My First Short Film Womanizer
My First Short Film Womanizer was conceived in the Spring of 2011. Since then, all I got was bullshit from everyone. First, the actor I cast as Ricardo originally, he started giving a hard time to John Barrymore and everyone told me to recast him. It was my intention to after this happened more than once and he wanted everything his way, especially the script.
When John Barrymore decided to direct everyone was happy. He wasn’t the major concern of why I believe my first short was messed up. John just wanted to keep the film at 15 minutes or so, I didn’t mind if it was longer. John also got all of us together for a table read and we revised the script together. The only thing was, when filming began, the first scene was filmed in a way that there was no way to include all the dialogue I had between Ricardo and Casper that I originally had in the first scene, as it was filmed with just the two characters walking towards the camera and dialogue was to be added in by voice overs later. This never happened, and in 20–25 seconds of walking towards the camera, that wasn’t a lot of time to get in that 3 minutes or so of dialogue, plus you could barely make us out. So in the end, that whole first scene was cut out. Instead, a latter scene was placed as the first scene where Ricardo got a call from a “friend” back home to “stay lost”, then it goes into the 2nd scene with Angela and Jack at their house. When we first see Ricardo and Casper, they just show up in the car scene with the girls. Originally, the first scene was to be Casper picking Ricardo up to go to the park, us learning Ricardo is a womanizing fraud who gets with older women, and Casper is the sweeter, innocent of the two, who’s a virgin! We don’t even find this out until after Ricardo sleeps with Angela and calls Casper to tell him. Also, the car scene where the guys met the women, it was supposed to end with Casper being pulled aside by Ricardo and him calling him a virgin, but that bit was also cut out as well, plus a quick scene that took place later at night with Angela and Ricardo in the car and her talking about how Jack is cheating on her which led to them kissing. All this, in my opinion, should have stayed in the film. Cutting it out pretty much messed up my character’s story. But cutting of the scenes was the least to worry about…
My editor, let’s say we had three…first John wanted to edit it but couldn’t learn how to, then some guy from UCLA wanted to do it for free and just threw scenes together, no editing whatsoever. Finally, the editor I got, I “mapped out” all the takes I wanted used. He used all bad ones. Takes that had shadows, takes that had wind blowing while dialogue was said, plus, where I wanted stock music and footage he completely 100% ignored. The final product flowed without any music. None. None to set the scene or tone. No stock images of LA to set the next scene coming up…nothing.
Also, before it was finished, we filmed one last scene, between Jack and his secretary, that would throw in a 2nd cliffhanger to the short film. It was entirely cut out after being filmed which, I believe, also hurt the piece.
In the end, I spent over $1,500 on this film. The first copy there were at least 3 minutes that were “low quality” that my DP had to fix personally because of my editor, cutting out another few seconds from my character during the car scene with the women. It hurt very much how all that money was spent and no film festivals would accept it, then to see the same abuse my stalkers gave me over the years to be thrown at me and me alone because I wasn’t an MFA student and how UCLA non-degrees still teach storyline structure. I think that’s disgusting because that’s how all the schools teach screenwritng, and that’s how all the MFA grads I met were taught as well. Plus saying I couldn’t act when all they think I am is a non speaking, far in the back extra when I’ve taken dozens of classes and get personally told I’m a character actor. They didn’t even criticize the editor once.
Yes, in the end, the film hurt 85% because of what the editor did. 15% with what John cut out. Cutting only a little out would have been okay. I think he cut too much out, especially from my character and how we first find out that Casper and Ricardo are two different people. That’s what we learn in the first scene, entirely wiped out. The scene they showed up in, they just show up. We don’t even know Casper’s a virgin until the next day!
John was a good director. All the actors were good. Everyone knew their lines. Nobody caused any trouble. We all had fun doing it.
Below is the original script for Womanizer, which was how all the scenes were to be filmed, even if some lines were changed around.
And this was the final version of the short film.