|Elliott, Fiona, Tobi & Serenity - shooting the concept trailer|
I was going to write about our cast and crew today, but I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself. There was months of writing before we even considered casting; though we did talk about directors early on. We also talked about the mood of the show and the tone. As I said in my post about the writers’ room, we thought of Sonnigsburg as a Horror TV show.
But we soon decided that we’d rather the show felt creepy, unsettling and spooky, rather than scary or horrifying. Strange things that wouldn’t make sense. People waking up in odd places. Children who would appear benign and turn out to be… something else.
During our first couple of months of writing, we applied to the Community Broadcast Fund (CBF) for some money to go toward the production. We wanted some money to start the project with, to cover food for the cast and crew on set, to pay for filming permits and to hire equipment. We discussed crowdfunding early on, but for CBF we had a deadline to hit. And quickly.
As with any time you apply for funding, there is a lot of paperwork involved. How much money do you need? What are you going to spend it on? Who the hell are you? We explained a bit about the show, told them we wanted to make six episodes and listed all our qualifications.
Then, in a matter of days, we made a test trailer. A sample of what we could shoot, how the show would eventually look and the tone it would take.
We got our friend, actor Tara Haughton on board to play the lead role. Also out in the woods, Tobi Johnson, who had appeared in two of Fiona’s previous projects, including “All the Little Pieces” – a short film.
Fiona directed, Serenity was 1st AD, Gordon Boyd was on set for lights and Elliott Klein was there for sound. SFX was later done by one of our writers, Alex Scott. The crew was starting to take shape, even in this early stage of development. There were a lot of long days ahead, but in February 2014 we had some footage and some hope we’d get a little bit of money to help us along the way.
And here it is, the original Sonnigsburg concept reel that convinced C31 and the CBF to fund our little production to the tune of $10,000.
This is the first time this test footage has been seen outside the small crew who were on board the team at the time and people at C31 and CBF. Thanks again to Tara and Tobi for helping us out in the very early days. Enjoy.