Creative Process #5 - Off the Ground
In July of 2020, FRACTALS was the first production back when New York State lifted restrictions and provided guidelines for productions. But it wasn't inevitable that we'd be back. It took a lot of work, concentration, dedication, and commitment from a newly formed group of collaborators.
After I was forced to shut down in the spring, due to the worsening Covid-19 Pandemic, my entire cast trickled out of the city, part of the great urban exodus of 2020. Some said that they'd be happy to return as soon as the pandemic were to wind down, and they could somehow find their way back to the city.
Here's the thing about FRACTALS: this is a pro-New York / pro-city story, about an artist who decides to stick with his city despite how difficult it is to survive. Suffice to say, the last communications I had with my original collaborators was in May of that year, when I decided that perhaps they didn't have the appropriate spirit for the story.I knew I could pull this off, and that I could do it safely.
The question was: will I find the necessary collaborators to make it happen?In late May of 2020, I re-posted the Backstage listing, but only for the lead character. Tim Halvorsen was offered the role of the main character, Artie, and quickly accepted.I told Tim that I was unsure as to whether or not the production was possible... mostly out of worry rooted in the fact that my original cast had left New York high and dry. But, Tim assured me that if I were to stay with it, he'd stay with it - as long as it could be wrapped by the end of July. I told him, "It's a deal."
Principle photography-proper was off the ground by July and we shot for four weeks straight, beginning in the basement of my apartment building (for which I received a stop order from the landlord - though was able to complete shooting before the order arrived).
The last three weeks of shooting took us around all five boroughs of New York City and Weehawken, New Jersey. Tim's real-world girlfriend, Avis Zane, played his love interested in the film, which allowed us to shoot scenes as they were originally written, rather than re-tooling them to keep with pandemic-era protocols.
If you're interested in how I achieved a safe production during the pandemic, please read about it on this blog.
The FRACTALS shoot was difficult, and almost didn't happen. It took three years from development to production, and a total of four years to be completed.