about doing something like this in such a short amount of time is just that: time is against you. With the help and support of Jonathan Shepard, Duane A. Sikes and Tommy Ziccour we were able to assemble an all-star team of producers, sound engineers, gaffers, electrical, wardrobe, makeup and special effects gurus.
Another piece to the puzzle, I will never forget, is our amazing cast. Our casting director, Courtney Gardner, was a tremendous team player in our final cast selections. On February 22nd, Graci Carli and Rod Luzzi arrived at the Jacksonville International Airport. With Emily Rogers coming from Orlando, we had days to prepare and for them to meet the rest of the cast. Most of the cast resided in Jacksonville, including great local talent such as Cindy Hogan, Walter Colson and Tom Riska.
Anytime you enter a production like this, you have to make sure you trust your crew and that they are able to give you the quality of professionalism you expect from a million dollar movie. We had everything happen on this shoot that you could imagine. Wind, rain, random “bogies” (people interfering on the streets); all the elements to make a perfect storm.
The first two days of shooting we had a wall of water hit us on location. The team we assembled was on top of the situation, and we pulled off the scene. Everyone that entered the set had such a great foundation and respect for the craft. We were able to get the scene within the time permitted, and we even got to pick up a couple of extra shots. As it turned out, the rain actually played a significant role in making those scenes even more dramatic than we had scripted. We could not have paid to make rain, and in many cases, it would have thrown off our continuity. Coincidentally, the scenes we shot in those two rainy days matched up perfectly and pushed up the production value.
Our Director of Photography, Ryan Dean, was our backbone. He always kept a cool head and never showed signs of buckling under the pressure. The chemistry of the Director of Photography and the Director is key to keeping up the pace of the film and pushing the shoot forward. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and cannot wait to show the rest of the world what we are able to do.