The lesson I had to learn was that I had to believe in me. I saw a poster the other day that said F.A.I.L: First Attempt In Learning. That’s what I did this week. It’s what this show and these stories are based on; failing so that we can pick ourselves back up and continue to chase our dreams. I am so proud and excited to show you the finished product that is Episode 207 and the rest of Season 2.
So what are you waiting for? Go get that season pass right now so you don’t miss anything! Directly support the incredible artists who make this show GO. You can basically buy the entire season for less than a post-Cubs Game meal in Wrigley. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Coco Fernandez here, Assistant Director, female filmmaker, and all around DREAMERS cheerleader. This last week all of those roles where taken to the next level when I stepped into the role as Director for Episode 207 of THE DREAMERS. When a director is in charge of a play, film, television show, etc. they have a specific vision in their mind’s eye as to what the final product turns out to look like. Every detail is meticulously planned out so that their vision can come to life on stage or on the silver screen. As the director of my own mind, filming last week did not at all look like they vision that was in my head. As anyone in this industry knows, you can plan as meticulously as you want and only about one percent of it will actually unfold in that manner. The beauty of it is the lessons learned and product made is usually more gratifying in the end.
My first day as director was a busy one. We filmed nearly 50% of Episode 207 last Monday afternoon into the evening at the wonderful Lynda Shadrake’s house, also known in the Dreamer’s world as the Vickerson residence. Our cast included Kelsey Jorissen (Kara), Callie Stephens (Eliza), Lynda (Lily), Billy Bullion (Luther), Matthew Gary (Jacob) and Minerva the cat. The gang also included our ever trusty crew Dane Ohlrogge and Thomas Lewis. Some of the scenes we shot included Kara making “feminist videos,” a small reunion of some of the main cast members, and one small pseudo kidnapping (you’re going to die laughing at that one). We had so much to get through that day and I cannot applaud everyone enough for being patient, professional, and hard working while still staying in good spirits. Also a huge thank you to Lynda and the Shadrake family for opening their home up to us yet again and for feeding us snacks and dinner!
Day two was much less of a baptism by fire. We started the day with a beautiful nature walk scene between Kara and Eliza at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois. It was nice to get out of the city and have some quiet time while also creating one of mine and Kelsey’s favorite scenes in this episode. We also got a outtake of Kelsey chasing the chipmunks around and I sincerely hope that it makes it into out blooper reel this season. In the evening we met back up at the administration offices of Emerald City Theater to film some funny office scenes between Eliza, Doug (Adam Huizenga), Roger (Zachary Finch), and Desmond (Doug Schuetz). I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say there were multiple takes of rubber bands being dumped everywhere
Our last couple of shoot days took place on August 26th and September 3rd, and it’s a good thing we all love each other because 95% of the footage was shot in a car…with all of us in it. By driving up and around Evanston we were able to create our intimate heart to heart scenes with Kara and Eliza, all the while using Dane’s super cool car rig. Although at one point the rig had a serious technical malfunction. Imagine for a moment Dane driving one handed as he holds the camera with his other hand, Kelsey acting her butt off while simultaneously balancing a laptop and H4N Zoom recorder on her legs, and me in the back seat basically laying across Callie, my ear phones in so I could direct, listen to sound, and stay out of the shot. Whoever told you film life is glamorous was lying to you. However, despite the soreness and tight spaces we forced ourselves into, we got gorgeous footage, which is all you can ask for at the end of an arduous shoot day. Plus, we had even more celebrating to do as Callie, Craig Deering, and the rest of the Evil Iguana Production team unveiled their fantastically hilarious, brilliant new web series, Vigilant, at Black Rock Bar August 26th (go check it out on YouTube!).
When I said at the beginning of this post that filming did not go the way I planned, I don’t necessarily mean the actual production of Episode 207 didn’t go as planned. I mean that the way I felt and the way the week went for me personally was a complete 180 of how I had envisioned myself in the director’s chair. For example, what I was usually thinking was,“I'm going to vomit. Or pass out. I’m going to vomit and then pass out. What am I doing? This is a mess. I’m failing Dane and Kelsey. I’m not doing this right, I’m fucking this up.” I was terrified almost all of the time. I could barely eat, sleep or function like a normal human because, all actual anxiety issues aside, I mentally put myself into this I’m-not-good-enough box. I let my doubt, fear, and worry of what everyone thought about my directing choices get in the way of the fact that I am worthy of being on set in a directorial role. I didn’t go to film school. I’ve never written a screenplay in my life. The fact of the matter is Kelsey would not offer me this opportunity, Dane would not entrust his brilliantly written script to my interpretation, Thomas would not subject his arms to the tortures of holding a boom pole over his head, and the cast would not be patient or listen to my direction if they did not believe in me.
THe Dream Team
Read the latest from the cast and crew of the award nominated indie series, THE DREAMERS.