Naked Filmmaking is spreading. I shot this footage a few days ago of filmmaker Anthony D’Juan directing and shooting a dialogue scene with actors Nancy Zoppi and David Scott for his short film Untitled.
I first heard of Anthony D’Juan in 2007 when he responded to a casting call I placed in Craigslist (the first and last casting call that I shall ever post in Craigslist. The part was for an actor who could play a Caucasian, eighteen year old Jewish boy. Anthony is African American and in his thirties. But he was basically just introducing himself to us. Later he told me that he never responds to these things, but something about the description of this film grabbed his attention. There was another part in the film written for an African American in his forties or fifties and we asked if he’d care to look at that role, e-mailed him the script and he jumped on the part. As soon as I met Anthony I had the feeling that I could be talking to a compadre and a genuine artist. This continued through the filming and long after.
Anthony is a total artist — an actor, playwright, novelist, poet, screenwriter, prolific blogger. And I know there’s a number of things I’ve left out. He has written over thirty plays and screenplays. You can’t pigeonhole him. His intellect is broad, literacy is enormous, and range of opinions — which he expresses in amazing detail in his blogs — covers every compass of the human and artistic experience.
He told me many times that he’d been involved with a number of filmmaking projects over the years and almost all of them had left bitter tastes in his mouth. He reached a point where he felt that almost everybody making films on the low- to no-budget level were frauds and wanted nothing to do with them anymore. Then along came Nightbeats and he felt this one might be different for him. It was and the experience with just a single dedicated filmmaker who had an idea and belief in what he was doing, as opposed to working with a crew who was largely inexperienced and only somewhat committed, rekindled his interest in filmmaking.
Anthony would come by the studio while I was editing Nightbeats and become more and more invigorated. One time he asked me to read one of his scripts and then broached the idea of me directing it. My response was, “Anthony, nobody is ever going to have the same level of commitment to your script than you. If you have a film that you want to make then you need to make it yourself.”
Throughout the writing of Naked Filmmaking I would send drafts to Anthony for his feedback. The reaction was always strong and supportive. But the greatest compliment was when, encouraged by the positive experience of making our film and emboldened by the technical information I’ve provided in Naked Filmmaking – about how to frame shots, use the existing light to get a great image, and how to record clean and professional-quality sound — Anthony decided to take the plunge and make his own film as a one-man filmmaker.
With a Panasonic DVX 100 borrowed from filmmaker pal Chris King and some microphones and recycled mini-DV tapes from me, Anthony is taking the bold step of doing it!
He has another week of filming in and around Sacramento. I hope to catch up with him and film some more of him at work — getting Naked.
Tech Notes on this behind-the-scenes clip:
Edited on Final Cut Pro 6