It takes a village

To make it in Hollywood you need to have a strong team behind you. No, I’m not talking about a manager, an agent, a studio head that thinks your the next great thing, or even a mentor to guide you along your way. You can have all these different people to help you, but more importantly, it is the connections you make along the journey that will be most beneficial.

I’m lucky to have found a wonderful team during the first season of a webseries I helped co-create called Wave Goodbye. What started out as pitching ideas back and forth between myself and two other people has become something real. Something that shows what I’m capable of creating, writing and producing. But no, I did not do it alone, I did it with an army of amazing and talented individuals, and god bless their hearts, did it all for the love of the project and the people behind it.

I could go into details about how the idea came to fruition, but I’ve already covered that here and I don’t want to bore you with the details. And, honestly, this post isn’t about me. It’s about the team and I’ve already spent too much time throwing around the words “I” and “me”.

First and foremost, this project would not exist without a select group of individuals. The idea wasn’t my own, but a joining of forces along with Eric Goodwin and Adam Morris. Eric wanted to do something big in scope with lots of characters and locations. Adam was the one who created and gave life to Mitch, Leonard and Autumn off of very rough character sketches. Those two are the backbone of the series and have been crucial in adding in new characters to the mix and creating the arc for the first season. They’ve also both written a handful of episodes and Eric has taken to task to direct every single episode and has been the main editor on all of them too. It is his eye and skill behind the Canon 5D that gives the show its look and tone.

Once we created the first three episodes we raised a handful of money (a little over $5k) that was used to feed the crew, rent equipment and that’s about it. Creating a feature length web series on that budget doesn’t leave much left over. Eric and I also threw some of our own money into the budget to keep us afloat as the numbers dwindled down. But we must thank each and every one of our donors, because without you, we couldn’t have made this work. Here is a list of all donors in no particular order :

Alice Schwartz, Julie Kahn, Keith Shankar, Libby Macfarlane, Lynn Dickinson, Courtney Liebowitz, Mona Robinson, Brian Ronaghan, Bob DeRosa, Dave Bullis, Alexis Niki, Sarah Alexis, Alex Hernandez, Casey Carroll, Christi Waldon, Daniel Elder, David Mulholland, Derek and Rachel Langer, Diane Williams, Elaise Piper, Ellen Sunshine, Emily Berger, James Gale, James Hutcherson, Jamie Dierks, Jeanne Bowerman, Jeff Eyamie, Jeffrey Field, Jennie Goldman, Joshua Fai, Kelly Anelons, Kelly Hofmann, Kelly Masula, Lindsay Carlson, Marcia French, Maria Moskalenko, Michael O’Neal, Miguel Duran, Nicole Hill, Noelle Buccino, Rena Wiriaatmadja, Richard (sorry no last name), Rob Hobson, Robert Carroll, Sherry T. Pete, Susan Blatt, Vivi Anna, William A. Porter, Wonder Russell, Kim Garland, Elizabeth Wayne, Little Big Film Company, M. Linares-Soto, Anne Lower, Beeks Wayne, Beth Flom, Brad Polsky, David Aldrich, Dawn Bierschwal, Eric Meyers, Gardner Grout, Geoff and Blair Marshall, Germaine de Pibrac James, Scott Horowitz, Joe Shapiro, Jolene Jahnke, Kait Nagy, Kate McGregor-Stewart, Margaret Riseley, Nancy Yuen, Thor Halvorssen, Nico Sabenorio, Lulu Kane, Barbara Flom, Cici Maher, Dutch Doscher, Jason Kesler, Michael & Tina Brand, Mom & Dad (Goodwin), Mom & Dad (Sanford), Ratbone Blossom, Ric LevisFitzgerald, Russell Southam, Tom & Lois Quinlan, Blaire Marshall, Dorian O., Paul Singleton, Ben Pieper, Bonnie Gibson, Daniel Cohen.

Remember when I stated it takes a village? That’s just all the people who were kind enough to give us a dollar or more towards our campaign on IndieGoGo and we couldn’t have shot episodes 4 through 20 without you. We owe you all stuff for the perks fulfillment and hopefully you’ll be seeing it soon. It’s coming, we promise.

But it wasn’t just our backers who kicked ass, we had an amazing cast and crew that made everything happen on set and behind the scenes. They gave up time at work, personal lives and time with friends and family to be part of this new indie family.

Our main cast consists of:

Mitch Eakins who plays Sgt. Mitch Preston. Mitch is amazing and has grown behind the scenes with each and every episode we’ve written and shot. He’s offered up his home as a location and his time to even work the set when he’s not even on camera.

Kristofer Macklin – Mitch’s sidekick and one of the most fun characters to write for. He hasn’t been in the acting game as many of our cast members, but it doesn’t show. He’s going to go far and I have no problem constantly updating his demo reel for all the hours he’s put in.

Elle Carpenter – When I first was told that she decided to do this weird Australian accent I was afraid of how things would turn out, but I dig it… oh, and there’s a reason why she has it. You’ll just have to wait for season 2 to find out. Oh, and if you haven’t check out her music yet, you should get on that.

Abimael Linares – Abby has the hardest job. Horace is the most grounded of the main characters and the closest thing we have to a straight-man (trust me, it’s true). He isn’t give all the laughs, but he has been my favorite character to write. And I promise to not give him anymore tongue twisters in season 2.

Elisabeth Carpenter – She let us use her house in the first episode and she’s been great in an ever-expanding roll as Autumn’s older and wiser sister.

Sage Carpenter-Rihs – They say to never work with kids and animals, but whenever Sage is on set it is a blast and keeps us laughing. Hopefully we’ll find more reasons to bring her smile in-front of the camera in season 2.

Paul Marshall – Paul is just as laid back on set as his character Doctor Potter is on screen.

Timothy D. McKeown – Not only is he our wonderful on set and post sound guy, but he’s stepped in to play the bum on more than one occasion.

Kaitlyn Nagy – Kaitlyn has filled in in numerous roles and has helped out behind the scenes. One of many utility players that we’ve had to help out on more than one occasion.

Jaedon Puissegur – Our Mormon/Agent who took many spills on the bicycle. For your stunt work alone people should be hiring you as I’m amazed nothing broke during the spills.

Christina Saragaglia – The mysterious woman in episodes nine and ten. Hopefully she comes back to the West Coast so we can expand on her character a little…

Trevor McKay Smith – Trevor was originally supposed to be the husband in the tow yard, but thankfully he ended up sick so he could bring the amazing Specter to the screen in future episodes.

George Spielvogel III – The wonderfully weird and creepy Deputy Guy Beaumont. Another actor who has transplanted to the east coast, we will find a way to get him back in season 2… hopefully.

The rest are listed in episode order and have only appeared once at the time of this posting:

Episode 2: Nico Sabenorio & Adam Morris
Episode 4: Catherine Lydon & Alex Wolff
Episode 6: Bobby Kraft, Patrick Quinn, Kristin Rossi
Episode 7: Stanton Prescott
Episode 10: Christopher Hayes, J’aime Spezzano
Episode 12: Steve Bannos
Episode 13: Virginia Kingston

(I will add in the actors for episodes 16 – 20 as they air so I don’t create any spoilers).

Behind the camera we have a countless number of people to thank. I know I’m going to miss a lot, but here goes (in no particular order):

Allison Scott – She can line produce, first AD, be an assistant camera operator and doesn’t complain when she’s the only one around to run some errands that would be usually relegated to a PA. If you need someone for your crew… hire her. Seriously. She was supposed to be Desiree in an upcoming episode, but paid work for a month pulled her away… so we’ll find a spot for her in the future.

Stanton Prescott – Our other key utility behind the scenes multi-hyphenate. Like Allison, Scott does it all and is a blast to be around on set. He’s even filled in when we had to break the forth wall and needed someone to act as Autumn’s camera man. Once again, another crew person I would personally recommend.

Timothy McKeown – Soundman extraordinaire. He records on set at all hours of the day/night and then he’s up all hours of the day and night doing our sound mix and design. If you’re watching the episodes on crappy little laptop speakers, pull up the episodes on your TV or Blu-Ray player with web access and listen to the amount of work he puts in. Episode 15 has so many layers that it is a shame most won’t be able to truly experience the levels of his mix. If you need a sound guy. HIRE HIM!

Sean Reilly – A recent addition to the WGB crew, but he’s responsible for syncing all the sound (we typically record on two zooms and the camera), and doing assistant editing duties for Eric. A thankless job, but he’s been a lifesaver.

Peter Joseph, Tim Kelly, Sam Kane Kraft – The three responsible for the score of WGB. Those guitars and any other mix of music is from them. They don’t work together, so it is shitty of me to put them all onto one line. I would separate them out, but I’ll wait until Eric tells me who does what.

Akash Singh – Notice how we have some amazing locations on our budget? Akash has been amazing on letting us shoot at his locations that he and his family own across all of Los Angeles. If you’d like to use any of the locations seen in our series, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Akash if it is his spot.

Maggie Macdonald – She’s helped on set in a few instances, but most importantly she’s an awesome stunt coordinator and she was around to help us with our biggest stunt in the series.

Mark Nistico – A Director that didn’t mind helping out for a couple episodes when he was visiting LA. Next time I’m on the East Coast hopefully he’ll have some shoots for me to assist on in return.

If I missed someone, I’m completely sorry. Please let me know and I’ll add you to this ever growing list. To those who read the whole thing, now you know how many people it takes… and this was only an indie crew.

Some of the actors don’t have representation and some of the crew is looking for work. I would hire (or HIGHLY recommend) the cast and crew for anything in an instant. They have become like family and I want each and every one of them to succeed in this business. Thank you to each and every one of you. If you don’t know how much your blood, sweat and tears has meant to me, Eric and Adam, know this post is dedicated to you.

We will be having a screening at the Downtown Independent Theater on Tuesday July 17th at 8 p.m. It is free to attend and WGB won’t be the only webseries. This is a chance to showcase the cast and crew’s talent to the town, so hopefully they can all continue climbing up the Hollywood ladder.

Until next time…

2 Comments

  1. Aunt Janice
    Sep 8, 2012

    September 8, 2012

    Good Morning Zac:

    I just read your It Takes a Village blog and I am very proud of you, nice job. I will continue, as always, to pray for your success and most importantly your personal and professional fullfillment in all that you do. It takes courage to step-out and take the risk that you have so to shoot for your dreams. Never stop. Keep shooting for your dreams and reaching as far as you can reach. The payoff is great, it is evident that your personal happiness and satisfaction are realized. I continue to pray that your payoff will also be great financially as well. And, I pray this will be sooner rather than later. Remember, your family loves you and is rooting for you, always. And remember, happiness and personal/professional satisfaction is what makes for a wonderful life with or without money. Of course, money helps…lol Love you always, Aunt Janice

  2. James Serafin
    Jul 8, 2014

    Greetings Zac!

    I had met you at the Great American Pitchfest, as you were representing Suntaur Entertainment, and you had requested for met to send you two of my screenplays. When I went to search for your email, I could not locate it. I didn’t want to bother you before/during the fourth of July holiday, or even bother you by your phone, so I thought I would reach out to you this way. The two scripts you were interested in of mine were “Wishful Thinking” (Where the 8 yr old boy wishes his too dysfunctional parents would switch bodies and understand what it was like to live in the other persons’s shoes…..and if you remember, when he is in her body, he gets PREGNANT!” And the other movie you wanted the screenplay for was “Bachelor Party Scavenger Hunt”, (Where a group of men in their thirties create a phony sexy bachelor party scavenger hunt list in an attempt to get unsuspecting women to do their bidding.) Anyway, it truly was a pleasure to meet you, so please hit me up at Jserafinhome@yahoo.com if you still wish to review my scripts.

    Have a great rest of your day! Hope to hear from you soon!
    James Serafin

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