Crime Alley: A Red Hood Story
Almost a year ago, at the height of a pandemic a friend came to me with an idea and here we are now with the finish product.
Before this idea started rolling, my only experience was my theatrical acting training. All I knew of film was the movies I watched and YouTube videos. I had recently bought a camera during the pandemic (Canon T7i) . However, all I signed up for was acting because there was a person, let’s call him Johnny, Johnny owned a studio, with gear and crew and I mean like a Red Camera and over a 15 person crew. Johnny had worked for LucasFilm, so he had a lot of knowledge and experience. He would tell us that we could use his gear and some of his crew, all he needs was my friend to write the story and for me to act in it.
We never saw his gear or crew and he did zero work for this project. Even though I did not trust Johnny because I trust no one, you will come to find rightfully so. We didn’t need to check credentials until production started but at the point we had at least 10 actors invested, locations booked, story ready. We could have walk away, but I did not want to let anyone down. Because, this being the first film thing I was part of in a big way. I mean, we had already talked, negotiated, made connection, and networked with artist in the houston community and dropping this would be a horrible first impression of my professionalism. So we pushed through. We had my Canon a couple of lights from my friend, and zero budget. All things that we payed came out of pocket and it wasn’t planned I just had to pay for it, so some of the money was from my student loans. Half way through we raised 1k to book the only location we couldn’t get for free. Also at that point we had a friend come in as DP/Camera Op which helped a lot.
THE INTERESTING PART
Towards the end of the production I had the time and had grown tired enough to prove this guy is a fake. I never believed him but I wanted proof. So one night I convinced my friend to tail this liar and scam artist (I forgot to mention he tried to steal our go fund me). Anyways after my friend agreed to the “crime” I called another friend to help us so Johnny doesn’t recognize my car. We got to Johnny’s place at 3am and staked out his place for an hour, and we were just about to give up when his garage door opens, and we get move in. We had the worst luck and caught every red light and rolled up next to him like 6 times but luckily for us he wasn’t only liar but an idiot as well. So we’re okay, he got on the freeway and we had to drive at 90mph-100mph just to keep up with this guy and we almost lost him. At this point we got to Johnny’s real job, if you’re curious at this point of where this guy worked I’ll just say it wasn’t a studio and his lying wasn’t the lowest of his Lowe’s. 😉
We dropped Johnny of the project, obviously. It took reshoots with amazing kind actors. and my friend who I haven’t said his name but his name is Kell, I just forgot to mention it. Well Kell had to learn how to edit, VFX, sound design, make scores , and me building a make shift ADR studio to ADR the WHOLE film. After all that we finished. And yes it’s rough is not the best piece of content out there right now, but after hearing this story and let me know if you want more details. I think it is extremely impressive that we were able to do this. The amount of knowledge we gained through this crappy situation was sadly worth it. I now know, that I have what it takes to be a filmmaker, actor, director, etc . We had to let go of a lot of things even story wise, and character wise because we couldn’t or had the time to do so. We did this with almost nothing, I often think about how if we had half the gear and crew that we have here in 4381Productions studio then I think, scratch that, I know this film, would’ve been at the level of deserving to be in a streaming service.
Thank you if you got the end of this story and thank you even more if you sit-down and watch it and share it.
Work harder not smarter. Antonio was being efficient today in the studio today.