In late 2004,a friend Jeff Burkett and I put together a one sheet pitch for a contest on FUEL TV. The contest was for an 'extreme sports' based feature/ or documentary film. The winner would then get a modest budget to create the film they pitched.
A few months later, a co-worker of ours (IFILM) mentioned that she'd read that Jeff and I were among of the finalists. The contest granted 10 finalists a modest budget to make their film and show it at Sundance Festival. The winner within those final 10 films would then get 1 million dollars to make their film for wide release.
Upon finding this out, and being surprised when we received our first check from FUEL, we set out to get started. Jeff by now had quit his job, and was slated to write the final screenplay. I'd suggested that he direct as well, and I'd stick to Art Direction/ Production Design duties. We assembled a crew, and got started.
The story we'd written was about a cop who patrolled on roller skates. A simple enough premise, but, we had to come up with a caper, as well as a host of characters. The setting would be Venice Beach, and after the final script was written, we started casting. Finding actors who suited the characters on the page was entirely different matter. I never figured how tough it'd be. The main character, Calvin Castleberry, was to have been a famous roller skater back in the 1970's. Jeff and I would explain the he wasn't 'roller disco', in fact , we'd say, Calvin hated disco in the 1970's, and was much more akin to The Eagles or Bread.
We finally found our lead, and started drafting up a schedule. By now the crew was at about 20 of us, and we we're looking at a summer 2005 shoot (cont).