I can’t believe how quickly these last two weekends have flown by. Last weekend was the first time I ever shot in NYC. Great people and an even greater experience thanks to the incredibly talented Sandy Oppedisano.
Sandy will be playing Mary David in the TALES OF LIGHT & DARK episode entitled “OPEN CALL”. This is the third time Sandy returns to a Light & Dark Production. Her previous L&D movies include SINS OF THE FATHER and FAIRVIEW FALLS. Her latest outing with us is quite a departure from her role of Megan Woodrow.
As Mary, Sandy plays a divorcée and struggling actress who discovers just how difficult it is to return to the workforce after playing a stay-at-home wife until she runs into the charming Charles Milles (played by Jack Pruett) who offers her the role of her life.
This weekend we had rehearsals for three of our five episodes which brought most of the cast together for the first time.
On Saturday, we rehearsed the remaining scenes for “OPEN CALL” with Sandy, Jack, Jude Pucillo, Mike Lane and Mick Fevola.
Despite having both been in FAIRVIEW FALLS, Jude and Sandy never met on set. This was a reunion for them both who coincidentally had worked together many years ago. Jude will be serving as assistant director in GEOKILLING and playing Sandy’s husband in OPEN CALL.
Mike will be playing the part of Jimmy in both OPEN CALL and GEOKILLING. Mike celebrates almost 14 years working with me and has been in all of my productions except for THE CELLAR. He has also been serving as creative consultant for the episodes.
Both Mike and Jude were invaluable in getting FAIRVIEW FALLS completed and it’s great to be working with them again.
Mick… what is there to say about Mick? You don’t know whether to laugh or run when he looks at you with those deep blue eyes of his and tells you like it is. He has already been a valuable asset on a few of the episodes providing a fresh insight that has been extremely helpful. I’m really looking forward to working with him. He’s super efficient and organized and is exactly why he’s my second AD on GEOKILLING. He’s also featured in the part 1 cliffhanger for OPEN CALL. Part 2 concludes Mick’s scene which is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Last but not least is Jack Pruett. Jack has this captivating presence that immediately draws you in. He’s the perfect fit for the charming and sinister Charles Milles and the polar opposite of Charles. I think I struck gold when I found Jack and can’t wait to work with him.
The second rehearsal was for “TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY” which stars Chelsea Roach (Ophelia) and Stewart Thomas (Father Peter).
Chelsea is a force to be reckoned with. She floored me from the moment she auditioned. While I’m dying to go into deeper detail about this plot line and her role I unfortunately need to hold back for now. Suffice it to say, she is one of the most versatile actresses I have had the opportunity to work with. Chelsea will also be playing the homeless LOLLI GIRL which shoots in the fall.
Stewart has a screen presence that can be best compared to Larry Fishburne. I was so enthralled with Stewart’s audition and inspired by him that upon casting him I rewrote the script specifically for him. As Father Peter, Stewart plays a priest whose beliefs and values are put to the test after the tragic death of a young woman.
We wrapped Saturday with a cemetery shoot that takes place early in the episode. Fighting the setting sun, we raced to a second location and got our last shot for the day. Since the shot only took a few minutes we may reshoot it in late August when the cast returns to complete the episode. We had a bit of a late start on Saturday when we discovered that Metro North had canceled all direct trains to Peekskill due to a recent train derailment. Despite the minor hiccups, the day was a smashing success.
And then came Sunday… WOW! The cast for GEOKILLING just blew me away. The timing was perfect on the very first read. After two reads were done we could have been off shooting.
Haley Rice (Nicole), Michael Knowles (Eric), Jaime Colins (Teddy), Sabrina Coleman (Lydia) and L&D alumni, Joe Policastro (Joe) make up the cast of geocachers that set off into the woods after being sent an anonymous letter to a geocaching event. What they find at the end of their quest sets forth a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
The cast immediately hit it off. The perfect chemistry led to a perfect read and like I said, WOW! They all nailed it. Without a doubt, this was the best read of the weekend. I’m so excited to shoot this episode next weekend.
Sabrina had me at “hey” at her audition (you’ll get it when you see the episode). The stunning mother of two rocks the role of bad-ass Lydia.
Michael plays the dick jock we all knew from high school and cracked me up with his in-character banter with Jaimie Colins’ Teddy. Jaime is another one who had me at his audition with his Scooby-Doo impression.
We wrapped the day with two scenes from GEOKILLING. The first scene featured Haley receiving the mysterious letter. Haley plays the beautiful girl next door, Nicole. Nicole is Teddy’s vulnerable but strong willed sister that is one of a few who has a secret that she’s keeping from the others.
The second scene shot was a love scene with two of the actors (sorry no spoilers). The actors had only met a few hours before but the instant on-screen chemistry would totally seem otherwise. I have been blessed with such a great cast for this episode with consummate professionals just willing to dive right in there. Their enthusiasm was really refreshing compared to some of the challenges we faced on FAIRVIEW FALLS.
Special thanks to my wife Diana for helping to put this past weekend together. Without her, this weekend would never have happened.
We’ll have more on the cast soon posted here on lightanddark.net (including an official section for the web series) so stay tuned. There’s so much more to come in the months ahead. Tons of photos, blogging, behind the scenes, etc.!