Issue 1 - Adapting

A must-have skill in every indie filmmaker's arsenal.

Issue #1 - ADAPTING

“One must be able to adapt, or one will fall to the frustrated inflexibility that will likely come to define one’s artistic exploits and expressions.” ~ Notastotle (Aristotle’s younger, less accomplished brother)

Don’t Flex, Be Flexible

It tends to be that ego will act to keep us grounded in our decisions, and prevent us from allowing an air of flexibility to rule over our days.

We “know”, so we don’t need to go any further or compromise.

In indie film (especially the no-to-low budget game), this does not tend to serve your project or its people well.

For me, and for my prolific producing nature, adapting has been beyond key from the jump. I had to adapt my writing style to pen producable shorts with the limitations I knew I had before me.

From a budgetary perspective, I had to adjust my imagination. To scale from penning scripts that were beyond my means, to telling simpler tales that could be crafted in compact, low-to-no budget style.

Conversely, being adaptable works wonders for the collaborative and creative energy on sets and in both pre and post production cycles too. But it goes beyond even that.

Being adaptable allows for:

  • richer/deeper collaborations with cast and crew

  • adjusting story and character to fit development as arced by your actors

  • adapting story and action to fit circumstances of the shoot

  • moving projects around to fit schedules of cast and crew

  • allowing the story to perhaps find a new voice within the moments of filming

David Lynch is famous for allowing his story to be shaped in the moment that it is filmed. An often overlooked approach that allows a freedom for what is on the page to be used more as guide than a blueprint.


For our upcoming production, E is for Expiation, I had to do something I’ve never done before. Adapt someone else’s story into a screenplay.

This was different, and I assumed it would be difficult. Perhaps with a longer story to adapt, it would have been. But I found the process exceedingly enjoyable.

Every script/story can be something of a puzzle. But this process was such fun, because it was as if the puzzle was put together, and I was allowed to rework and rearrange it to make a completely new picture with its pieces!

A Blending of Voices

Having not had the pleasure of truly writing with someone, being that I typically scribe away alone in my domicile and comfort zone, far from the stresses and messes of the outside world, this was a new way of finding the story’s way.

Because, for the sake of the book, “Everything’s Eventual,” Stephen King had the story Luckey Quarter all mapped and laid out. It was done. But to translate that to a story to be told visually, meant that layout may not be the best way to go.

So you get to create your own map, blending your own voice with that of the original storyteller’s.

Bang Upon the Drum

Every story has its beats, and rhythms. And while you are now composing those notes and flows, it becomes an interesting challenge to maintain those original beats and rhythms as you bang upon the drum.

You get to inflect the story with your own percussive poignancy and exciting (perhaps even unexpected) strikes. So that also added to the game.

Putting the (m)E in the Expiation

Having been a lifelong fan of Stephen King, getting this chance to adapt one of his stories was more than a dream. It was everything.

Taking a modest ten page short story penned by someone so prolific and prodigious as the King of Horror, and getting to put my own spin and bits of myself into it, means I’ve achieved something I once could only dream of.

Taking Luckey Quarter all the way to E is for Expiation has been the crowning achievement of my creative career. I feel so blessed and lucky to have this opportunity.

You can find some stills pulled from the Crowdfunding Campaign video shoot on our FB page.

BTS photo of Rob from the crowdfunding video shoot photo credit: Ian Brander

That’s a Wrap on Newsletter #1

Thanks for joining me on this new journey for Whatsabudget!

Angie has been telling me for a while now that I needed to do this for the brand, and so this is me adapting. Appreciate you adapting with me.