Have a great post-production team that’s been hard at work finishing up Purgation, just in time for the first round of film festival submissions. I’m making a list so festival suggestions are welcome!!
Our post-sound supervisor Dan was totally on point when it came to guiding our actors through ADR sessions.
Our foley artist, Jake, helped us make custom-built foley pits.
Meanwhile, our musician Marc has been busy writing an original Purgation score. We’re going for a soundtrack that has orchestral elements from films like The Ring and The Prestige.
Due to our limited budget, we don’t have any plans for major VFX and did our best to do everything practically on set. Luckily our mix of dead and plastic cockroaches looked great on camera. Our visual artist Danny helped create a decaying sign to invite passing cars into Black Falls. And yes, you’re right, Black Falls is a reference to the town in Wisconsin Death Trip.
And of course, what would a road trip to the middle of nowhere be without some 90s inspired punk? Thanks Coffee Shop Dropout for letting us use your music!
In general, post has been going surprisingly well save for a few hiccups. I was warned right after our shoot from several veteran filmmakers that most movies end up in post-production hell. Luckily, I was able to line up a committed team of professionals who seem to genuinely want my film to turn out great. My consultants have also been good about reminding me every week of tasks I should be taking care of, and getting me prepped for a festival run. And while my producers have gone on to other projects, they’re both just a phone call away if I need help.
Lessons learned in the last 3 months:
- Post-Production is just as expensive as production. So budget for it! Our UPM Stephanie was great about not dipping into our post production funds even when we were in dire need, so luckily we’re still afloat. Although I am eating ramen everyday.
- Keep in contact with your actors and check in with them after the shoot so you can make sure they’re available for ADR.
- Document EVERYTHING. Scan every contract, receipt, invoice, and note and make sure to upload the pdf so you have electronic copies.
- Pay your taxes. All LLCs doing business in California must pay an annual minimum franchise tax of $800. You also have to pay a fee for registering your business in LA.
- Even if your film is still in post, have a screener or trailer available. I’ve already had a handful of distributors and interested agents contact me for one.
- Have a test screening! The more feedback the better. Be willing to change parts of the film depending on majority opinions.
- Fulfill crowdfunding perks asap. Thank everyone that has helped you and keep them updated so they know how their donations were used. And carve out time to create copies of footage that actors can use for their demo reels.
- Finally, stay positive. Celebrate every victory and allow yourself to feel good about getting this far as an indie filmmaker. I recently had dinner with my friend Chris, who’s finishing up screenings for his latest indie. “Do you know how rare it is to find an Asian American director? Let alone a female one?” he asked me. “It just doesn’t happen.”
Yeah, I hear that. And I’m happy to finally join the club.