Film and Family

Ep. 32 - Obstacles and Strategies

April 02, 2021 Kent & Anna Thalman
Film and Family
Ep. 32 - Obstacles and Strategies
Film and Family
Ep. 32 - Obstacles and Strategies
Apr 02, 2021
Kent & Anna Thalman

Is making a feature film as hard as it sounds? Is it right for me? Will I fall apart while doing it? There are many questions you may ask yourself while preparing to make the movie you have always dreamed of. In this episode we talk more about our first film experience and a few obstacles we faced and strategies were developed in response, as examples. 

This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at:

Show Notes Transcript

Is making a feature film as hard as it sounds? Is it right for me? Will I fall apart while doing it? There are many questions you may ask yourself while preparing to make the movie you have always dreamed of. In this episode we talk more about our first film experience and a few obstacles we faced and strategies were developed in response, as examples. 

This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at:

Ep. 32 - Obstacles and Strategies 

[00:00:00] Anna Thalman: [00:00:00] Hi I'm Anna 

[00:00:01] Kent Thalman: [00:00:01] and I'm Kent. 

[00:00:02] Anna Thalman: [00:00:02] And this is film and family, a podcast for filmmakers who want to see real progress in their film, careers without sacrificing their health or relationships hit subscribe to never miss an episode. 

[00:00:14]Kent Thalman: [00:00:15] Let's jump right in. 

[00:00:16] Anna Thalman: [00:00:17] Okay. Here we are. After our small hiatus, we didn't appear last week on the podcast.

[00:00:23] Kent Thalman: [00:00:24] Well, I've never appeared on a podcast in my life, but were silent. 

[00:00:31]Anna Thalman: [00:00:31] we were silent, but we were busy. So we have shot. Now, two weeks of our feature films shot shooting days, two thirds, and we have one week left. We took one week off this week, 

[00:00:51] Kent Thalman: [00:00:51] we shot three weeks, like a day, less than three weeks.

[00:00:54] Anna Thalman: [00:00:54] I guess it was two and a half. Right. It felt like two and a half years, [00:01:00] to be honest, 

[00:01:00] Kent Thalman: [00:01:00] we shot 17 days. 

[00:01:04]Anna Thalman: [00:01:04] we shot 17 days. That's where we're at. And we still have a few more next week. We're going to. Wrap it up. we kind of finished shooting with our actors and people were flying in from out of town. So then when our team left, our family kind of collapsed of exhaustion, we all got sick. We decided because we have flexibility now that we would go and take a week off. And another reason that. I decided to do that was because I want to learn as much as possible from this experience. And I realized that if we just keep going and plowing through to the end, we don't give ourselves enough time to really try to learn and apply what we've learned to the next shoot, to the next shooting days, which we kind of did as we were shooting. But there just wasn't much time. So this week we've [00:02:00] been collecting. I've been collecting a list of the obstacles that we faced during our first couple of weeks of shooting. And then we've been strategizing around how do we either prevent this problem or, prepare for it or work our way around it next time. And we'll try things again next time and see where we fail and see what works. And it's all just a big experiment. 

[00:02:26] Kent Thalman: [00:02:27] Yeah, I would like to start by just quickly giving a historical recap for the context of what we will present as obstacles and subsequent strategies. we had going into this, a, vision, the vision was that we were going to make a film and we were going to try and make it as. You know, the best film we can possibly make with all the resources we have for very low amounts of money. And we were going to not put a heavy burden on the family, our family, everyone else who was coming in. [00:03:00]And, we were going to try and shoot six to eight hour days, and have lots of time each day, too. read or watch movies, review dailies, or just spend time with our family and to have a lot of time off, make dinner and, and whatever. not because we wanted it to be super easy or we're lazy. We just, we wanted to see if it was possible. And, we quickly realized that if it is possible, it wasn't going to be on this movie because. We were not prepared. 

[00:03:35] Anna Thalman: [00:03:36] Yeah. I think there's a lot of reasons for that, but that's a good little summary of kind of some of the stuff that happened. 

[00:03:44] Kent Thalman: [00:03:44] Yeah. I mean, to go into a little more detail, one of the big things was we decided, because we were going with a sort of documentary approach. We weren't going to shotlist the film. And on top of that, I had, strip-boarded the movie. So we knew [00:04:00] what scenes we were going to shoot each day. Anna had some notes on it and I was able to incorporate some of those, but ultimately she looked at it again and right before we started shooting, realized she really wanted to shoot it chronologically. And that some of the order of scenes wasn't going to work with the way we were sort of dismantling certain aspects of our house, We weren't going to be able to rip a wall down and then build it backup for scenes that happened before that happens in the story and then tear down again. You know, we had to shoot it chronologically to a certain degree, which we did only because on day one of shooting Anna went and bought a bunch of sticky notes and re-stripboarded the film on our wall. We've been doing it in studio binder, but she did it on our wall and it took her four days into shooting to actually finish that strip board. Completely 

[00:04:50] Anna Thalman: [00:04:50] just with whatever spare time I had, I would go in there and work on it. 

[00:04:53] Kent Thalman: [00:04:54] Yeah. Which spare time was after shooting. So we said, Oh, we'll [00:05:00] shoot six to eight hour days. But because we didn't know exactly what we were all shooting that day. We couldn't send out call sheets until the night, the night, night before shooting. So we were up late sending out call sheets, looking at what we were planning to shoot that day. And then. Kind of whipping it all together, a plan way last minute. And then on set, we decided that we were going to keep all the departments to pretty much one person per department. So one person over art, a one main camera team and a one woman directorial team. that was a mistake. we did that because our short film. Had like a hundred people on set. It was actually probably closer to 30 people, but 30 people for that short film in that tiny little house house was overkill way overkill. It was slow, it was expensive to feed them all. And it was a waste of time. We did not need to have any people, half of them, we didn't even know. And, we just thought that wasn't what we wanted to do. So we [00:06:00] over-corrected on this film. We had like a team of. two, it was like Anna and I with the actors shooting and well, our art, our art person, Claire, I feel like, or our art person, because it's like, can you really say a specific 

[00:06:18] Anna Thalman: [00:06:18] wardrobe, makeup, props, everything person.

[00:06:21] Kent Thalman: [00:06:21] Yeah. I can't give her a job description. Cause she was all things. art an enormous task. That Claire took on all by herself, for a feature film with this many costumes and characters and days like narrative days where she'd have to close them. And just the amount of other art stuff I could go on. It was an enormous task. I found myself trying to do everything on camera and Anna found herself trying to shoot, call the shots without an AD to keep schedule. Without a schedule to keep schedule without a shot list to make a schedule out of. And so we found out very quickly that we kind of had this [00:07:00] loosey goosey approach going in and we realized some more organization and a couple more people on set would not hurt us or inhibit us in any way. And so I ended up getting an AC Anna never really got an AD, but she got some help on that. but we found ourselves. Struggling. Albeit every night we were going to bed feeling like we got good movie, but we were working sunup to sundown constantly. it was like 16 hour days. Because even if you weren't shooting, we were still consumed by the logistical weight of the movie and trying to play catch up all week long. And it was really putting a burden on everybody physically and emotionally and mentally. 

[00:07:40] Anna Thalman: [00:07:41] Anyway. So that gives you like a little bit of a picture of. some details of the shoot. However, today I don't want to get, I guess I don't want to get too detailed. I want to teach a little bit of what we've learned. I want it to be useful to you. and some of these things were mistakes that we knew going [00:08:00] in, were kind of going to be hard or problems like not having a schedule. Wasn't something we did. Intentionally. It was something we did because we just did not finish it before the movie was starting. And we, had pushed the movie back one month from when we'd planned to originally shoot it. And then we decided we're not going to push it back again. We're just going to prepare as much as we possibly can and buy tickets and whatever, and get out here. And we weren't all the way prepared. And I think given the choice, I would. I would push it back again. If we have to, 

[00:08:34] Kent Thalman: [00:08:35] Which we kind of have done. Well, we finished, we finished with all the people we had to finish with. And then we realized once, Brando, who was the last actor to fly home back to, you know, not Georgia, we realized everyone else was local. Any of the smaller roles were filled by local people. All the rest of the crew was local. And so we said, okay, well, there's really no rush right now. [00:09:00]to shoot everything this coming week, we weren't super organized and scheduled anyway. So it wasn't like anyone was like, fixed on a certain date for whatever. so because we had sort of this looseness, we were able to push that last week of shooting back a week so that we could go through. and reprepare . so to your point, Anna you know, we kind of have done that a little bit. you said, if I could go back and it's to your point, we, we, did. 

[00:09:28] Anna Thalman: [00:09:28] Yeah, well, I guess, this is something that we have experienced a lot of times in a lot of different areas of our life, where we. First come up with a vision of what we'd like it to be like, what the ideal would be, what the dream is. And we create a plan that we think will help us achieve that vision. And we go out and we try the plan. And as we were saying the other day without fail, the first time we try it, we always fail. This is just kind of how it goes. [00:10:00]And. We crash and burn and we pick ourselves up and we say, okay, well that didn't work quite like we imagined, what can we learn from this? How can we tweak it and adjust it? And we try again, and then we go again and. Without fail. There's, going to be more fails. more ways that we don't reach that goal. And it just takes a lot of going again and again, and tweaking and changing until we figure it out. And I think that's what it takes when you're blazing a trail. When you're creating a new way of making films, it's not going to be smooth and clean and easy the first time around, there's a reason that this is a struggle and this is something that. People in the industry have done a certain way for a long time, because that is kind of the easiest way. And in the end, we did resort to shooting 12 hour days the last few days, maybe the last week, even, I don't remember to be honest, it's kind of blurry now, and [00:11:00] sacrificing everything because it just takes everything you have. So, I mean, I, don't think that it's a problem that. It went that way. And surprisingly, I feel like the movie's going to be really good, even though the experience of making it was really, really hard. And I don't want to discount that it was hard for every single person on our cast and crew. I think we all felt the stress and the exhaustion and the difficulty of doing way more than our job descriptions and so many things at once. and a lot of us were balancing families at the same time, balancing other jobs that we use to pay the bills at the same time. so yeah, it was crazy. But I also feel a lot of hope for the future and for what we're learning and how we can keep adjusting this system and this process to create what we want to create. And so what we've done here, like I said, is write down the obstacles and create [00:12:00] strategies around them, which is a really good tool for turning any obstacle into a stepping stone. And a lot of people when they start something new and they want to do something that's never been done before, get stuck in this question of. How do I do it? What do I do next? And when you see you like yourself and your goal, and what's stopping you from being between that goal, then you know exactly what to do because you just strategize around that obstacle. Once you've removed all the obstacles between you and your goal, you have your goal. And so that's the approach we've been taking and, sort of some of the things we wanted to go through today on the podcast.

[00:12:44] Kent Thalman: [00:12:45] Boom. Operation is an art I've learned. I'm just practicing my technique here. As I adjust where the boom is pointed. As I'm speaking, I can hear it. 

[00:12:55] Anna Thalman: [00:12:55] We usually just hang this boom on a C stand between us. And [00:13:00] today Kent's holding it and moving it all around while we talk. 

[00:13:04] Kent Thalman: [00:13:04] Anyway, So, We won't talk about the audio fiasco that this movie has been. ultimately I think it all sounds good, but not an easy road getting there. We've we've gone through about three to five. Actual sound mixers on this movie. Not because they were all getting fired, they just, they weren't available for the whole thing. And so we just had to keep finding new ones, including the first one who got COVID the day we started shooting. so yeah, that was crazy. I think we might've talked about that in the last episode. But it remained crazy after that episode. but it's worked out actually and we've had some really great people help us on sound and we're grateful for all of them and they've all done a really good job. so one of the things I think we've learned obstacle wise is that there's an actual balance to be struck in terms of crew size. Like I mentioned before, and although Anna didn't have an AD , we also learned that a shot list. Doesn't stop us [00:14:00] from shooting documentary, or coming up with shots onset or any of those things. It just helps us be a little more prepared, which helps us be a little faster and helps Anna direct a little more clearly. And, on the night of day 11, I put together a schedule around a shot list that Anna and I created together. And day 12, we had. An entire shot list with every single thing we needed to get that day to make a movie that made sense. And we combined some shots throughout the day, or we added shots, we adjusted it, but man day 12 was a breath of fresh air and then half the crew and cast went home. so take 12, they got one good day of, a nice organized set. But that was just one example of, something that really destroyed this vision we had. And that put us one step closer to it. we kind of realized , there are some things like Anna said, when you're doing a new thing, you have to forge a new path. But at the same time, [00:15:00]we also found that there were some old things that we had kind of ignored like, Oh, there's a reason the industry. Does certain things a certain way and have for over a hundred years. And it turns out AD's, are really important and shot lists can be actually helpful. Even if you throw them out, they're still really helpful to have and schedules are good. so that was one big lesson. I feel like that seems obvious. I've shot lots of commercials without AD's and we've shot. Some things with, or without short lists, but a feature film is a different animal because you're doing it every day for weeks. So it's just logistically more complicated to keep track of everything. So yeah, I've learned. Those things are important if that doesn't sound like the most obvious, sad sort of embarrassing thing to admit publicly on a podcast. but you know, I guess I just have to be comfortable being a little ignorant and, open with some of my really big mistakes. 

[00:15:55] Anna Thalman: [00:15:56] Well, and I think that there's, different levels of it too, because [00:16:00]We had a strip board, which is what I spent all that time. Putting up on the wall with post-it notes was this whole strip board of all the scenes. And when we would shoot them in order, in which days, and that. Alone is a lot of work to figure out with continuity and with which actors need to be aware and the lighting and what time is call time and what time do we wrap? And when do we have breaks? And when do we have company moves? Like all of that goes into a strip board, and then you have to break that down even further into a shot list, which I kind of felt like I could see the whole movie in my head and I. Knew what I wanted it to look like. So it wasn't a huge deal if I didn't write down all the shots, mostly because we just didn't have time. I would've loved to have had that written down ahead of time, but we just didn't have time by the time we were filming, I just said time a lot. so that was. Something that I think is really just making the time in [00:17:00] pre-production to do all this stuff. I think there are so many different steps. It's like this giant machine and it's true. Like maybe you can make it work for a one or two day shoot on a short film. And there's not really any easy transition from short films to features, but it is such a big leap. A short film is a few days that are crazy and you're done. And then a feature is just weeks and it. Goes on and on and on. And it's so complex that everything is kind of, , compounding on each other. And so anyway, you get one little wrench in your gears or one little cog that's not moving and the whole machine can crumble and break down. And not to mention, we were trying to juggle everyone's schedules and people are, you know, we want to accommodate all the things they want to do. If one person wants time to work out and one person wants to go to sleep at a certain time. And [00:18:00] one person has a baby to feed and another person has, , a child to talk to over FaceTime or a video call. And there's so many like moving parts that we're trying to accommodate on top of just getting this massive thing done. it is organization on a level that, , I don't know that I've ever had to, had to plan for before, like so many little details, all in one production. 

[00:18:27] Kent Thalman: [00:18:28] And I'm going to add to that, that it's more than just organization it's communication. And I think that was something else. We realized that because of the lack of organization, we couldn't communicate clearly because we couldn't communicate clearly. I mean, it's one thing to say, yeah, we'll get it done. We'll figure it out. That's okay. If you're a team of one or two, but even with a team of five to 10, that actually does exponentially increase the complication of communication. Because if you don't have a shot list, if you don't have call times, if [00:19:00] you don't have like a, like a big sort of timeline where everyone can see what is going on and you can't quickly quickly answer questions on set, like. Here's the next shot. And the shot of flat is this. And we're going to company move at this time over to this place. Here's the address. Here are some sides so that the sound man can follow along and know who's speaking when, and who's going to have to mic up next scene. You know, little things, like if you don't have all that stuff prepped, you realize that you're just running around, organizing the day of, and when you're organizing the day of, you're not really actually. Focusing all your energies and your thoughts on the creative process of filmmaking. So, no, it doesn't stifle creativity to have shot lists and have schedules and to have sides printed and to have all these logistical seemingly arbitrary to do as items finished, it's super liberates, the creative aspect of film. [00:20:00] And so. that was just a big learning experience for us to realize, wow, we can do this a little different. And so once again, day 12, I printed sides for our sound guy and we, you know, kind of assigned one of the PA's to be sort of a, well, I shouldn't call her a PA she'd done everything that we didn't specifically ask someone to do. So she's done. Location's casting. And sort of first AD'ing for a few days on the movie. So we kind of asked her to be first AD that day and just said, just keep an eye on schedule. And if anyone has a question about what shot is next, you're going to answer that. And you can review this shot list and the schedule and you'll know what's going on. And, she'd never first AD'd before, but she did a great job stepping into that and helping out. And so that organization enables communication and that communication prevents. Miscommunication, which can lead to, not just a lot of mistakes, but it can lead to a lot of emotional fallout. I [00:21:00] think it can lead to a lot of, , just fears and, , just feeling like you're getting left behind or you're in the dark, or you don't know what's going on. And that makes leading whether you're producer, director or DP, , Any sort of department head, just makes that very difficult to do. When everyone working with you doesn't know what's going on. 

[00:21:18] Anna Thalman: [00:21:19] Yeah. I think that's very stressful and it makes it very hard for everyone to do their job if they don't know exactly what they need to prepare until shortly before they have to have it ready. And so we're all scrambling to get things done. and we did send out call sheets that had what time and what scenes we were doing. The next day, but that's still not as helpful as having like a breakdown of every single shot that we're going to do and what time every single shot is going to be filmed. Even though it's something, you know, we know like what props we need for what scene and about how long we want to take on it and which [00:22:00] actors we need and stuff like that. So I don't want to paint this picture of complete chaos, even though it felt like complete chaos. There was a level of preparation that was done and that was happening. It just wasn't. Enough. It was, , I mean, it was enough cause we'll, have a movie at the end, but it was not enjoyable because we were spending so much time figuring out the details as we went when all of those details could have been figured out in advance and even communicated. I think that's. The value of an AD just one of the many valuable things that an AD does that I'm realizing is assisting the director by communicating, not the vision of the film, as much as just the plan for how to accomplish it, which, was a tiring thing for me to be constantly concerned about. And I remember driving in the car with Kent and saying, I feel like I'm spending way more time. Trying to figure out logistics [00:23:00] and answer everyone's questions about logistics on this film, then actually directing it, 

[00:23:05] Kent Thalman: [00:23:06] which means she was spending way more time, first, AD'ing than directing. So when I say there wasn't a first AD on this film, you might also be able to just say that Anna was first AD and there wasn't a director. Now neither of those things are entirely true. She was doing both jobs, but, Our brains only have, we've talked about this on the podcast. they only have so much capacity to focus on. and remember so many things at any given time. That's why we write everything down into to-do lists, download that we're going to do during the week, because you can't possibly maintain that short term to-do list constantly over the course of several days as that list evolves and change in circumstances shift. Trying to shotlist the movie in your head is like trying to do a mega huge to-do list, download without ever downloading it without ever writing it down and seeing it on a piece of paper and then going, [00:24:00] Oh, well, can delete these things and do these things. And I'm remembering new things because I finally got all this other stuff out of my head. You remember other things and , you feel more prepared. So yeah, it was a colossal thing that we. Should have, would have been lovely to have realized beforehand, but now we know, and we're learning and we're realizing the huge importance of these different jobs. and we're learning how to make sure that sets are organized and productive in a way that isn't just getting the movie done, but getting the movie done in a way that's healthy and sustainable for everyone involved and the way it was happening. Wasn't. healthy, enjoyable or sustainable for anyone really involves so well, at least for most of us. 

[00:24:44]Anna Thalman: [00:24:44] Yeah. Think we found little ways to make it work. , one of the things that we did was we started a group Marco polo so that we could quickly hop on and say, Hey, we just wrapped up this shot. We're moving on to the next one [00:25:00]here's where we are and what we need to do. And just kind of, that was like my version of. Being an AD and telling everyone, because we were spread out, we weren't all on set at the same time. So it was very difficult to explain the message over and over and over again to each person and be calling and trying to let everyone know everything that was going on.

[00:25:19] Kent Thalman: [00:25:19] And we didn't have walkie-talkies. 

[00:25:21] Anna Thalman: [00:25:21] Yeah. , so Marco polo is actually a really nice little resource for us to all be on the same page that helped a lot. And then we just found little things like that to get us through. but yeah, even just tiny little details like nomenclature and how to name scenes.

[00:25:40] Once we'd locked the script, we didn't want to create new scene numbers. I still need to find the official way to do this. so we would go in and say, we have a scene 60 and a scene 61, and we've already broken those down. So we didn't want to create. A new scene, [00:26:00] 61 that goes right after 60 and have all the numbers be off on the breakdowns and on schedule or whatever. And so we would create one that was called 60 a and then 60 B or whatever. And then 

[00:26:12] Kent Thalman: [00:26:12] that is the industry standard way to do that. 

[00:26:15] Anna Thalman: [00:26:15] Well, I don't know if it is at least our sound guy made it seem like we were doing it totally wrong because he said I can't call this 60A a because it's 60A, the scene shot a. Take one or whatever, 

[00:26:28] Kent Thalman: [00:26:28] but he did. And that is the industry standard way of doing it. I don't know if the way we named it on set was the industry standard way, or if we should have just called it 60, even if it was 60 A no, because it was a different scene. I don't know. I feel like we did that. Right. 

[00:26:44]Anna Thalman: [00:26:44] I feel like there are little things like that, that we can get hung up on it or just, 

[00:26:48] Kent Thalman: [00:26:48] I don't know, that stuff doesn't really matter too much to me. We named it all. We named it all. It looks good in editorial and nothing has caused any bumps there. That is the least of our problems on this stuff. 

[00:27:00] [00:27:00] Anna Thalman: [00:27:00] I'm just saying even little things can, blow up and be bigger. and there certainly are times when nomenclature can completely. Make the edit very messy. if you don't name things, right. So little tiny details matter. I think I under prepared for other things too, like, having your mom take care of the kids, I, didn't prepare as well as I ought to have prepared her to do that job. And for me, it's very easy to answer a question about what the kids need or where something is. It's also easy not to do that and have it all written out and planned ahead of time. So biggest lesson, I think that we learned of all was just anything that you can plan ahead of time. Do. if you have that luxury in that amount of time, it'll just save you so much on set to be able to focus again. We found that balance and team size. there are some things that we wrote down on this list of obstacles that are a little bit more general, like. Things that I think [00:28:00] if we can strategize around will, make a difference. Long-term for example, you know, how do we work six to eight hour days, and only work six to eight hour days. Even if we were only shooting, we had a couple of days that were only six or eight hours shooting, but no one stopped working. Once we were done shooting or in between shooting, we were all working nonstop. So. There's that, it's also lighting, like trying to find the best time for shooting outside and changing the sun was always changing and. That was kind of tricky. There always an 

[00:28:37] Kent Thalman: [00:28:37] The sun was always changing. I think it was, I don't, yeah, that's never going to change, 

[00:28:43] Anna Thalman: [00:28:43] but it's still a learning curve to figure out how to work around that 

[00:28:47] Kent Thalman: [00:28:47] Anna's decided we're gonna shoot every movie, like the Mandalorian from here on out. so if anyone wants to invest in, our, I don't know, $20 million led unreal engine [00:29:00] studio, Give us a call, email us And we will, make many, many movies. 

[00:29:08]Anna Thalman: [00:29:08] But, I think the biggest thing for me that was really hard. There was the communication thing, which we eventually sorted out. We started having meetings every morning before we'd start our day and we would. Give everyone a chance to bring up any concerns that they had.

[00:29:22] We'd go over the schedule, make sure everyone felt prepared. That's something that normally you probably wouldn't need to do on a film set, but because we were so unprepared going into it, we kind of needed that space and that time to be able to talk and hear each other out. And that I think also helped 

[00:29:40] Kent Thalman: [00:29:40] for logistical and emotional reasons. I will push back on that. I mean, David Russell, I brought this up several times. David Russell talks about his, uh, he doesn't meeting with the cast and key crew right before they start shooting every day on set. And he goes over. Here's what we're doing today. Here's the plan. We're all unified in the vision. And then they go, they might not [00:30:00] have like a time to bring up. I don't know if they bring up like, I've got some concerns about the way things are happening, almost like a pre-mortem post-mortem meeting, but, Maybe he does. I don't know. I just, but I know that he has a meeting at least for logistical reasons at the beginning of every single shoot day. 

[00:30:17] Anna Thalman: [00:30:17] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that could be a useful thing to do. 

[00:30:21] Kent Thalman: [00:30:21] You can do whatever you want on your movie. You know, you might not be the best thing, but if I came up with a lot of these ideas for certain random things to do on set, because I listened to other directors on the DGA podcast, which you should subscribe to and listen to, the director's cut. And I've tried to steal from some of these guys that have done really smart things. David Russell also does a day, zero where he starts shooting with the DP and like one or two actors and they just grab random stuff and there's no time pressure, but then they start their movie ahead of schedule. I think it's a brilliant idea anyway, random stuff. 

[00:30:54] Anna Thalman: [00:30:54] Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think that what I see a lot of people doing, which is maybe the other [00:31:00] extreme of what we did is not jumping in for a very long time because they don't feel ready and they don't feel like they know all these things. And so I don't want to. Scare anyone off and say, you have to have everything prepared, have a backup for everything prepared, have every single detail prepared, or you can't do this because you can, it will be messy and you will learn and you will prepare better next time. Like anything where you, the first time it's going to be messy. It just is. I think it makes sense that actors agents will often kind of, not recommend that they work with first time directors because. The first time is not going to be clean and smooth. It's going to be a bumpy road because you've never driven the road before you have no idea what to prepare for. And there were some things that we prepared more than we needed to for I dyed my hair red and cut it short to match our actress. Just in case the kids would have a hard [00:32:00] time performing and need some help. I could jump in and kind of help them out with their performance. And we didn't really need that in the end. I mean, we used it a little bit for some body doubling after the actress was out of town from really extreme, wide angles and stuff, but honestly we didn't need it very much and we could've gotten away without it, but. You just never know, like what, what you anticipate is going to be hard and what the problems are going to be might be completely different than they are. And of course, every film is different, but I just don't think that should stop you from going and making something anyway, because that is how you learn. You learn through the mistakes and through the failures and seeing. Where you fall short and find some people who, who you love and who really love you, who can go through that journey with you because, it's going to be a bumpy road and you might, uh, we worried that we're [00:33:00] going to lose some friendships through the whole process because it was so rough. And, and I did feel really bad that it was so hard on so many people in our cast and crew. And we kind of had to have a meeting and I sat down and said, look, you guys, I know that I'm not the best driver of this car. I was using this analogy, I guess I should explain that first that basically we all have one thing in common, which is this destination that we want to arrive at, which is a great film. And we all see it. We all believe we can get there. We have some investors who believed in us to throw enough to throw some money. Towards the cause. And it was enough.

[00:33:40]Kent Thalman: [00:33:40] I don't like saying throw some money. They they very deliberately invested money 

[00:33:47] Anna Thalman: [00:33:47] yeah yeah and it was enough that we could buy maybe this beat up little car. That's not the best, but it, it might get us there. And so just a little bit of gas, just enough that we might get there and we all get in the car [00:34:00] and we start driving and it's bumpy, like we're going off the road and it's crazy. And everyone's starting to wish. That they hadn't come. And me being in the driver's seat, I'm starting to think any other seat besides mine looks more comfortable. And I think everyone in every other seat was thinking they could do a better job and looking at the driver and saying, man, I wish I could control this a little more. I think it was crazy. And we had to say, look, we're halfway there. We can either turn around. Now. It's going to be just as bumpy if we stop and. Go back or we can just keep going forward and keep trying to prepare as we go and do the best job we can. Now, once you've made that journey, once you kind of know how to prepare the next time around a lot better. And so I still think it's just worth doing it. And getting a team together that believes in you and that can, go on that journey with you. You'll learn a [00:35:00] lot together. You'll grow a lot together. And, overall I'm really pleased with the experience that we've had with the learning that we've gained. Even though, man, it was hard and it took us a long time to recover. We kept like trying to keep filming after we did. Wrapped filming. And we were like, Oh man, we can't do it. Let's just push it back another day. And eventually we just said, okay, let's just take a week and recover. I still feel like I'm recovering a little bit from the whole experience. and that's not really balance, the goal of balance is something that could be sustainable. Long-term just the way that it is. It's not. Jumping from one side of the scale to the other where you're one extreme and then the other extreme and kind of achieving this in-between balance. I think that balance really would look like something that's balanced all the time. It's not just. A complete juggling act. 

[00:35:59] [00:36:00]Kent Thalman: [00:36:00] so with that we have one week of shooting left, only a whole week because we want to take it slow. It would probably be closer to three days. I would guess, but we're going to make it take a whole week. and maybe I'm 

[00:36:13] Anna Thalman: [00:36:13] no, there's a lot, there's some logistically complicated scenes still. 

[00:36:17] Kent Thalman: [00:36:17] Yeah. There's some big ones for sure. And so we're trying to really prepare, and they're with kids, so yeah, slow it down. but we are going to try and shoot once again, eight hour days, and we're going to try and make it so that we can still wake up and. Read and maybe watch a movie every day and put our kids to bed every night. And if we can't put our kids to bed that night, because we're shooting through that seven o'clock hour, then we're not shooting until 2:00 PM, you know, so we have all morning and whatever to spend time with our family, like Anna said, sustainable, balanced, but effective, productive, organized, So that we can be creative and, make a lot of movie in a little bit of time. [00:37:00]We're not trying to make this easier because we're lazy. We're trying to make it just, we're trying to challenge some paradigms. about the 12 hour day system in Hollywood, most of that's because of money pressure because of day rates and rental rates and stuff like that. So, we'll go into more detail I'm sure. In the future, on how we are. Logistically addressing all of that to make eight hour days possible. And we're making them possible. We haven't made them possible yet. so we're getting there, but, we've talked a lot this week Anna , and I about how to do this and we've recognized some obstacles and failures. And I feel really confident about some of the ways we're approaching the new week. So we've talked about some of those approaches and lessons in this podcast, and I'm sure we'll tell you about some of the things we try and, , are inevitable successes and inevitable failures. after our final week of shooting and I have a feeling we're going to have a very, very different experience this [00:38:00] coming week. I hope, we already had a very, very different experience week. Two from week one and week three from week two, those were all very different experiences as we got more and more organized. And, I think week four, which will hopefully be the last, I think it will be the best one and I think we'll be ready to make movies after this. So, yeah. That's , like Anna said, I just want a second. we made a ton of mistakes. Who cares? It doesn't mean we shouldn't have made this movie or that we were under-qualified we'll never be a hundred percent qualified. So you just start making something as qualified or unqualified as you are, because you're going to be some of both and you will learn as you go. And guess what? I still really feel confident about it. All the stuff we shot on day one and all the stuff we shot on day 17 and the stuff we haven't shot yet, I feel really good about the movie. 

[00:38:51] Anna Thalman: [00:38:51] That's what I was going to say I was actually gonna add that, that I think this is going to be a good movie and we're really proud of a lot of the stuff [00:39:00] we've been able to get. I'm really happy with how the story is turning out. I think where we're really trying to refine and make changes is in the process and how that can be more enjoyable and more balanced and healthy. because that's something that industry wide is a challenge for people, especially those who have families or who are trying to have balance in some way in their life. But there's still great films being made this way. So we know it's possible to make a great film, even in the chaos, but, but what we want to prove and do is make films that are very good, that don't have to feel that way on set. 

[00:39:40] Kent Thalman: [00:39:40] Yeah. And, uh, obviously we're not perfect craftsman or crafts people either. So, I would definitely, I like to do some things as a DP differently. Next time I've learned lots of things and I've made mistakes. I think there's coverage and shots that Anna and I both kind of wish we'd gotten now that we're looking at selects [00:40:00] in a little bit. I still feel confident about the movie, but that's not. I mean, to say that. We wouldn't change anything there either. Um, I would, but, that's normal. I don't know if there'll ever be a movie where I'm like, I got every shot. I wanted it edited together on the first draft. Exactly how I want it. And, it was perfect. It was you know, so, but there's still, I mean, we are going to be, I really feel like I've been talking to people that I haven't talked to since, before we started shooting and I've been like, you're talking to a new person. It literally feels like I've gone through a lifetime of growing in experience experiences. I just can't tell you how much I feel like I've learned and grown, in the last three to four weeks of making this movie. It, so yeah, if for no other reason, That's one reason to do it. And we've both gotten to the point where we've said, I dunno if we can do another one of these, because that's how bad it felt in the moment, how unorganized and how disconnected as a family we felt and how emotionally [00:41:00] taxing it was. We were just like, why would we, why would we ever do this again? But then when we finally took stock, you know, and went, back, took a breather, re prepared, and said, what have we learned and how we're going to move forward. it would be shame not to make another movie because we've learned too much to not apply it to the next one. but it was not easy and hopefully we don't have to experience all those things again, we'll learn and we'll make things better as we go forward. 

[00:41:23]Anna Thalman: [00:41:23] Yeah. And I also think that. the tools that I teach in my coaching program and that I've learned from my own, work with coaches have really helped me now that we're past all of this and I actually have time to use them. I felt like on set, I wasn't doing any of the normal, healthy things that I do to, you know, get enough sleep and eat healthy and exercise and, do thought work. And so. Of course those tools. Aren't going to do me any good if I'm not using them. But, now that we've had this week to, to take those tools again and use them, I'm [00:42:00] seeing how they will help me get the solutions that I need. And, that's something that I want to share with anyone else who is on this journey and trying to find this balance and also has ideas and stories in you that you want to tell. And I know you're out there and I know you're. You're trying to do this too. so if that's you sign up for a free consultation and I'll teach you about the tools that have been so helpful for Kent and I, that we talk about on the podcast and help you apply them to your unique situation and your goals and see what we can do to help each other out. And thank you so much for listening and joining us tonight. We'll keep you posted on everything we learned and how it's going. And hopefully that can be valuable for you so you can avoid some of the same mistakes that we've made or be a little more prepared on your own film. 

[00:42:52] Kent Thalman: [00:42:53] Absolutely. Thanks so much and have a great night.

[00:42:56] Anna Thalman: [00:42:56] All right, I'll see you later. 

[00:42:57] Kent Thalman: [00:42:57] Bye.

[00:42:58]Anna Thalman: [00:42:58] Bye.