Well, I remember everyone being extremely excited right from the start when we signed Jon to our movie. It was back in November and we had our first “real” name actor attached to the film. It was a good day. Now, the only problem was, one of our executive producers was still dead set on playing the title character – no, not Mickey but Walt.
I knew that there was no way that it would fly with Jon and so did everyone including our EP. We were going to risk losing our only name we had all for vanity. I knew that as soon as Jon stepped foot on set, there would be a call to his agent, “get me outta here.” So, it was decided to delay his schedule in order for us to conduct our “experiment” of letting our EP get it out of his system. Thankfully, after six days of shooting, he did, and we were able to film with a new “name” in the title role. This made bringing Jon on set in January much easier and a lot more fun.
The picture above represents Jon’s first day of shooting. It was a bit tense – namely because we had just found the location a day prior and had just secured the picture car a few hours before shooting. This is the way that things went on this film set. Always last minute, always chaotic, always trying to catch up. Why? Because our production manager and location manager all consisted of “favors” by “friends” – friends of the EPs, no experience, no knowledge and not getting paid. It was a terrible mess really. However, Jon (and Thomas) couldn’t have been more understanding. That’s what you get when you cast actors who are also writer/producers themselves and used to working with small budgets. Had we had two “divas” in those roles, it would have been a disaster but, as I’ve said before, Khoa and I made it work.
Walt Before Mickey wasn’t always easy… wasn’t always fun… but in the end it was always an adventure. To pre-order a DVD copy of the film, visit the official Walt Before Mickey website.
As we get closer to the release of Walt Before Mickey, Khoa (Director) and I are going to start to share some behind the scenes footage from our experience on set. We had such an amazing time working on the film together. From the lows to the highs, it was fun to see this through all the way to the finish line. And, of course, these pictures bring back so many great memories.
This first picture is Khoa and I working with our lead actor Thomas Ian Nicholas (Walt) as he prepares for his scene where he confronts the owner of Newman Theaters for the backpay that is owed him. At this point in the story, Walt is at a very precarious place and needs the money badly to avoid certain bankruptcy.
Not only was Walt in a precarious situation but so was our lead actor, Thomas, because during this shooting day he had come down with a bad flu and was forced to perform all of his scenes under the weather. Of course, like the true professional that he is, Thomas, performed admirably and you’d never be able to tell that he was sick from watching the film. A real pro and a fantastic guy. I’m proud to say that Thomas and I (and Khoa) have remained friends long after the picture wrapped.
Of course, Khoa and I, were probably on three hours sleep by this point in production after spending the night before hammering out wrinkles in the shooting script which, by this point, I had re-written more than five times. Great memories. More to come. Stay tuned, and to pre-order your DVD copy of the film, visit the official Walt Before Mickey site. Frank Licari
Well, it’s been a labor of love and a concerted team effort by everyone involved but Walt Before Mickey is almost complete and we are looking forward to the beginning stages of distribution. Khoa Le and the Kvibe Productions team are in the midst of finishing all of the deliverables for the respective distribution companies and everyone on our team is very excited.
This journey started almost fifteen months ago under the cloud of confusion and uncertainty. I had started the pre-production six months prior to shooting. At that time, the production had a different line producer, a different director, a different lead actor and a different casting director. Certainly one of the most unorthodox film productions I had ever been a part of.
Then, Khoa joined the production and he quickly took the opportunity of his first feature length film by the horns and showed his true leadership skills. Soon, we whipped the final days of pre-production into shape, while we recast the majority of the leads. I rewrote the shooting script after days of Khoa and I going back and forth on the story and we were finally ready to shoot a film.
Once shooting began, Khoa was an expert leader with a laser like focus and creative vision. The crew was behind the film one hundred percent and Khoa was able to get the best out of everyone. I did my best to keep production running smoothly and, at the request of Khoa and our lead actors, made sure the shooting script was constantly being tweaked. Yes, day to day, hour to hour…very unorthodox to be sure, but in the end, it made the final product markedly better.
Now, despite the uphill climb, we are very happy with our final product and look forward to sharing it with the world. Stay tuned for more updates and behind the scenes pictures and stories and visit the official Walt Before Mickey site to pre-order your DVD copy of the film.
It’s been a long time coming, but the day is almost here. KVibe Productions’ first full-length feature film, Walt Before Mickey, is just about set for release, and there’s no shortage of excitement around here about it.
However, it may not be the story most people think of when they first hear the name, Walt Disney. This isn’t about his successful empire and global success, but about the years and years of his attempting to step up and change things, only to be pushed back down again and again.
Whereas Saving Mr. Banks took audiences back to the 60’s, when Walt Disney was already Walt Disney, reigning over his kingdom and looking for his next hit, Walt Before Mickey returns to the iconic visionary’s earlier days, when he didn’t know what a hit even was yet, much less how to create one.
The film is based on the book, Walt Before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years, 1919-1928, by Timothy S. Susanis. It takes the story all the way back to Disney’s childhood in Missouri where he first shows signs of the passion for animation that would drive his success, though his father doesn’t seem to approve.
We follow Disney to his first animation bullpen in Kansas City, and through a series of endeavors that quickly meet with failure, eventually driving him west in the 1920s to Los Angeles, the home of his future empire.
Though it’s a biopic and not some Disney fairytale, there’s no shortage of villains. Investors with bad intentions and greedy opportunists challenge young Walt every step of the way as we see his business prowess may not have matched his creativity, at least not at first.
That’s what makes this such a special film. Audiences tend to equate Walt Disney with one of his cartoons: fun and flawless. However, Walt Before Mickey proves that wasn’t the case at all.
Director Khoa Le and the entire KVibe Productions team was so proud to be a part of this kind of project. Imagine getting the chance to portray a legend as a human being, with the same kinds of troubles and doubts that anyone would have in similar situations.
There’s a certain responsibility that comes along with this kind of material. You don’t want to make such sweeping changes that the man’s life itself is a far cry from the truth.
However, there’s also a general responsibility to the audience to be considered. Rhythm and pace, peaks and valleys; these things still needed to be present for Walt Before Mickey to work successfully.
That’s the tricky part when doing the film adaptation of a book of any kind. It’s even trickier when the book is about a real person. Having said that, the challenge is part of the incentive for KVibe Productions and, let’s be honest, it’s Walt friggin’ Disney we’re talking about!
Imagine the thoughts running through our minds when first confronted with the project:
Walt Disney at rock bottom, rifling through a garbage can looking for food, a tiny mouse peaking out of his front pocket.
Walt Disney calling home, asking his parents for money.
Walt Disney asking his employee not to cash her check so that their studio could survive another week.
Walt Disney clearly scared about losing his brother.
Any audience yearns to see their icons in identifiable states of mind. These are the kinds of moments that any film and video production studio craves to get their hands on.
We’re no different here, and when the original director abandoned Walt Before Mickey along with the director of photography, and cast and crew took a 3-week hiatus, fate may have been intervening, unbeknownst to us.
When KVibe’s own Khoa Le got the call, he jumped at the opportunity to get involved. He was able to fly out to Orlando in between snow storms in New Jersey, and he immediately got the show back on the road.
It wasn’t easy, as the crew was a little demoralized when he arrived, but he managed to get them on board with his vision for the rest of the project.
Khoa saw a parallel in the film’s troubled production and the story they were ultimately trying to tell. Walt’s seemingly endless struggles to get his studio off the ground seemed to mirror the struggles to complete production on Walt Before Mickey, the film trying to tell that very story!
All that hard work and persistence eventually paid off. Walt Before Mickey gives the kind of inside look into a legend that allows audiences to see him in a whole new light. People can relate to someone’s behavior or ideas, personally, when they have a better idea of where the motivation and inspiration came from.
This is part of what made Walt Before Mickey so enjoyable for KVibe Productions itself. We got a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the genius media mogul ourselves, before being tasked with relaying it to the audience.
We talk a lot around here about our ability to show people things in a different light, and we believe we accomplished that on this project once again. People will get a glimpse of a different Walt Disney, not the old man sitting on the throne of an empire, living off his creations, but the man who hadn’t imagined what would become history yet, truly the Walt before Mickey.
Check out the official trailer below to see for yourself how we were able to portray Walt Disney like you’ve never seen him before, and visit the official Walt Before Mickey site to pre-order your DVD copy of the film.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.
When W&E Baum, a premier designer and manufacturer of recognition and memorial products, asked us to create a corporate video highlighting their core beliefs, we followed our normal protocol of researching the company to see if they fit our personality.
Once we saw what they were about, we jumped at the opportunity to work with them.
This is a company whose values, KVibe quickly realized, are closely aligned with our own. They’re in the business of helping people remember things, which is what we do. They also promise to bring your creative vision to life in their one-of-a-kind memorial pieces, a promise we are also very proud to make with our video productions.
There was originally a script for the project, but KVibe founder Khoa Le threw it out the window when he saw that the genuine care he felt from the W&E Baum staff, in person, wasn’t coming through by merely reciting written lines.
We at KVibe like to give some room for more innovative thinking. The crew, consisting of the director, DP, gaffer/grip swingman, and 1st AC, took a more spontaneous approach. The result was something special that managed to capture W&E Baum’s sincerity and passion for what they do.
It ended up being a one day shoot, with the Red Camera, and the crew used a Zephyr Steadicam for some extra stability and flexibility.
KVibe Productions was so proud to be a part of the project. W&E Baum’s sincere care for their customers and dedication to quality work is something we related to immediately, and something we wanted to help them capture with this video production. We think we did, but check it out below and see what you think…
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, a commercial production, or a feature film, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.
Today HD Cameras are being produced like food. However, a lot of new cameras that have been coming out are notimpressive such as the Black Magic Cinema 2.5k Camera. We at Kvibe do not like the Black Magic Cinema Camera due to it’s videoish look, however, we are impressed with KineRAW S35 camera’s filmic look.
Stay tuned for more updates about this camera.