Meet the Neighbors
written and directed by DERIN EGRIKAVUK
A story about two women whose stories connect in a moment with a shared look. When Dylan peeks into the neighbors’ window, she becomes an unwanted witness to a murder committed by pregnant Marlo, who must now cover her tracks or risk losing her unborn child.
This was the first film that I lead produced but was not on set for. It was difficult for me to find an equal to pass the wand to, especially because this production happened over Thanksgiving and all of my usual picks had gone home. I found two versatile sophomores to team up on line producing and unit production management, and I didn’t hear from them for the first 12 hours - a surprise to me, but it spoke to the effectiveness of my prep.
We shot for 2 days in Brooklyn in an AirBnb, a bodega, and on a sidewalk. The first immediate challenge I encountered was unexpected snow on our bodega/sidewalk day. We had already arranged for holding inside of the bodega, but the crew shooting at the ATM around the corner would need a heat tent. So, I arranged for that remotely.
Additionally, I had to account for various safety risks - prop knives, a live dog, a sidewalk exterior, and some action on a fire escape. There is a lot of tedious work involved in detailing safety plans for NYU Risk Management, and my co-producers were heavily committed to other projects, so I prioritized and delegated as best I could in order to gain COIs in time for checkouts.
On the day before checkouts, my Murphy’s Law sense started tingling, and I decided to call Budget to make sure that our truck reservation, which had been booked weeks in advance, was still set. I found out that a stranger had used my name to pick it up a few days prior - by some glitch in the system - and Budget no longer had a reservation on file for me. With one remaining hour in the business day, I had to find a truck rental company that accepted NYU’s insurance and had the size truck we needed.
My biggest takeaways from this production were time management and remote problem-solving. Passing the wand and being absent for physical production was tough, but it was a milestone on my journey to becoming a professional producer.
ORLANDO CINTRON JR.,
& AARON KHEIFETS
& SOFIA BARA
director of photography
1st assistant director
DANNIE PETROVNA GIGLEVITCH
unit production manager
CHANCE BORDEN GRAY
& ELIAS RIVERA
& GEORGE PAPAZOV
hair & makeup
& ISABELLE PERKINS