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Confessions Of A Working Director - 5/5/2008

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Since September 2007, Eric Stanze, writer/director/producer/owner of independent film company Wicked Pixel Cinema has been given us the scoop on what it?s like to be a working director in the independent film scene. Now, deep into casting for their latest feature Seizure, Stanze updates us on finding talent for 35 speaking parts and attracting some genre names! Read on for more details about the casting of Seizure or go back to his previous entries to learn more about Wicked Pixel Cinema and their films!

We thought casting for our upcoming feature, SEIZURE would be simple. We are in the thick of casting this movie now and, no, it is not simple at all.

Our last movie, DEADWOOD PARK was a much bigger project, with 35 speaking parts, 20 featured non-speaking bit parts, and even more warm bodies playing soldiers in the WWII sequences. We cast the movie by holding open auditions.

We decided to not hold open auditions for SEIZURE because this project is much smaller. Instead, we just announced that we were casting for the project, intending to evaluate and cast from those few who expressed interest.

SEIZURE has only 10 speaking parts. We've received over 5,300 submissions from actors wanting to be in this movie.

Some of the parts were cast in advance. I knew while the screenplay was being written that I wanted to cast Jason Christ and Emily Haack. Other parts are being filled by name actors. So, out of the 10 speaking parts, only 4 are still open. We had a person in charge of casting for DEADWOOD PARK. Naively, we decided we didn't need a casting person for this smaller production, so for a few weeks now, Jason Christ, Jeremy Wallace, Scott Muck, a small staff of assistants, and I have been trying to whittle 5,300 headshots down to cast 4 speaking roles and a handful of bit parts.

At the same time all of this is going on, the art department is kicking into high gear. Scott Muck, the production designer for SEIZURE, is expertly coordinating our art department staff, wardrobe staff, special effects staff, and locations staff. Muck has been great at communicating with me to stay on track with my desires for SEIZURE. Plus, his own creativity is bringing much to the project, as is his ability to harness the talents of the many art department people under him.

I have a very specific visual style in mind for SEIZURE. I will likely be my own cinematographer again and I've already got my lighting tactics mapped out. I am happy to see Muck running his art department in a way that will also sync up with my visual goals. Despite being a low-budget movie, SEIZURE is going to have a very cool, otherworldly, gothic, deadly-fairy-tale look. I'm excited.

Keep in mind that we don't yet have the budget secured for this movie. A lot of time and energy is being burned and everyone is working for free. The part that makes me most nervous is that Wicked Pixel Cinema money (that we don't really have) is now being spent on this movie - a movie which may still get the plug pulled if a budget cannot be secured. SEIZURE pre-production is now swiftly rolling forward without a single investor or financing entity attached. Anyone care to join me in a heart attack?

Thanks for reading.

Eric Stanze

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