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How to make a Gun Control New Media Action for under $100

Dear Readers,

Thank you again for your support of launching our New York Gun Control Theater Action this past April. As the date for the world action approaches (May 27th- June 2nd) we want to remind everyone that anyone can acquire the rights to perform the plays.

This is the way that I chose to experiment with directing and presenting an online New Media Action.

This GTCA was done on 24 hours of pre-production. A SAG new media agreement was secured free of charge as actors donated their time and there was only a budget of $50 to make the film (we ended up spending closer to $90 total on renting a tripod and transportation of equipment). August Schulenburg and I worked to determine details of line breakdown and editing. Casting was done via email and includes many actors who had been involved in previous GTCA's. A mother and daughter acting team Anna Orlova Flores (also one of  NYTR's photographers) and her daughter Raquel Flores joined the cast of; Rachael Hip- Flores, William Oliver Watkins, August Schulenburg (who is also a talented actor), Yvette Heyliger (also a GTCA playwright and activist), Laura Zam (also a GTCA playwright), Aaron Simms, Michael Niederman (playwright and elementary school teacher) and myself. 

DP Tine DiLucia and I filmed this in my bedroom against a white wall using 2 Omni Lights, Gels, and Canon EOS 5D Mark III (all on loan from School of Visual Arts). NYTR assistant Jacob Sexton assistant directed. The costs of making the film included: bottled water to keep actors hydrated as the lights were very hot, ingredients to make vegan soups (in a crock pot), snacks, ($50) transportation of video equipment ($20) and a tripod rental ($20)

Actors worked on set for roughly 30-60 minutes per shoot. Lines were posted on cue cards or simply fed to performers before each take.    

I edited this footage over 4 days (mostly after 10pm or at 6am), using Imovie, (a program similar to Final Cut X) that comes with most Mac Operating Systems.

We did this in this way because the idea came up suddenly and schedules only permitted us to do it immediately with what resources we had at our disposal. But, to me, that is what action is- doing something because you can not wait, because it can not wait. Yes, we were lucky to have professional equipment available to us. But we could have shot on flip cams or cell phones or laptops with natural light. Yes, we could have edited in Final Cut, had we been able to find an affordable download to work with at home late at night. But we didn't. Because we wanted it to be as do-able as possible, so that others could find ways to do it too.

Here is the result:

For more info on obtaining the free rights to stage a GTCA please visit: