Casting Me is a new South African comedy and is Chasing Migade Production’s first feature film. Written and directed by Quinton Lavery it was shot on a budget of just R35 000.
Lavery says that the film was inspired by working in the casting industry for the past year and a half. “I took a job as a casting director so that I could work with actors and I discovered the wonderful, funny and crazy world of castings in the process. Through the job I met some great characters and amazing directors and a year later I started to write a script.’
Casting Me is a comedy about making a film. “It’s steeped in pop culture and movie geekdom and has a lot to do with twenty-somethings living in today’s world,’ continues Lavery. “From the start my cinematographer, Darren Wertheim (with whom I run a small production company), and I did not set out to make a particularly South African film but one with universal characters and a storyline that could unfold anywhere in the world. Our aim was to make a film that would entertain audiences and that is grounded in the real world.’
He notes that the script development process was rushed. It took him about two months to write the script and there was not much time to refine it before shooting commenced.
The miniscule budget was one of the big challenges on the project. “Our shooting budget was closer to R25 000 but by the end of post-production it went up by about R10 000. Darren, Joerg Mika and I put up most of the money and Assegai Lube & Condoms gave us an additional R5 000. We also enjoyed great support from Lee Jeans for our main leads, while Media Film Service and Visual Impact helped us with gear,’ explains Lavery.
Other support came from Buzz Cafe, Butlers Pizza, Armoury Boxing, Labia Theatre and Rikkis Taxi. All crew worked on deferred payment over 20 days. Lavery admits that he and Wertheim “pulled every trick in the guerrilla filmmakers’ book’ to help keep the budget as low as possible.
Casting Me was shot in Cape Town in June and July. “Funnily enough, one of our biggest logistical challenges was transporting a borrowed table tennis table from Camps Bay to our location – that was a mission and a half. Other than that we had a few weather scares although we mainly shot inside,’ comments Lavery.
The film was shot in black and white on two Canon 7D cameras with 50mm, 35mm and 20mm prime Canon lenses. Most of the film was shot hand-held “with a few moments’ on a Kessler Crane (provided by Cineslider) to ensure a smooth track for highlighted moments in the script. Sound was recorded on a zoom digital recorder.