GIVING BIRTH TO A DREAM | Melody Herr


Giving birth to a production is much like giving birth to a baby (Guys, bare with me for a moment...). Once it's finished and in your arms, you forget about the morning sickness, the stretch marks and the labor pains. The remarkableness of the miracle before you erases all the bad memories, or at least dulls them until they are but a distant memory. So, when I was asked to write this blog about our experience as a fledgling production company undertaking our very first scripted production, I was enthusiastic and eager. Then, I sat down to write it and figured out that what I had agreed to was a bigger task than I initially realized. The swarm of memories, some still fuzzy from the afterglow of birthing such a product, is overwhelming and hard to pare down to a cohesive and interesting blog post. This is my fourth attempt and hopefully my final attempt.

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Our company, Little Fish Entertainment, started as just a mother and daughter team wanting to produce music videos and festivals. The daughter, my daughter, Ellysa Rose, is an up and coming actress and singer songwriter. In 2013, she released her first single on iTunes, Content With a Memory. Well, every good song needs a good video, right? Our budget, being what it is, necessitated some DIY intervention and our company was born. Two music videos and two music festivals later, we felt confident. We were getting pretty good at this whole production thing. So, when the idea to film a short two to three minute webisode came across our desk, we jumped in with both feet. When it blossomed from a simple production to a full blown scene/pilot presentation it felt more like diving in head first.

We had NO experience in producing scripted projects but that didn't scare us. Well, not at first. We didn't know how much we really didn't know. (After all, we had been involved in the business for a couple of years at this point and felt we had a basic understanding of the process.) Basic is exactly where our education level started. Slightly higher than your average audience member in Iowa. Thanks to Al Gore inventing the internet (ha) we had a wealth of knowledge at our finger tips. We delved right in. We searched 'How to write a screenplay' and 'Producing a TV Pilot' as well as 'Single Camera Comedy' and 'Budgeting your next TV or film project' amongst many, many other things. The more we researched, the more we learned and the more we didn't know what we didn't know. We didn't let anything stop us. We partnered with friends who also happen to be mother and daughter. Now we had super-girl power and no kryptonite in sight.

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Was it difficult? You bet--but we had a drive and determination to make this happen that propelled us through. In addition to our determination, one of the biggest reasons for our success was the fact that we aligned ourselves with the right people. We leaned heavily on our DP, Stephanie Ollerton, for guidance and advice. She was instrumental in helping us gather knowledgeable and talented crew. A