ANATOMY OF AN INDIE – Good Is Not Good Enough – The Camera Forum®
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ANATOMY OF AN INDIE – Good Is Not Good Enough

ANATOMY OF AN INDIE – Good Is Not Good Enough

As I discussed in an earlier installment, the problems with the movie I am making weren’t discovered  until after we had finished shooting, and for the most part boiled down to the animated 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

Fixing this would be a yeoman’s task if we were just renovating the script. But horribly, I came to this discovery after we had already shot the film. In the parlance of my people: “Oy.”  Not Good Enough.  Good Is Not Good Enough.

Filming "Married Young"

Filming “Married Young”

If I wasn’t in this for such a large amount of money personally, and worse, with my friends’ money, I might have been tempted to finish the film and put it out to market with hopes and prayers to see where it would land. Overall, people liked the film, but their reaction was tepid and hardly ecstatic. Good Is Not Good Enough.  I owed it to everyone – but mostly to myself – to do everything possible to make this film great. But after shooting the film, was that possible?

First of all, it is amazing how much can be accomplished simply by editing. Words, reactions and even scenes can be taken out of context and repurposed. The first thing that we tried was to edit out the animated character. Richard Halsey our academy award winning editor, re-cut the movie without the animated character. I’m told that the movie works pretty well without the animated character – I wouldn’t know, because I never got through watching the whole re-cut.

Imagine Every Persons Little Kid Inside - All Rolled Up Into One. Meet Dingus

Imagine Every Persons Little Kid Inside – All Rolled Up Into One. Meet Dingus!


Truthfully, I didn’t set out making this movie to make the movie without the animated character. I had this sick feeling deep inside that the movie without the animated character was good, but not special. I had no idea how to market the movie without the character. We have no major stars – and really what we have is good, but good isn’t good enough. Let me write that again because it is my life mantra. Good is not good enough.

I had a feeling that there was an equation to make this work.

Filming On Set Of "Married Young"

Filming On Set Of “Married Young”

Thankfully, the animated character gave me a shot to re-write the film without re-shooting a frame. I could drop the character into other scenes, cut to different moments, use the character’s voice as VO to perhaps introduce the movie and deliver much of the necessary backstory. It was possible. But I needed a fresh look and some new energy. So I switched editors and started to rediscover the film.

More in the next installment…. Thanks for following my story!  [ratings]

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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