Life After Film School for Director Sam B. Lorn
Examiner.com - “The LBC” might best be described as “an epic for it’s size and budget.”
Produced by Forlorn Films and directed by Sam B. Lorn, the movie offers viewers a look inside the gritty dark side of Long Beach, California (aka “The LBC”).
Born and raised in Cambodia, Lorn survived the “Killing Fields” and emigrated to America where he settled in Long Beach, California with his surviving relatives.
In 1991, Lorn moved to New York City to pursue a filmmaking career. He studied acting at HB Studios and graduated from the world-renowned New York Film Academy.
He learned about all aspects of the film and distribution industry by working at Assembly Films, Screen Gems, The American Museum of Natural History, Shelter Films and several other independent production companies.
Over the years, he has worked with the best in the film industry, including such directors as Robert Deniro, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Alan Rudolph, Rick Famuyiwa, Alfred Cheung, Bruce Law, and Derek Wan. He has also worked with actors such as Christopher Walken, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicholas Cage, Matt Damon and Tom Hanks.
As a director, writer, producer and actor, Lorn’s feature film credits include: “Little Patriot,” “Moving Target,” “Young Survivor,” “Manhattan Midnight” and “Lovesick.”
“Lovesick,” was realized with backing from Angelina Jolie. The compelling film tells “a modern-day Romeo and Juliet-type-story with a Khmer-American twist. A young Khmer-American woman is forced into an arranged marriage when she falls in love with another man. She is faced with the dilemma of honoring her family and respecting tradition or following her heart.”
Completed in 2004, “Lovesick” was self-released on DVD domestically.
Recently, Lorn took time to answer a few questions about his new film “The LBC” for Examiner.com.
What inspired you to make LBC?
After living in long Beach for two years and seeing Cambodian people going through hardships, it reminded me of Cambodia.
As an independent filmmaker what challenges did you face getting this movie made?
1. This subject matter, no one would help me with finance, so I have to do it with a small business man, Randy Hor.
2. Other filmmaker did not understand my vision, so I have to work extra hard to tell a story that people can relate to.
3. Working with shoestring budget, I had to cut pre-productions and rehearsal and had to limit production to only 12 days of shooting. I was very fortunate that my cast and crew, they were able to pull it together.
Tell us about the themes of the movie… what is it about?
THEME: Carpe Diem, Karma.
LOG LINE: One man endeavors to avenge his mother’s death while being thwarted by a local drug kingpin. SYNOPSIS: Long Beach, California can change from a beautiful place to a deadly one on the turn of a dime. A gangster wannabe (Ivan Djurovic) slips deeper into the criminal underbelly seeking to avenge his mother’s death. He finds common ground with a man (Sam Lorn) searching for his brother’s murderer. When they are confronted by a ruthless drug kingpin (Larry Parrish), anarchy and betrayal reign supreme leading to a climatic bloody showdown on the streets known as “The LBC”.
How long did it take from start to finish on production?
When can moviegoers see the film on dvd?
What’s your next project?
Lovesick 2 with Jim Leung as Vinny, we hope to shoot this Christmas.
Script Analysis: Understanding the Script as a Film Director
There are many facets of a Director’s prep on any film or TV production - from location scouts and creative meetings to casting and scheduling. But the first, and most important part of a director’s job, is to understand the script: what the story is about; the themes; the story points; and the characters.
When you first get your script, read it all the way through without making any notes so you get an idea of what the story is about, where it takes place and who the characters are.
This first read is very important because it’s when you form your initial impressions of the story and it is also probably the only time you will ever enjoy the script as a story - because from now on it’s all work!
Then read the script again (and again and again..) and start jotting down the answers to the following questions:
1. what is the PLOT? (what is the story about)
2. what is the THEME? (what is the message)
3. what is the LOGIC? (does the story make sense)
4. what is the EXPOSITION? (what are the characters doing/thinking)
5. what is the COMPLICATION? (what is the drama in the story)
6. what creates the TENSION? (what will happen next)
7. what is the MAIN QUESTION? (what problem is to be solved)
8. what is the MAIN ACTION? (what event hooks the audience)
9. what is the CAUSE OF THE ACTION? (what happens to the main character)
10. what is the RESULTING ACTION? (the answer to the main question)
11. what is the CONCLUSION? (how does the story end)
12. who is the PROTAGONIST? (the main character)
13. who is the ANTAGONIST? (could be one or more characters)
14. who is the MOST INTERESTING CHARACTER? (not always the main character)
15. where does the story TAKE PLACE? (location, time period)
Keep in mind that your script breakdown will be a never-ending process because each time you read the script, you will find something you didn’t see before about the story, the dialogue or the characters.
And as you go through pre-production, the script will constantly evolve. It will change because of your creative notes, writer suggestions, actor suggestions, producer suggestions, network suggestions, location availability and on and on and on…
So how does a director cope with all these changes?
As long as you have completed a thorough script analysis, you will always know what the story is about and where the story is going. With that information, you can adjust to all the changes.
For a more detailed explanation of Script and Scene Analysis, check out - Script Breakdown and Screen Analysis
Peter D. Marshall has worked in the Film and Television Industry for over 35 years. He also publishes the free monthly filmmaking ezine “The Director’s Chair. You can check out his website at: ActionCutPrint.com and his film directing blog at FilmDirectingTips.com