One of the gratifying things about publishing on the
Web is the feedback. At the end of each episode of "Making Cherry" there is a
byline, which is accompanied by a little mail graphic. Today, viewer mail day, we'll run
the byline at the start of the column. It looks like this...
When you click on the Mail icon, your email program should
open, with a new email already addressed to me--ready for writing. If you haven't tried it
you should. Shout at me, if you like. The great thing about all this is the immediacy. You
don't even have to think.
Last week Newsweek magazine did us a great favor by
featuring "Making Cherry" in its Cyberscope column, a page in the front of the
book consisting of short bits about interesting issues and places in the computer world
(see What They're Saying About Cherry). Needless to
say, with our address published in a major magazine and included in their online site, the
number of visitors here has increased about six-fold.
And we've gotten mail. Some of it has been from people in
the movie, or who have worked on it. Some is from the family of crew-members. There is
even a letter from one of the directors. Today, the Cherry crew
worked day 33 of the 44 day schedule. When they started this odyssey they thought that Day
33 would be the last day of shooting, and that Friday night would be devoted to the wrap
party. But a lot has changed since then.
We've chronicled a lot of it here, and will continue to
tell the story until there is no story left to tell. In the meantime, let's take a look at
some of those letters.
This gentleman is Dan Ferrante. He appeared in Cherry as
an extra, and sent along his resume and a nice letter about how hard it is to get going in
the film business, which you'll get a chance to read later.
Another actor in the film, Erik Jensen, who
plays Man #5, sent me his resume earlier and I put him on the cast list, he has lines, and
misspelled his name. He sent along the following the other day...
"I just read the whole MONTH of Feb.
I was there one day.
What a great group of people.
I feel like I didn't get a date for the prom.
(It's spelled with a "K")
A woman named Caryn, a Web old-timer, found us recently and added a link
to us at her site. She is energetic, involved, flaky (but we love flakes), and embodies
the essence of this online world. At least the ad hoc DIY part of it. She wrote:
"I've added your Making Cherry site to my production company
page on the indie site (meant to show indie filmmakers how other filmmakers are creatively
using the web to help themselves) http://www.caryn.com/caryn-indie-production.html
"'There is no try, only do.'"
Visit her. She is a George Lucas fan, but quite sweet. The world needs
After some more Dan Ferrante, a note from a sister...
"Thanks for the blurb on Peg. It was nice to hear,
vicariously, from my sister. You realize, of course, what a service you are
providing to the families and friends of cast and crew. I am on the verge of sending
to you some classic photos (for the suppression of which Peggy might have paid dearly) as
well as a custom bio, which I still may do, if for no other reason than to embarrass my
sister into calling me.
The element of this project that has surprised me is the family angle. It
isn't like a phone call home (hint, hint) but during a hectic time the site is helping
maintain some ties. Of course, it hasn't been perfect. The following is from a brother...
"My sister, Terry, told me about the "Cherry"
information, but I don't see any reference to the writer.
Am I missing it somehow or is there some reason it's not posted? I like the
website's general approach.
The writer, of course, is Terry Reed, and the reason her bio is missing is
because either I didn't ask her for it or she didn't provide it to me. I can't recall
right now. In any case, there are many shortfallings in the bio/resume department.
Anything I'm given I promise to post. Send me an email and help complete "Making
Another tip: If you're looking for someone, use the Search button on the
left hand side of the page.
"Making Cherry" will likely never be completely complete.
Everybody involved has a set of stories that define their experience. And without a doubt
every one of those sets is in some way different from all the others. Still, as we
accumulate stories I hope we'll be able to come to some kind of consensus. The following
comes from Joe Pierson, the codirector/coproducer, who rounds out two stories I couldn't
quite figure out how to reconcile two weeks ago:
"You should note for your readers that on the first day we
rehearsed scene 99, we fought against the light and lost -- we shot one take, but the
blocking was a disaster and Phil shrugged and said it was night and the lighting was
completely inadequate. We only tried because that was our last opportunity to use
the fancy crane.
"The second attempt was the day that Jon and I took off our
clothes. That day we succeeded, although with a dolly, not a crane as we had
originally intended. Jon and I had endless debates in the intervening
days about whether it would be possible to shoot the scene as a "oner," i.e. one
shot with no coverage. I insisted that it could be done artfully without
compromising the scene, and that it indeed must be done because we would have time for
nothing else. Jon initially didn't believe it possible, insisting that the story
beats would be lost without coverage.
"Finally, we together came up with a solution that gave Jon the
character beats he wanted and me the artful shot I wanted, all in a "oner" --
without either of us having to get naked!
"Thanks for forwarding the Erik Jensen note. We have been getting
a lot of great
feedback from actors. We wrapped Heather and Aleksa last week. They were so
bummed to be leaving, both cried and hugged Jon and I repeatedly.
"Aleksa said this was the best time she has ever had on a film,
and that we were the best directors she had ever worked for. That feels great coming
from someone as talented as she is.
"See you on set.
Which in some odd way brings us all the way back to Dan Ferrante. I
reprint his letter and resume here because it seems to me to show something specific and
indescribable about this whole process.
"I just did two days in Hoboken, on the set at the church, and
was advised to forward my pics and brief bio to you. I currently have a close
trimmed salt & pepper beard for a project in two weeks and then it's off. It
takes three to four weeks to grow.
"I am 49, 6'1', 200 LBS., silver/brown hair, excellent
condition and very good shape (weights three/four times a week and run three times a
week), former semi-pro football and baseball player, currently a substitute
teacher and a personal trainer.
"FILMS "Major League II" - team trainer** (under the name Daniel S.
Markham); "Clear and Present Danger" - secret service agent;
"Ransom" - bumped into Renee Russo in Central Park (someone had to do it);
"Celebrity" - patron at Elaine's; "Cherry" - attendee at
"(** - SAG Eligible)
"TELEVISION "Homicide" - attorney, detective; "Law &
Order" - attorney.
"Several commercials and some print work.
"My schedule is extremely flexible and allows me to arrange for any time off I need
to give to a film; which is what I want.
"Thank you for your time; look forward to hearing from you.
Daniel S. Ferrante firstname.lastname@example.org"
I wrote and asked Dan if he minded if I posted his letter and resume and
photos on the site. If the message isn't clear in the above, his response here spells it
By all means, post away. I greatly appreciate your help - it is a tough
business to get established in and I'll gladly accept all the help I can get, if you
remind me to pay you back when I make it!
Daniel S. Ferrante"
Good luck, Dan.
And thanks to everyone who has written. It is much appreciated.