Published on August 31st, 2010 | by rubyskyepi4
Writing the Teaser
We really wanted to shoot a teaser before production even started for a number of reasons.
One was that we wanted to test the Canon 5D that Alex Dacev planned to shoot on.
Also, Marlee was heading off to camp for part of rehearsal week and a full week of production, but she was here now. It was a good opportunity for to work with her for the first time.
I wanted Kelly to feel the freedom that comes from getting something onto the web quickly. I’d had an enormous high off shooting something for with , Dharini Woolcombe and Scott Albert and getting it up on the web within five hours. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the only thing we failed at with this teaser, because we shot it way back on July 29th and didn’t get it out till August 27th — a lifetime in web terms.
But back in July, time was running out. Marlee was heading off to camp in a matter of days. I’d successfully convinced Kelly and Kerry we had to shoot this thing. And I was nowhere with story.
We knew it would be a Hailey-eye view of Ruby and that the sisters don’t get along. If you’ve seen the Hailey Hacks videos, you know Hailey likes a good practical joke. Especially one that involves technology.
I sat in front of his germ of an idea for four hours and had nothing in the way of a story. I crawled up to bed, taking my laptop and a notebook, just in case. And the whole idea came to me in a piece. Brownies. Ruby’s investigation. Hailey accused. The revenge. The reveal.
I loved the web site tie in. Loooved it. Sadly, visits to Read My sisters Report Card are few and far between. It’s getting about a 10th the traffic that the video is getting. I don’t know if people don’t realize it’s there or don’t care that it is. But it’s too bad, because it’s funny thanks to the genius of Scott Albert and Julie Cohn. The brownie recipe, at least, is getting some buzz.
But back to the script. I pounded out a script that night and it is very close to the final shooting script. There was a lick where Hailey referred to Ruby having only one friend on her Facebook page. I was going to build a screencast of Ruby’s Facebook profile with Griffin as her only friend. It seemed like a fitting idea considering my past with Facebook and the social media community. But we wimped out for a bunch of reasons. I didn’t have photos of either Ruby or Griffin. We didn’t have time or resources to get Facebook’s permission. That’s right. I’ve gone legit. We’re clearing everything and getting releases. Oh well, it would have slowed down the story just for the sake of the sight gag and maybe even ended up on the cutting room floor.
I wrote three drafts in all. The final shooting draft is a little short than the first draft and whole lot prettier. Mostly it’s a dialogue polish with some trims and tweaks to the original idea. If you check it against the finished teaser, I think only one line ended up on the cutting room floor.
But wow, Kelly’s direction, Alex’s shooting, Sean’s sound, David Wall’s sound track, Jennifer Essex-Chew’s cutting and Marlee Maslove’s performance all lifted a very basic idea off of the page. More about that in another post.