Sunday, June 21, 2009

A very big day

Friday we had our first pre-production meeting for the new season. Headed by first episode director Jennifer Love Hewitt. Writers have been working for exactly one month to produce the first in a long line of scripts. And it's ready to go.

What's a pre-production meeting? Well, here's what happens: Heads of every department join to go over the new script in minute detail. You've heard it before and it's true: Shooting a t.v. show or movie is like waging a war. A whole lot of people have to do their very specific and challenging jobs at precisely the right moment so certain things happen on film when they need to happen. Or else. If one person fails, you have to do it again. And again. Which costs seconds or minutes.

In film, seconds are like lives: once you lose them you can never get them back. And every single member of the crew feels their loss. Because now there's less time to do the next take, the next shot, the next scene, all the rest of the work for that day and that week. Something somewhere WILL suffer.

That's why we have meetings before we shoot. And meetings. And meetings. Because every minute invested ahead of production saves precious seconds when the cameras are rolling.

Friday's meeting was also important for other reasons. As I've said before, we're making some big changes this season -- changes on every level. Where, when, what, who. And when you make changes on a show, you want to make sure people FEEL it. Which means changing not only the where when what who, but the how. New rules on the inside mean new rules on the outside. Meaning the show is going to look a lot different this season. And a key driver of this change is J Love herself. With a mandate to shake things up -- and with her own artist's restless desire to do things differently -- she came to the meeting armed with a raft of new ways to shoot the show. New staging, new filming techniques, new effects. You're going to see them from the earliest scenes of the first episode.

But let's be honest. Many of of you probably don't care that much about what happened at the pre-production meeting. You want to know what's going to happen. What's in that script that we were prepping?

Here's all I can tell you: there's a bowling ball. There's a hospital. There's a ghost. There's a goodie bag. There's another ghost. Several more, actually. There's a baby. There's a party. There's a morgue. There's a very strange dream. There's a ticking clock (literally) (and figuratively). There's a very old book. There's blood. There's tears. There's joy.

Check in again in the coming weeks for more...