Project Emma by Stephen Resar


— by Bill Taub

I like to share ‘success’ stories of all kinds. Some of the most rewarding come from my UCLA Writers’ Program students. It’s not about judging the likes or dislikes of a project, which is truly personal. It’s the respect and admiration I have for those, with little or no experience who just challenge themselves and go out and ‘do it’ – and in so doing prove it can be done. No matter the age or background.

The following is an account to date from one of my students in this term’s online workshop: “Creating A Web Series”. Stephen lives in Indianapolis – as far away from Hollywood as you can get – if not in mileage, certainly in mindset. I am so proud of him!


How Project Emma Has Come Together

–by Stephen Resar – February, 2015

When I committed to making a web series pilot video, I had no idea what to expect, and the response to date has been terrific.

I first approached some coworkers with the idea, Taylor, offered up services to lift, haul, and reach and plug-in things as necessary. My Gaffer/Grip/Best Boy/CLT was found. Another co-worker, Debbie said that she would be happy to provide lunch for us on the day we shoot. Catering/Food Services was set. Marland, a friend, offered to handle downloading and backing up all the digital files we generate. Now I have my digital Imaging Technician. Total investment: $0.

I’m currently residing in Indianapolis; this is the small town that someday might be big. And there are some big ideas about filmmaking here. I know a guy, who knows a guy who led me to:

FILM Indiana


Indiana Actors

So I posted information about Project Emma and here is what happened. Before long Paisley jumped on the opportunity to play Emma, she feels that this small role will advance her career! Wow, that’s placing some pressure on me. You can see her auditions here:

I went back and forth with a male lead for a few days, but he simply could not commit. Before I knew it, Paisley was contacting me with someone who was available, and she really enjoys working with. Meet William Wregglesworth who will be playing the role of Rick Carter:

The most interesting thing is that Paisley lives about an hour away, and William at least two hours away. They are rehearsing via Skype and will drive together the day of the shoot. Wild, isn’t it?

Not long after I received a message from Brian. He’s a local cop with a bunch of videos on YouTube, and he comes with his own gear (DSLR, Lighting, and Sound). My cinematographer was now on board:

Shortly after hearing from Brian, Cara contacted me. She is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati in costume design for film and theater. She has all the education but no practical experience with a production team. We welcomed her on board immediately.

Our first production meeting was held at Chicago’s Pizza, total investment $40.

That brings us to present day and the arrival of my tax return; I’m investing my refund (play money) into the project. Brian and I are forming a nice working relationship, and the entire crew seems to be enjoying themselves.

Shooting Day: 10 days, 13 hours, 9 minutes away. (At the time of writing.)


Stay tuned! More to come! – Bill Taub 2/27/2015

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