On The Rocks - Production Diary #1

I was sitting at my desk today going over the script, jotting down notes and I had a major realization: we are less than one week away from principle photography!! Where did the last two months go? It seems like just yesterday I was finishing up my first draft of the script and going, “oh my god! I can’t believe I titled a script after a bar in Edmonton”! Little did I know, that forty-page passion script would turn into one of the biggest undertakings I have ever embarked on. I will explain, but first:

A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to the IndieGoGo Campaign for On the Rocks. We were able to raise over $2700 for this project which is just unbelievable. That in itself will help pay for hotels, wages, and the equipment we need to make this film possible. Without you guys and your kindness this script would be just another file on my computer. Instead, you believed in the project and you believed in me. And for that, I cannot thank you guys enough; it truly means the world to me.

Since you guys are as apart of this film as I am, I want to keep you guys updated throughout the production of On the Rocks with “Production Diary” Blog posts. Basically posts letting you know what’s going on, how we are doing, and how the film is turning out. And let me tell you…there is a lot to say!

As I mentioned above, this is the biggest undertaking I have ever embarked on as a Producer. The writing of the film was easy; this story was lingering in my brain since September of 2014 so as soon as I started putting ideas onto paper everything came naturally. And as far as Directing, I have been living with these characters since September; I know them better than I know some of my friends!  It was the production side of things that was the most challenging.

Prior to this film, the biggest project that I produced was The Path. A ten minute short film that you can check out on YouTube. Our budget was maybe $250-$500 for it. Now multiply the budget by 10 and the script by 10 and you have On the Rocks. I organized auditions, hired crew, actors, makeup, locations, insurance, sound, hotels, financing, food, props, costumes all while trying to keep under the budget. This is my first go at something big as a Producer and I have to say: I freakin’ love it! You’re going to think I’m a big weirdo or something but there’s a sort of thrill to it. It’s high pressure and you constantly need to be on the ball but the end result is getting to see your film get made – it’s a very rewarding experience.

This week I had the pleasure of meeting with Carlee Ryski and Riley Alexander who will be playing Grace and Adam in the film. We did a read through of the script and talked about each scene. Without giving anything away, these two are going to kick some serious ass in this film!

As well, I got to go wardrobe shopping with our very talented Costume Designer, Christine Kemp, who put together the most awe-inspiring wardrobe for the film. I don’t know much about fashion or wardrobe, but Christine was able to personify the clothing to intelligently match the themes of the film (I hope that makes sense?). Anyways, she’s good at what she does.

Alright, that’s it for this Production Diary. We are 5 days away from a production that I have spent the better part of 10 months planning. It’s exciting! It’s thrilling! And I can’t wait for it to begin!

In the next post I will give you a sneak peak at a few of our locations and I will finally release the entire cast of On the Rocks. Stay tuned folks! Have a great weekend!

Justin Kueber