A man in his underwear is surrounded by others dressed in the themes of the parties that take place in the novel (one in erotica, one from the roaring twenties and one from the psychedelic sixties). The guy in underwear shakes his head at these weirdly dressed people before looking directly at the camera to say “Don’t ask.” Then you see the product shot.
That’s how I pitched the concept to my friends and most of them loved it. Until one of them looked at me puzzled.
I had already cast Richard as the man in underwear, better known as the main character, Tayler, and he knew what my concept was. But I changed my mind and texted him a whole script. In a way I’m glad I had one friend that gave me that WTF look.
The trailer I shot for my novel Drama Queens and Adult Themes features two actors introducing both their characters and the dilemma within the story. Now I was doing the same for my trailer for Social Media Central. Richard a.k.a. Tayler doesn’t exactly give the plot away, but he helps us get to know each of the main players who lead to his downfall.
Early on I had my male actors. If I also had my female lead I could have shot this trailer back in August which, as Winter was warming for the arrival of Spring, the cooler light would have looked nice on our cast. But finding a redhead to play femme fatale Madeline Q was the hardest part.
Several responded to my casting call, and even after showing interest through messaging, when it came to an invitation to actually meet, correspondence ceased. In September I was travelling overseas but part of me wanted to get this done before that as I had most of the cast locked in. Still, the book wasn’t being released for another six months so why the rush?
In San Francisco I found the shorts. Well, Tayler is supposed to wear underwear as, in the book he ends up under-dressed in a public park. But, how could I resist? They came from a clothing shop for Twinks in the Castro, and even after I saw them, I waited twenty-four hours just in case something better showed up. Then I bought them deciding on the red pair over the blue. That’s the moment the red theme (or the decision that each should have a red prop) was born.
Just to clarify, I was originally going to self-publish this novel so the red theme would extend to the book cover. It was then accepted by NineStar Press so the images you’ve been seeing on social media have been tweaked to match the pink and blue themes of the cover.
After picking up Tayler’s shorts in San Francisco, my next step was to sort out Connor’s camera. After a short search, an older SLR model with its lens missing showed up at the Rozelle markets. I was still undecided about this camera and a plastic cheaper one all in one piece. But my partner, Warren, urged me to take the incomplete one. It had a classic design.
That same weekend we went to a small family function where, as I was leaving, I became fascinated with the unused clear plastic cups. I took three of varying sizes to use as the lens on the camera. Later that week I painted parts of it red from a left over spray can in the garage. The following weekend I played around with black masking tape and the plastic cups and knew, as we’d never see this prop in close up, no one would notice unless I told them. So forget I mentioned it.
I wanted Mark’s character, Shaun, in leather pants. He is a love blogger after all and I just happened to know someone from the leather scene who was more than willing to lend me clothes. Now, Mark is straight and the friend with the outfits is gay, and although I asked Mark to try on the pants while we were at my friend’s place to make sure they fitted, it was Mark who decided to take off his shirt to make sure the whole look was right. It is reported that my friend has been mentioning Mark’s torso in casual remarks to other colleagues ever since.
It wasn’t until November that I met two potential redheads at different cafes on the same day. One was recommended by a work colleague and although she was actually blonde, she died her hair because she got more parts as a redhead. The other was a friend of Richard’s and had worked with him.
When I met the blonde with red hair, something told me to go with her although I didn’t feel she was right. Richard’s friend, although not tall like Madeline Q in the book, just looked right. All was set. The shoot was to be on a date early in December – just one month away. Plenty of time for all to clear their schedules.
One week out, my Madeline (a.k.a. Meg) had to work. I emailed the others to see if we could change the date and even asked my second choice for the character to stand in. She was not interested.
My only option was to change the script once again. Madeline Q’s introduction would take place in our bathroom. I’m pleasantly surprised that it worked. Having two locations makes the trailer more interesting.
So I’d like to thank Meghann Martini for still finding time to show up and make nice remarks about my vegetarian nachos (yes, I feed my cast). And thanks to Mark Brewer and Dejashran Moodley for knowing how to stand around with attitude and look good. And of course to Richard Platt for learning his lines, practising, giving me the perfect interpretation just a week out from the shoot, then delivering them on the day over and over again with flair.
I also have to thank Tacit whose music is featured in the trailer. I originally thought the music was by a friend of mine who goes by the name of Stray Theories, but when I was told otherwise I searched and searched so I could keep the theme that I’d already used in the rough cuts.
And last but not least, thanks to my good friend Darren Free who, without his own skills with a camera, you wouldn’t be looking at all these pictures of the wonderful cast.