Anatomy Of An Indie – Discovering Your Movie – The Camera Forum®
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Anatomy Of An Indie – Discovering Your Movie

Anatomy Of An Indie – Discovering Your Movie


David and Talya got married young. They have an 18 month old and another on the way. But life isn’t the way David expected it: they live in a trailer park (true, it’s a luxury trailer park), David uses his artistic ability to create soul defeating corporate websites and to make matters worse, they haven’t had sex for weeks because Talya isn’t in the mood. Life would be challenging enough without it, but in the spirit of South Park, David has a 2-D animated alter-ego, a comic character he created years ago. This “Party Animal” tells David that he is too young to act this way, he should be banging chicks and having fun. Party Animal reminds David of his artistic talent and his life dreams and also how much fun it would be to get stoned and bang the hot neighbor.

Married Young is a poignant comedy about marriage, pregnancy and growing up.”

Party Animal

Meet Party Animal

Discovering Your Movie

Every director walks into production thinking (assuming) that he understands the script and the story. But really, making a movie is a process of discovery – specifically discovering what is this movie really about?  Discovering Your Movie for the first time.

Shooting "Married Young"

Shooting “Married Young”

I was initially drawn to Married Young because of the animated character. We have seen movies about marriage, but we haven’t really ever seen a movie where we heard and actually met the inner voice of the lead. The animated character separated this movie from other low budget indies and I thought it could be a really dynamic marketing element for the movie.

Director Daniel Kaufman and team reviewing video clips.

Director Daniel Kaufman and team reviewing video clips while making “Married Young.”

But the movie we shot did not evolve into a movie that I wanted to see or a movie that I wanted to make. And being as far out on a limb as I was, that realization was a deep, painful moment of panic.

Setting Up The Tracks For A Dolly Shot

Setting Up The Tracks For A Dolly Shot For “Married Young”

Initially, the animated character was David’s doppelganger – an animated version of David. We had planned to make the character’s voice the same as the lead actor but we found that listening to the same voice for a whole movie got tiresome. But the voice wasn’t the problem. The problem was the character:

1.       The character had a big presence in the beginning and end, but goes away for a long time
2.        The audience didn’t understand who the character was or how to understand him
3.       The audience didn’t like the character
4.       Since the character looked like David, the audience stopped liking our lead actor
5.       The animated character was not crucial to the structure or plot of the story

These are real issues we will need to deal with.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Behind the Scenes Story of Making “Married Young” …

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Daniel Kaufman

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Daniel Kaufman Although most known for directing over 400 commercials, Daniel still remains active in long-form content. With his co-writer, Michael Craven, he wrote the feature screenplay, "Big Shot," which won the Gold Prize in Comedy at the PAGE International Screenplay Awards being chosen from more than 1900 other entries. His script, "Clean," won the Samuel Goldwyn writing award, and another script "The Conversation Piece," is in active development. Mr. Kaufman's short-films have also won awards, and are screened around the world. In April 2012, Mr. Kaufman completed "Listen to Grandpa, Andy Ling" - a TV pilot starring Elliott Gould (as Director/Executive Producer ). Mr. Kaufman is also a leader in the world of Internet content and has created viral web pieces for companies like LG Televisions and Old Navy that have garnered more than 15,000,000 unique views. Mr. Kaufman's current project is the feature film, "Married Young," set to go into production in August 2013. Daniel Kaufman is a multiple award winning commercial director who has worked with such clients as Budweiser, McDonalds, Nestle, Walmart and Comcast and with top-level advertising agencies like Goodby-Silverstein, McCann Erickson and TBWA/Chiat-Day. His work has garnered many accolades - AICP Honors (3 times), AICE (campaign of the year) and others. Recently he has directed commercials for eHarmony, X-Box, the NFL, Boston Market, ABC, Comedy Central, Toyota and Ikea. One of the unusual aspects of Mr. Kaufman's advertising career is that he is often asked to write and concept the very commercials that he directs - something which rarely happens in the industry. Consequently, in 2006 he opened BOGADA, a boutique advertising agency and production company to service the needs of several clients including Insight Communications, the country's eighth largest cable television operator. As an author/photographer, Daniel wrote the book "To Be A Man" (Simon & Shuster, 1994), in which he visually explored the issue of male identity and conflicting gender expectations. His photographic work has been viewed in solo and group shows around the country and internationally. Before moving to the creative side of the industry, Mr. Kaufman was an executive in the business of film and television production and distribution. He was Vice-President of Acquisition at Caleco Pictures and Vice-President of Development at Ron Lyon Productions. As an actor, Daniel trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has more than fifty professional stage credits as well as numerous film and television appearances. Mr. Kaufman graduated Magna Cum Laude from UC Berkeley. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing from UCLA (where he was the only Film student in the 75 year history to also complete the theater directing course). He also is an Acting Associate to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama - the Associate School of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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