Making Mister Forgettable – Part 1

*Post by Andrew DeVilliers

Part 1 – Preproduction

This is my first post on the Point Blank Creative Video Blog and I thought it might be fitting to get started writing about the experience of making Mister Forgettable. I co-produced, wrote and directed the short film and I am very pleased with how the project has turned out.

Originally I conceived of Mister Forgettable as a short film noir super hero project. I was thinking about the main character as kind of a misfit super hero, who would look a lot like The Spirit, or The Shadow and would emit a kind of pheromone that made people forget him. It was science based pulp, designed to fit in-between a double feature science fiction project I was passionate about at the time.

Several years went by and I joined Point Blank making Riverdale and some other sketches for
Cross Eyed Bear Comedy. When that project was complete, we felt we had accomplished something far more ambitious than we had intended. It made us think; if we could do Riverdale for $1500.00 imagine what we could do with $15,000.00 or $150,000.00?

Mister Forgettable, the idea of a character that could not be remembered by the people around him seemed to gain the most traction in meetings and collaborative sessions between myself, Nathan, Jorah and Shawn Seifert, the DOP (Director of Photography) of Riverdale who had become a co-producer along the way. I also came to the conclusion that the type of character and story I wanted to tell had much more in common with a fairy tale than a super hero story.

The genre changed, and so did the scope. We began developing Forgettable as a feature and outlined a plot that would be part tragic love story, part hero’s journey and part character study all at once. It was ambitious and unfortunately, so wide open it needed grounding and visual materials to support the story and show people exactly what Forgettable would be.

So exactly one year ago we decided to go back to Forgettable as a short film project. Shawn wanted to move ahead with a feature and though I was tempted by the idea and there was some interest in us as a group after Riverdale from outside parties, I felt we needed more experience as a team before we could tackle our first feature together.

Bravo Fact looked to be a good place to start looking for funding, and so we applied with a 6-page version of the short version of Mister Forgettable. The trouble was that the story we needed to tell just would not fit inside 6 pages. I rewrote the script 5 times and eventually we applied to Bravo with something we thought might be good enough. It wasn’t.

Finally we threw out the notion of Bravo and over the last summer I rewrote the script one last time at 13 pages. The new draft ignored guidelines for festivals and funding agencies, but it told the story we needed to tell, and with a few small tweaks we were ready to start pre-production.

Point Blank agreed to pay for a portion of the production and at the time we thought that $3000 to $5000 would be more than enough to tell a story that took place in two locations with only a handful of characters. We quickly realized that just like Riverdale, the size and scope of what we wanted would require more resources than we initially believed. There was a real question of IF we could deliver…

Stay tuned next week when I recap the lead in to production and the first days of filming.