Last time we spoke to you, “RAIN” was on it’s way to being funded on Kickstarter! How does it feel to finally see your dream forming before your eyes?
It’s awesome and maddening and scary and wonderful and exciting and exhausting and everything it should be. It’s an entirely new world and new kind of experience for me and I’m fascinated by everything I’m learning about this process. It’s odd, though, because the reigns on Rain are pretty much in other people’s hands now so I’m on perpetual standby waiting around to hear what’s going to happen next and when. I have learned to detest and disbelieve the word “soon”.
When I had a band, things were more direct and I was in control: “This is when rehearsal is, this is when the show is, here are the flyers- done”. With this project there is so much more involved… there are people involved in the production that I haven’t even met yet and that’s a little weird to me, but ultimately it just means that the production has grown into something much bigger than I ever planned which is beautiful. Terrifying…but beautiful. Like a storm!
We’ve noticed that you’ve been training like a mad woman for fight scenes. How many hours a day have you been practicing? Is it harder than expected?
Oh I’ve been told I train like a madwoman already, but I have definitely amped things up to try to be in obnoxiously good shape for the film. In fact once I know we’re done filming I’m going to take a break from sit-ups and crunches and eat all the fully loaded nachos I can find! I missed out on Girl Scout cookie season, y’all, so I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I’m making. You know how many Thin Mints I coulda had?!
As far as general training goes, I could probably be doing more. On a good day I get up in the morning and run about 2 miles to the gym, do some weight training there for a while and then run back home. Then I go to work. I work at a place called Hot lava Obstacle Course, which is like a gym but awesomer. We’ve got stuff to climb, a gymnastics spring floor, and mats and stuff… so sometimes I practice kicks and falling and stunts when I’m there. And then after that during the week I go to my favorite place- the dojo, Elite Martial Arts- where we are pretty much training for fight scenes all the time, movie or not. So that part of it is actually second nature for me so far.
We did a test shoot of a fight scene a few weeks ago and it was exhausting, but a lot of fun. That particular fight is one I choreographed myself with some help from the two “bad guys” in the scene with me, played by dojomates Nait Parks and Hermen Nolasco. We may end up bringing in an actual choreographer for the *big* fight scene…and stunt guys. It’s one of the many things I am waiting to find out…
Now that you’re filming, have you made any changes to the script?
The filming we’ve done so far is test filming… just shooting some scenarios so the directors can get an idea of how certain effects might work or what kind of lighting or angles they want, or even how we should tweak make-up and hair… stuff like that. But yes, during the process of pre-production the script has evolved here and there. It’s tighter. My director Zane Rutledge and his writing partner and co-director Jeff Stolhand did some subtle editing of the script early on, and I’ve added in a few more touches myself. The longer I wait for production to begin the more time I have with this story living in my skull, so there are nights that I literally lie awake filling in spaces or re-imagining bits of scenes in my head. Nothing major, the story has remained the same– just little touches and lines and even specific movements.
I’ve been hoping that you’ve kept all the bloopers and kept a blog or journal of sorts throughout production. Any chance of that happening so you can inspire people to follow their dreams?… also so we can laugh at trips and falls?
Absolutely! I’m keeping track of production excitement and all my little worries and freakouts as we go along on my personal blog: http://www.godmama.wordpress.com . And we will also be shooting a behind the scenes/making of video as well. I hope to add some of that footage to the DVD’s people ordered through Kickstarter. –And for anyone who missed the first Kickstarter drive, the film still needs plenty of funding! Kickstarter got me to my bare minimum goal, but there are expenses I didn’t take into account that are starting to come out of my own empty pockets. Even just the cost of fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards and the chunk of money I lost to fees and pledges that didn’t go through is pretty significant. So I am going to be announcing a mini fund-raiser pretty soon to try and cover some of that, and a lot of the same rewards will be available again. The DVD, posters, and signed photos… stuff like that.
Originally, you were hoping that the film would be done in December/ January. What pushed the date back and when do you think fans can expect a finished product?
First of all, I didn’t really know what the hell I was talking about when I initially guessed dates. I had talked to a couple production teams who gave me a general idea of how long shooting might take based on my script, so I was kinda going by that. But then it was already heading toward the end of the year by the time the Kickstarter campaign ended. I had to wait to find out how much money I was going to have before I could really find the right crew, so that took time… and once I settled on the right team– these guys are serious pros, and they care about the project enough to not want to rush it just to get it done.
My director actually laughed at me about my initial guess at when we’d be done. Production itself may be able to happen in a month, but what I didn’t take into account– what a lot of the other crews I talked to hadn’t taken into account– was all the PRE-production that has to happen before a single frame is shot.
There is location scouting, costuming, choreographing and rehearsing fight scenes, casting… and test filming, which is the only filming we’ve done so far. There is even a considerable amount of time and effort being put into building the proper mohawk wig! This kind of attention to detail is going to pay off big time, but it’s also going to slow things down. Then there will be a lot of post production work– adding the score and sound effects, and there are going to be a lot more visual effects than I originally expected. All good stuff. magic stuff.
It’s a lot like being pregnant (a scary metaphor for me and also why there’s so much anxiety connected to the waiting and wondering). When you first find out it’s going to happen you freak out and everybody goes “Yay! Congratulations!” and you get nervous and excited and then you spend the next several months with this thing that is taking over your body and energy even though no one else can see it yet, and you spend all of your heart and soul planning and preparing and doing all you can to make sure it comes out right…
So it’s going to take time and I’m okay with that… as long as I know it’s still kicking.
Also, there is so much energy around this character lately it gives me chills. I probably went 20 years without anybody knowing or caring what a “mohawk Storm” was, but lots of conversations have popped up in the last couple months on topics like the lack of diversity in superhero culture, and the lack of proper representation… and Storm seems to be the go-to character lately that people want to see represented in a powerful new way. It was crazy how fast the “demand” for Lupita Nyong’o to be cast as Storm popped up. Literally the day after she won her Oscar in that fabulous dress you could find viral fan art depicting her as Ororo.
There is definitely a storm brewing. Originally I thought I’d just do this for all my own personal reasons but people are hungry for it right now, so I do hope to get it just right. The time is right for what we’re creating, my team and I… and a big intense RAIN storm is coming… soon!