The Dollmaker: Production Stories

Central New York Film, Cynthi Marie, Independent Film, monstrosity entertainment, stealing shade productions, The Dollmaker


I began my career in independent film completely by accident. My original task was to write a short script that could be adapted into a short film, taking up a few months time for production. Well, that short script turned into an epic trilogy of features (yet to be completed). Throughout this process, I went from writer, to casting director, to producer, to wardrobe designer/creator, to assistant director, never giving up a title as I picked up another. But this is what one does when working at this level. Everyone is a volunteer, and all expenses come out-of-pocket if no free way is found. We do it because we love it.

When The Dollmaker came along, it was with much more confidence and knowledge. Even so, there are some things you just can’t plan for/avoid:

  1. The house we’d secured for all of our interior shots was foreclosed on AFTER we’d furnished it to look like the scenes we needed. Money gone, AND restart on location scouting. This was ont of the main reasons our production time was pushed 1 year.
  2. Casting, originally, went extremely smoothly. So smoothly, it seemed too good to be true, and it was!! After months of pestering because shooting was pushed (see #1 above), out lead actress no shows on day 2 of filming. REALLY!? So, back to casting… #2 gets moved to #1, and we re-cast #2. No problem…
  3. Our read through with #1 and new #2 goes well. We restart scheduling. #2 moves out-of-state…. Writer and Producer contemplate erasing this character from existence…
  4. Ironically, #2 is re-re-cast using the actress whose name had come up before the script had even been started, I’m sure there’s a lesson here…
  5. The original person cast to play HORACE, the iconic masked man, decided to take a job OUT OF STATE. Re-cast

Central New York Film, Cynthi Marie, Independent Film, monstrosity entertainment, stealing shade productions, The Dollmaker

25% into production, our pre-production tasks seem to be finished. I remember talking to Cerina Vincent at Scare-A-Cuse, and her telling us how she’d shown up on location only to find out the funding had been pulled and there would be no movie. No matter what level this is being done at, the same problems are common. Is there anything more complex than putting together a feature film?

Share your production stories, whether film, print, or other,  with us

Follow Cynthi Marie on Facebook, or her own  blog here!

Creative Commons License

The Dollmaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

My first, and greatest love was always books, which turned into writing early on. Then came movies. Games didn’t enter my life until PS2 came out. I tend to stay away from games as they suck my world into oblivion. I stop sleeping. I stop paying attention to everything else when I get into them, though I break this for Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, Gears, and FF. Recently entering the amateur indie film scene, Stealing Shade Productions ( was born. I’m also working on a comic book ( and 2 novels. There are bets on whether these will get finished Find me on Facebook or check out my alter ego at

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