Before you read the contents of this page, we
suggest you read the history of how Phosphorus Alights was formed;
and also read the document, that describes Phosphorus Alights model
for making a movie. Some of what will be presented on this page may
appear unclear, unless you've read what is described in both those
documents. Those documents exist in the Company
When you read the document that describes the company
history, you will discover that Warren and Fred attempted to make
The Empiricist back in late 1997 and early 1998. However, at that
time, they were unable to sign sufficient numbers of cast and crew
to make that movie. So, they began to take courses in various aspects
of movie making. One such course lead to the making of a short:
Light Sensitive #1. And, because of the many problems associated
with that project, Light Sensitive #2 was done; being completely
finished in the autumn of 2000. It was then decided to, once again,
attempt to make The Empiricist. This second attempt was successful.
Advertisements for cast and crew were placed in movie trade publications
in the autumn of 2000; interviews commenced in October; and by mid-December,
six weeks later, sufficient cast and crew personnel had been signed.
If you have read the document describing Phosphorus
Alights' model for making movies, you now know that Warren and Fred
are constantly experimenting, so as to arrive at an approach to
making movies that is optimal. One such experiment was conducted
in regard to casting actors. The script called for 39 speaking roles:
eleven characters in the 1800's scenes, and 29 characters in modern
times. The experiment involved having some actors double up roles:
play a character in the 1800's, and then play another character
in the modern period of the movie. The goal of the experiment was
to discover if such doubling up is distractive to the viewing audience.
If movie viewers are not distracted by actors doubling up on their
roles, that would lead to greater efficiency in making a movie.
So, instead of signing 39 actors to play the 39 speaking roles,
they signed only 34 actors to make the movie.
Another Phosphorus Alights' principle is "first
come, first serve": the first person who signs a letter of
agreement, in regard to any one position, becomes the person who
is assigned to that position. Read the model for making a movie
document, to fully understand the basis for this principle. In following
this first come, first serve approach, Warren and Fred made no attempt
to ensure, that the 34 actors who were signed broke down into the
exact male:female ratio called for in the script. Like with all
of Phosphorus Alight's principles, they assume that God will ensure
it all works out in the end. And that is exactly what took place.
Incidentally, once the picture editing of The Empiricist was completed,
it became obvious that the doubling up of the actors worked fine.
Once those 34 actors had been signed, all addition
applicants were interviewed; each one being strongly encouraged
to become "a Phosphorus Alights affiliate": sign a
letter of agreement, be considered a full member of the Phosphorus
Alights family, and become a member of the production if any of
the first 34 actors to sign had to leave the production. The people
who became affiliates were put on a roster, in chronological order
of who signed; so that, the first person who signed as an affiliate
would be the first person given a role in the movie, and so forth.
It was fortuitous that Warren and Fred received this inspiration,
because by the time the movie was completely shot, so many of the
original 34 actors had dropped out, or had to be asked to leave
the project, that all the people who signed as affiliates were eventually
given a speaking role in the movie.
As soon as the first 34 actors had been signed, a
reading day was scheduled. And on that day, it was decided which
actor would play which role. In the movie industry, as in the theater
industry, the tradition is to assign the roles by audition. But
Warren and Fred disagreed with that approach; instead choosing to
cast the roles by a reading. Read the model on movie making to find
out the basis for their position. And, also read about the model,
so you can fully understand how Phosphorus Alights schedules any
one meeting: because they have a unique approach to that task as
To schedule the reading day, each cast member was
called, and asked what days he had free for the next month or two
(no previous appointments had been scheduled). It took about three
days for everyone, who was contacted, to respond; and the first
day everyone had free turned out to be six weeks latter. When the
reading day arrived, it proceeded as follows. All of the actors
who desired to play a particular role, say that of Winston, went
to the front of the room; and each of them read a passage that Winston
will speak in the movie. After they each had a turn, they all returned
to their original seats. And everyone who was present, including
all the actors who had just read for Winston, voted (with their
eyes closed); and the actor who received the most votes was selected
to play Winston in the movie.
Most of the roles were assigned without any difficulty.
But, for a few of the roles, the sex of the character had to be
changed. Now, from Warren's and Fred's perspective, certain personalities
can only be male, or can only be female. And, in terms of those
specific roles, the person who plays that character must be of the
same sex that character has in the script. During the reading day
for "The Empiricist", all such roles were filled by a
person of the appropriate sex. On the other hand, Warren and Fred
believe, there are roles in each movie that can be male or female;
because the personality of all such characters is neither definitely
male, nor is definitively female. In these latter cases, there is
no problem if the actor who is chosen for that role, on the reading
day, is the opposite sex of what is written in the script. In such
cases, after the reading day is over, the screenwriter will make
the appropriate changes in that specific character's dialogue. In
all of the cases, during the reading day of "The Empiricist",
where actors were cast for a role whose sex in the script was not
the sex of the chosen actor, the roles's characters could have been
either male or female; and the necessary changes in the script were
There may be readers among you, who have experience
in the movie and theater industries, who wonder how this approach
to casting worked out. It went quite well. It was fortuitous, that
the affiliate program was developed, and that a number of affiliates
were signed; because each and every affiliate was needed by the
time the movie was actually shot. Also, some young people played
quite elderly parts: the largest age difference being a female who
was in her twenties, who played a character whose age in the script
was fifty plus years; and a male who was in his mid-twenties, who
played a character whose age in the script was sixty plus years.
In all such cases, each actor did an excellent job: playing her
character's ages quite authentically. All the actors in the
movie did good work.
During the reading day, all the actors were given
the latest version of the script; and the feedback session was scheduled.
The feedback session was created for the following purpose: to have
the actors contribute toward having the story be most optimal. It
was to take place over five days, Monday through Friday, divided
into the various scenes in the movie. For each scene, the actors
in that scene would first read all the lines; and then there would
be a discussion about changes that were needed. The feedback session
was held near the end of March.
Amazingly, there were people who had been assigned
roles on the reading day, who failed to show at the feedback session.
One of the principles that Phosphorus Alights' follows is that no
agreements can be broken; and anyone who breaks an agreement is
barred from working on Phosphorus projects. Now, please be clear,
that no agreement is ever initially established, until all the involved
parties fully agree with all the points of that agreement. But,
once an agreement is established, it is required to be kept without
exception. To the amazement of Warren and Fred, on a regular basis
they encounter people who work in the movie industry, who consider
this principle to be unacceptable. And such people typically claim,
that Warren and Fred are inflexible when they require that all agreements
be kept. Needless to say, such people are surprised when it is pointed
out to them, that all dictionaries define inflexible as not being
willing to consider new options, and not a single English dictionary
defines inflexible as the refusal to allow agreements to be broken.
After the feedback session occured, then the final
draft of the script was written. And each member of the cast was
sent a copy. Then, once everyone had received their copies, everyone
was called in order to set up the production scheduling meeting.
Warren and Fred decided to combine this meeting with a "get
acquainted with your fellow workers" party. There was to
be a cocktail hour, followed by dinner. And after dinner was over,
they would hold a meeting, during which the final production dates
would be scheduled. That dinner was held on May 20, 2001. And, based
on the discussion after that dinner, it was determined that rehearsals
would begin in July, and the first day of shooting would be in September.
Amazingly, there were people who had been at the reading session
and at the feedback session, who failed to show for this meeting.
All the affiliates had been invited to that party, and, therefore,
a few of them were assigned roles in the movie during that meeting.
Extensive rehearsals were held: over six hours per
day, for five days per week, for six weeks. The reason for such
extensive rehearsals is explained in the model for making a movie.
After the rehearsals were over, the shooting schedule commenced.
Shooting the movie started September 9, and finished December 14,
2001. The schedule was maintained exactly as planned. Several people,
each of whom had significant experience in the movie industry, came
in contact with the production as it progressed from September through
December. And all of those people were amazed, because they had
never known of a movie project, that maintained its original schedule
throughout the entire production: all of the productions, they had
each personally worked on, had moved behind schedule by the second
or third week of shooting, and got progressively further and further
behind as the production continued. This is one more verification,
that the model Phosphorus Alights follows is valid, as well as being
superior to the guidelines proposed by the status quo.
In the approach that Phosphorus Alights uses when
it shoots a movie, each crew member is expected to be involved in
all non-acting activities (all behind-the-camera activities): all
the crew members help build (and paint) the sets; help dress the
sets (put in the furniture and furnishings, so as to have the set
look like an authentic location); help light the sets; and then
each crew member is assigned a specific task(s) during the shooting
days; and all the crew members then help strike the sets (remove
all the set dressing, and remove all the lights, and tear down the
walls and other structural items). Now, when you shoot a movie in
this manner, the shooting period is divided into two segments: shooting
the scenes on the stage, and shooting the scenes on location. In
the making of this movie, Warren and Fred decided to shoot the stage
scenes first (based on reasons that are delineated in the model
for making a movie); and then shoot the locations scenes last. They
faced two possibilities in regard to shooting the stage scenes:
(i) Rent a stage big enough to hold all the sets:
build and dress and light all the sets; then shoot all the scenes
that will be shot on a stage; and then strike all the sets.
(ii) Rent a smaller stage and shoot in several phases:
build and paint and dress and light and shoot and strike all the
sets in phase one; then repeat that process for phase two; and then
for phase three; and so forth.
During the feedback session, several members of the
cast were asked which of the two above approaches they preferred.
The majority expressed a desire for the several phase approach;
their primary reason being that having only a few days of shooting,
separated by a week or two of construction (in which they would
not be involved), would allow them to keep the non-movie work they
had; they needing such work to support themselves. So the several
phase approach was chosen. It was also chosen to return to Mack
Sennett Stage, where the two Light Sensitive shorts had been filmed,
to shoot all the stage scenes; because Warren and Fred were familiar
with the set up of that stage. When this movie, The Empiricist,
was shot, there were five stage phases.
There were problems that occurred during the shooting
phases, but all of them were resolved successfully. And, actually,
with the resolution of each one, there arose an expanded awareness
of how to make a successful movie. The location segment was quite
educational. Several times it appeared, early in the day, that weather
conditions would prohibit the shooting of the scenes, that were
scheduled for those specific days. But, in every such case, by the
time the day was over the scenes that were scheduled for that day
had been filmed. The Phosphorus Alights model really works!
The last day of shooting was Thursday, December 14,
2001. Then, early in January, the picture editing phase began. And,
as in all the previous aspects, many problems appeared; primarily
in the realm of getting the computer editing system to perform correctly.
The picture editing phase was completed in early April. Video tapes
of the final sequence were made, and the various administrative
lists that are needed by the negative cutters and the sound editors
were compiled. The composer was sent a set of the videos, and the
score composing phase was commenced. This page is being written
late in July, 2002. And, as of this date, the negative has been
cut, the sound editing is completed, the musical score is composed
and recorded, the one song with lyrics that will be in the movie
is recorded, and the negative is being blown-up (enlarged) to 35mm.
Phosphorus Alights films with super 16mm film stock. Almost all
cinemas, world-wide, project film in 35mm. So, at some point in
each Phosphorus Alights' movie post-production process, the
original super 16mm negative has to be enlarged (blown-up in movie
industry language) to 35mm. Somewhere during August, or September,
2002, the movie should be at the release print stage (the point
where you have a print, with quality sound, that can be projected
in any cinema in the country). That is all for now.
BACK TO TOP