I Got You – Meeting Genie for the First Time

The next scene in the web series is when we get to meet Genie for the first time. We really needed an actress who had comedic timing and at the same time was able to slip from being into comedy and able to do dramatic moments and that really fit Samantha well.

 

Samantha is a well-versed actor and that was nice to see someone who can do both of those things dramatic and comedic. We needed someone who looked like she really could be a sibling of Jake and by luck we were able to get both Zachary and Samantha that kind of look like they could be siblings.

 

In real life, Samantha is kind of petite and but she’s a powerhouse in both real life and on screen. The way I wrote the scene was we were going to intercut between seeing that Jake’s father was secretly in love with Alberto and at the same time, seeing Jake and Genie talking about how homophobic they thought that their father was.

 

I thought that was a great moment for the audience who hadn’t read the book to be introduced to the fact that there was a whole other story going on besides the main story. What I would like to do in Season 2 is delve more into more of that story so that people can see the whole love story between Alberto and Jake’s father.

 

It was interesting because we had to use the same location to shoot Alberto’s hospital scene, Jake’s hospital scene, as well as Benjamin’s bedroom and we also used the same location to shoot Benjamin’s office.  The good thing about that was that we didn’t have to move a lot of places and maybe it was a little bit easier for the production designer, but also it was challenging to try to make the room look different enough so that people wouldn’t recognize it as being the same room.

I Got You – The Hospital Scene with Jake’s Father

The scene where Jake wakes up in the hospital and his father is there waiting for him we shot that on the second day of shooting.  This was the same day that we shot most of our scenes actually. It was the same day that we shot the scene where Alberto and Jake get beat up by Steve. It was really nice to see each of the actors and how they prepare for the scenes. John who plays B.D, the father has sort of a method way of getting to character and he’s a really easy going guy in real life and it was interesting to see his process. I think that Jake has his own process but he kind of just goes for it which was really kind of cool. To watch Samantha who plays Genie, was interesting. She had most of her lines written on 3 by 5 cards and she learns her lines mostly before we shoot and that so was very cool to see how everyone prepares for their role. And as a director, it was kind of interesting to maneuver within everyone’s method of getting where needed to go emotionally. Fortunately, everyone that we worked with was absolutely easy to work with and I’m so grateful for that because we had to start shooting that at 2 o’clock in the morning. And no one was cranky, no one was miserable, no one was tense everyone was pretty easy-going. Maybe it was because they were half asleep. But nevertheless, we were able to shoot the majority of the scenes that second day of shooting which was really our first day of an entire day of shooting. We shot a few things the day before, but that day that was the day that we did the bulk of our shooting.

I Got You – The Club Scene

The club scene we actually shot on the very last day of shooting. In fact it was the very last thing that we shot. The scary thing about it was that we didn’t even have a location for the shoot until the very last minute.  I was scared that we weren’t going to be able to finish what we had started. We are hoping to have a very packed house full of people dancing or that sort of thing but it didn’t work out that way. So what we did as we asked the crew to pretend that they were extras and to walk back and forth. That if you watch carefully you can see me walking back and forth as well as the bartender. So what we did as we added some of that packed house through visual effects to make it more believable. It turned out great because it was so quiet there we were able to shoot without a lot of interference. And we shot it right after we had lunch for the day. It was actually kind of nice because it was the first time I remember really getting the chance to sit down with the crew and cast and eat a meal together so that was pretty enjoyable. The bar was absolutely beautifully designed and so the production designer didn’t have a lot that she needed to do, but it turned out really great. We didn’t have a location to shoot the opening dialogue that supposed to be Jake’s voice over so we had the actor who plays Jake go close to the bathroom and recorded his audio there. Like I said, it was the very last thing that we shot and so we had plenty of time to try different takes. We had explain why Alberto didn’t have Happy Birthday written on his forehead while he was in the truck (which is something we shot the day before) so I came up with idea of just having him say align a dialogue about how has to wipe the happy birthday off of his forehead with a napkin and so we had him do that before he stepped out the door so that it would match the shot.

I Got You – More About the First Episode

We shot the opening scene on the second to last day of shooting. And it was freezing cold outside. I actually had to run and get a rental car so I had my first assistant director and my cinematographer go ahead and start the scenes before I got there. They were able to shoot the scenes where Jake and Alberto are being beat up by Steve.

 

I kind of felt bad that I had to go and run this important errand before I got to see it, but it turned out to be a great seeing that they put together. And I was able to join them on the interior shots of the three guys inside the truck.

 

It was difficult because we were on a road that was pretty noisy, although it was supposed to be an abandoned road. It was freezing cold and I couldn’t hear what the dialogue was at all. The doors were closed and so I could only guess that the actors were delivering the lines correctly and give them a little bit of direction before we shut the doors and windows and let them do what they needed to do. We mounted a camera on the outside of the truck and we set up the microphones inside so that the actors would be mic’d up and ready to go. It was amazing to see how great the actors did. If you think about it there’s supposed to be on an abandoned road and they’re not moving at all. They were parked on the side of a road and the actors in real life got along really well but they were supposed to pretend that Michael Ring who plays the character Seth is a bad guy that they’re scared of.  I think they did a really great job with that and I was really impressed with their performance. When we started editing the scene, I was amazed at how well it came together and how believable the actors performances were.

 

I Got You – The First Episode

Alberto

Alberto

We’re only days away from having the launch of our web series. It’s been a long time coming. It started when I wrote the novel series about two years ago. I had no idea that it would lead me to this moment. All I wanted to do was create what I like to call the Gay Karate Kid. And it turned into so much more than that.

 

Now, we have shot over 10 episodes and although it cost me a small fortune to put together, it was worth every penny. I was able to make my dream come true, and not only create a story that I was passionate about, but also hopefully open up doors for the actors and crew that decided to join me on this journey. The first step in the process was to create a series of scripts. Now the scripts were not just like any other screenplay that I had written. They had to be a story that would be concise. And this meant that they had to be what look like about 5-minute episodes. In that short period of time I had to grab the audience and keep them engaged emotionally and at the end provide a cliffhanger that would make them want to watch the next episode.

 

The funny thing about it was that I was able to write these episodes very quickly. Maybe partly because I already knew the story, but maybe partly because I didn’t overthink it. I just wrote what naturally came to me. I knew I wanted to begin the story the same way that the novel began and that was seeing the character Jake stranded on an abandoned road. We don’t know whether not he’s alive or dead, but we know that something terrible is about to happen. Leaving the story on that hook I knew was a way to really grab the audience and make them want to know what was going to happen next.