It’s that time again for another update from Babs Do Productions! I wish this update was entirely positive, however, some things have happened since our last update and, most recently, we’ve had some alarming and troubling times.
Most recently, we have been dealing with some medical drama since the end of October that came up out of nowhere after a “one in a billion”-type accident with a member of our family. Once the accident happened, things shockingly spiraled out of control and got increasingly and unexpectedly worse from what we had thought was a minor injury. Thankfully, after weeks of treatments and a complete diagnosis, things have calmed significantly with at home medical treatments and care now being a regular part of our day all the way through the holiday season and into the new year.
Our last update before this was in May of 2017. At the time we had been preparing to film during the Summer months and start our casting process. However, things took a turn a few weeks later when we received a call from the owners of the restaurant we had planned to film in and the news was not good. They had decided to back out of the film for a variety of reasons that were, to our understanding, things we had already discussed and agreed to well in advance over several months prior. It wasn’t a matter of money as they were the ones who offered to let us use the restaurant for free in exchange for all the publicity that the film would bring. It wasn’t a matter of the film production itself as we had been stopping in regularly after hours to test and discuss ideas and concerns as we finalized the script and other pre-production tasks as we went along. What ultimately brought an end to our production at the restaurant, according to this troubling phone call, was that the film was going to be a “horror” film. Before we could even say anything, the line went dead and that was that.
Yes, “The Diner”, as we currently call it under its working title, does have some scary moments and there are some supernatural elements. However, the film is rather unique and, without giving anything away, we feel confident in calling the film a “supernatural thriller” which is more accurate than simply labeling it a “horror” film. Despite the offer to do a table-read of the script with the owners of the restaurant, we were unable to get another chance to state our case. It was a strange rejection and one that still haunts us even now as the whole thing made us wonder if any of those things said on the phone were really the reasons we were rejected. In any case, it cost us our location, our time, and an entire Summer so that we could find another restaurant location to serve as our “Diner”. It wasn’t an ideal situation but we’ve heard of these things happening to films before so, if anything, we can at least say that it’s happened to us too and that we have passed through this filmmaking rite of passage.
We had started casting in August, keeping things rather under wraps and through strictly professional channels on casting websites like Backstage and SFCasting as well as a couple others closer to our filming area. Considering our budget, we had decided to try casting primarily for local non-union talent but quickly realized that to satisfy our diverse casting needs, we would have to do more and made the decision to become a SAG-AFTRA production. Since then, we are happy to report that we have received a veritable tidal wave of submissions for all of our characters! We were ready to restart the casting process in October and were already worried about scheduling issues with the upcoming holiday season, however, fate stepped in and delivered an immediate hold on everything as described above under “Family”.
Also, to our actors and actresses applying for our film, we are currently planning to hold auditions early in 2018. Many have submitted for “The Diner” already and, to those who haven’t submitted yet, please do as we have a very diverse cast and aside from being highly location-centric, this film, more so, is all about its characters.
Despite everything, we have taken extra steps during our downtime to constantly work on new drafts of the script. The fundamentals haven’t changed much, however, many new ideas and practical considerations became very apparent to us while doing tests at our main locations. The most recent draft is still being ironed out but it’s the best version yet and will most likely be our shooting script, barring any last minute changes or other ideas springing up during production which is quite common and very much expected.
Much about our production is staying the same with a RED One MX being our main camera of choice for the film. We have several lenses to choose from including modern Rokinon Cinema lenses as well as a selection of unique and high quality SLR lenses to choose from to aid in the overall look of the film. Perhaps the most significantly changed aspect of the film is our lighting as we had mapped out an entire lighting diagram for the first restaurant but now the second restaurant will require an entirely new line of thinking and a wholly different bag of tricks. Thankfully we have been in situations like this before on other films with having to switch or drop locations at the last minute so we are well prepared for just about anything. We will also be staying green with strictly LED-based lighting solutions and, surprisingly, new tools and solutions are seemingly coming out every day to help make this film look its best.
The Review – A Fatal Frame Fan Film
Aside from the development on our feature film, our previous short form web series, “The Review – A Fatal Frame Fan Film” has won 21 awards! We are so honored to have received so much praise and accolades for the film thus far and the film festival run is continuing into 2018! We have received many invitations to submit to other festivals and many other opportunities have opened up for the film along the way. Being a fan film, we know that options for distribution are limited unless Nintendo reaches out to us but, if nothing else, we hope that people enjoy watching the film and have fun with it for as long as its film festival run lasts.
Here’s the link to the new official IMDB page for “The Review”: Link
Our Youtube Channel
We have been mentioning work on our Youtube channel for a while now but haven’t gotten around to it for some time for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s working on the feature film, doing family activities planned in advance of our Summer production location halt, or taking care of a family medical emergency, we just haven’t been able to dedicate time and effort into it. This is all going to change as we have various videos planned and a dedication to film, edit, and upload a mix of entertaining and educational content for your viewing pleasure! One of the projects is a much delayed and very exciting “Fatal Frame” based video that will most likely be our last video on the subject. We’ll definitely share more once the videos are done and we plan to work on these around the feature film so that we have a nice mix of things going on all at once. Whether this leads to a Patreon or similar setup is still up in the air but if there’s any interest for that kind of thing from us, please let us know, we want to make cool stuff for you!
All in all, this year has given us many twists and turns and some good stories for the future! While we’re still dealing with some things in our personal lives, Babs Do Productions is still on track to make movies and tell some amazing stories and even though 2017 wasn’t the year we thought it would be, it certainly has prepared us for an incredible 2018! Until then, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!