Crazy Blue Development Reading
The development reading of Crazy Blue, with a lovely cast, at The Other Palace Theatre in Victoria last Thursday, in front of over 50 Movie Collective investors, performed two functions.
Firstly, we promised investors that we would bring them along for the ride and this was a chance for them to see one of our projects being read. It was also an opportunity to meet investors for the first time and say hello.
The second, was purely selfish. We got to road test a screenplay with an audience before a single frame has even been considered. No music, no pictures, no edit - at its crudest level, we were showcasing an architect's drawing of what this story could be. For a writer, this is invaluable. If you can win an audience over at this stage, at its most basic level, you are in a great position. And we did just that.
It's amazing to think that millions of dollars are spent on a movie, before any of it goes in front of an audience for a test screening - which can sometimes lead to re-shoots. I don't believe any movie should be made without this step in the process.
The cast, which included Daniela Denby-Ashe and Ben Baily Smith (aka Doc Brown) in the leads, were fabulous. We had just six hours together beforehand, which was enough to read it through twice with some notes.
This is also a test of your material. Can the actors find the characters this quickly? Will they understand the logic of the story? Will they communicate it to a live audience? Again, this is about road testing a concept. You don't want to make it too easy. You are looking to expose weaknesses - and every screenplay has them. If the actors can do a great job with just six hours rehearsal then something is working. At the same time, you don't want to throw everyone involved under a bus. Ideally, you want the audience and actors walking out on a high and a little bemused that so much good was created from such little time.
We were also experimenting with doing the reading with a piano. There is a lot of music in this story and we felt it was important to get a feeling for music during the reading - even if it wasn't the music we will end up with (as there is a very specific soundtrack in the story). This was provided brilliantly for us by composer James Welland. And none of this would have been possible or as successful without good producers. And in Muireann Price and Freddie Hutton Mills - Crazy Blue has two of the youngest, best and most exciting. Muireann organised the rehearsals, oversaw casting and fed everyone with some help from emerging producer Tomm Coles - who is a Movie Collective investor himself (but then aren't we all!). Tomm kindly offered to lend a hand on the day.
Thank you again to all the Movie Collective investors that came. As always, if you have any questions, please email me direct. As I mentioned in the last update, Utopia Road shooting dates have been pushed back to April 2019. I will update you with more information as it comes through from Cassian.