"How'd you talk them into it?" / by Everett Downing

When it came time to gather a crew my approach was very simple. I wanted to have something to show people, something that would both get people excited and also make them feel that the project was doable. It was important for me to show them that there I had some sort of plan. I had my comics for visual reference, but I needed something more. I needed a story reel.
Fortunately, when Emma convinced me to do a short she also agreed to board for me. She was looking to board something for her portfolio, so it worked out perfectly. At this point I had teamed up Lauren Montouri who agreed to be a producer on the vignette (a key person to have if you're going to make something like this happen), and with her help we recruited Chris Zuber, our editor, right away. We showed him the boards and the source material and he (surprisingly) agreed to help.  I wanted to recruit some of the principle people as soon as possible so we could start laying down some ground work. I talked Mach Kobayashi into being the Technical Lead. I needed him to start laying out the technical groundwork, but he ended up being instrumental in helping recruit people. The producer, Mach and me made a list of people who we felt might be interested in working on the short and we invited them all to a screening of the reels. This is what we showed them:

I was surprised by the number of people who agreed to work with us. I think this happened for a few reasons.

1) I really wanted people to do things they may not have had the opportunity to during their day jobs. I was trying something I was interested in (directing) and I wanted to offer that same opportunity to anyone who wanted to help out on the production.

2) The material was so unconventional. It's a gritty urban fantasy piece, how often do you get a chance to work on something crazy like that?

And 3) The short was so...well, short.  I think people felt confident in our ability to finish it. As I was to discover later though, short does not always mean simple.