After having a couple relatively slow weeks at the end of September, October started with a packed schedule…and lots of mileage. Friday, I received a call for a last-minute feature film casting in Atlanta. I had just enough time to tape the session and email it before the end of business that day. Later that evening, while at SAAPA First Friday, my agent calls me, and everyone in the room was cracking up after watching my submission. I’ll take that as a compliment, thankyouverymuch!
The following day, Layla and Kiefer accompanied me up to Savannah for a film adaptation for a novel set in the area, and written by a Savannah author. The directions to the audition location were rather perplexing; the final step of the instructions stated, “Where the Abercrombie and Fitch used to be!” I later learned that the A&F store had been vacant for several years, so even recent residents of the area would not have been familiar with that reference. We had hoped to spend some time in the Historic district, and walk Kiefer through one of the beautiful parks there, but a late start combined with time finding the casting location limited the amount of time to enjoy the city. We probably could have, had I not been so persistent with arriving prior to my call time, even though my actual audition was hours later, due to delays at that location earlier in the day.
From Savannah on Saturday, I was called to Miami on Monday. I was hoping for Tampa on Tuesday to keep the alliterative week going, but that just was not to be. A major grocery store was casting for a regional commercial in South Florida. It was my first call to Brad Davis Casting, and I look forward to our next meeting. It’s quite a trek down I-95 and makes the round trip an all-day excursion, but the work is worth it, so I trudge ahead!
I also (finally) updated my demo reel. I tried to come up with something that would work in most situations, even though it seems like each request for my reel has different requirements. The current posting is actually three 60-second clips (one film, one commercial, one industrial) stitched together. Trying to present a broad sampling of my work in a coherent manner in under a minute was quite a challenge.
The following week was the Jacksonville International Film Festival. My favorite events, I think I have said here before, are the short film series. During these presentations, you get to compare a variety of directing, acting, shooting and editing styles in a two- to three-hour period, and also enjoy a multitude of interesting stories. During the closing event and awards presentation, some local film-makers were among the recipients, director and host Warren Skeels awarded a SmartCar ForTwo via phone on stage, followed by a screening of “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.” What sounds like a possibly dry documentary actually was a thought-provoking and interesting tale of facts that never made it to the evening news about the energy corporation’s demise.
Mid-way through the football season, Layla and I started “Jonesing” for some good football. This is the first year in over a decade we do not have season tickets to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars home games, and watching the matches on television just is not the same experience at all. In addition, as good parents, we would be remiss if we did not introduce Kiefer to the wonderful tradition that is football. On a Friday night, we drove to The Bolles School in San Jose to witness the competition between the Bulldogs and the West Nassau Warriors, and of course, enjoy some nutrition-less concession stand food! Throughout the game, he was completely mesmerized by the activity on the field and in the stands. He especially liked the marching bands during halftime and flirting with the cheerleaders after the game (that’s my boy!).
I was also asked to videotape the Ordination and Installation of Pastor Mark R. Tonnesen at my church, Advent Lutheran. There are others who typically videotape services, but since I have created video-recordings of Advent Lutheran events on three occasions in the past and I was available that weekend, I accepted the request. I thought I was well-prepared, arriving early with spare battery and tape in tow (just in case). Little did I know, that the presentation and giving of the stole would be conducted with the entire congregation standing, which made capturing the key portion of the event difficult from my vantage point. In addition, the supposed “three hour” battery did not sustain its charge, and started warning me “Low Battery” during the guest pastor’s sermon! I had my spare at the ready, and thankfully (graciously? mercifully?), I was able to capture the message in its entirety and restart the camera before the hymn of the day. Whew!
The month concluded with a series of Halloween (er, “Fall Festival”) events, which proved that the little guy can hang with the grown ups. We attended a “Trick or Trunk” (or is it a “Trunk or Treat?”) event hosted by Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church where the traditional trick-or-treat excursion is conducted at the facility’s parking lot, with other festivities, such as a hay ride, music, bounce houses, arts and crafts and a pumpkin patch. Kiefer wore his stylin’ bumblebee outfit (the insect, not the Transformer Autobot), while mommy and daddy sported handmade beekeeper outfits. We also attended a World-War II-style hangar dance at St. Augustine Airport, which has recently become a tradition each fall. Friday, we trick-or-treated at Whole Foods, where we bumped into some of Kiefer’s friends from his “preschool” class (play date group), and repeated the activity on Sunday night in his two-year-old cousin Trey’s neighborhood.
We’re excited to experience the upcoming Holiday Season through our son’s eyes. We know he won’t remember much, but the amazement and delight in his eyes as he encounters each new thing warms our hearts! There is so much to teach him, and I feel we’ll learn so much more from him. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Scott J. Smith