ADVENTURE DIARY: THE MAKING & SCREENING OF SOLSTICE RANCH
On June 1st, 2017, at 4:08p Freddie, myself along with our friends, Mike & Ariane, landed at LAX after 24 hours of traveling from Koh Samui, Thailand back to the States. It was quite the journey but I was ecstatic to be back as a project I was producing was going into production on June 3rd. We had four days to shoot 17 pages - piece of cake, right? LOL.
The project is called SOLSTICE RANCH which was written by Savannah Mills & Katie Wallace, two dear friends of mine. We had a true “dream team” on our hands. Our producers included David Del Rio, Katie Wallace, Savannah Mills & Scott Friedman. Christianna Carmine (To Live and Try in LA, Darryl) was set to direct and our star-studded cast included Matt Shively as “Mike” (Father of the Year, Santa Clarita Diet, The Real O'Neals, True Jackson, VP), Ryan Pinkston as “Evan” (Will & Grace, Clipped, Punk’d), Essence Atkins as “Lola Solstice” (Marlon, Are We There Yet?, Half & Half, Smart Guy) and of course, our fabulous writers, Savannah Mills (Never Fade Away) and Katie Wallace (Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, Awkward, Big Time Rush) were set to star as “Stephanie” and “Kristy.”
I had one day to get back on our time zone and do last minute errands to prep for production. That Friday was filled with picking up rentals, printing out sides for the cast and crew to have on hand, confirming bathroom delivery, lunch orders, and any last minute problems that came up (because you know there are ALWAYS last minute problems to solve!)
On June 3rd, David and I arrived a little before 10a. We set up base camp, confirmed the shooting schedule for the day, loaded in equipment, made sure the set design and props were set up accordingly and got ready for a day filled with shooting! Our crew and cast showed up and we got to work.
We shot on two consecutive weekends, June 3rd & 4th as well as June 10th & 11th. The synergy of the cast and crew was explosive. Every member of the team whether it be a production assistant to the makeup department, the cast, to sound - everyone had each other's backs and gave it their all. It was such a magical thing to witness.
We wrapped production on June 11th almost 12th, right before 12a. We loaded out all of the equipment + rentals and I arrived home during the wee hours of the morning. Boy, were we EXHAUSTED. I'm pretty positive every producer on our team took the next 48 hours to completely unplug & recharge.
Throughout the next six months, editing of the film took place. We also began researching and submitting to film festivals. We have been accepted to five festivals thus far and had one of our first screenings at The LA Shorts Film Festival on August 3rd! It was so incredible to see this film come to life and playing on the big screen. I cannot wait to see what is yet to come for this special passion project of ours!