We’ve prepped. We’ve cast. Now we shoot the pilot.

We just wrapped six weeks of prep for our pilot. We’ve cast the actors, scouted the locations, built the sets, selected the wardrobes. I watched our stars sit around a table and read my script aloud for the network. I’m exhausted, I’m nervous, in all truth I’m a wreck. But I’m ready. We start shooting THE ORDAINED on Monday.

Following are some scenes from prep:

Audition room

Casting is hard. Auditioning is harder.

Balls. Of. Steel. After sitting through round after round of auditions, I’m now convinced that’s what you need to be a working actor. You come in, say hi to the people who may or may not hire you, you pretend to be someone else for a few minutes, then you leave. And wait. Yep. Balls of steel.


Tech scout bus.

Last week, our staff and crew traveled around in this bus on the tech scout. That’s when we visit every single location plus our stages in a sort of dry run to make sure we’re maximally prepared. Electricians checked wiring. Prop masters discussed where pencil stands would go. Art directors measured door openings. Cameramen blocked shots.


Follow the arrow to our offices.

Maybe the most mind-blowing moment of this process was walking into a brick building in Brooklyn and discovering an expansive set of offices dedicated to our pilot. It’s a teeming hub of production coordinators and assistant directors and art directors and location managers. There’s even an accounting department (I don’t know why, but that impressed me most). It’s an operation. And big, humming operation that rose up out of a story I wrote.

As a writer, I’ve never thought of myself as a job creator, though I suppose you could argue content is what keeps the magazine and book industries alive. Still, I always felt like a skinny spoke in a massive wheel. Now I’m something more like the engine. It’s a wee bit terrifying.


Ties and shoes and belts and hats and…

A big part of creating a world is dressing your actors to fit their parts. I had no idea what a gigantic effort this is. Our brilliant wardrobe designer and her assistants began with concepts for each character—is he young? Rich? Casual? Flashy? They gather our stars’ measurements and then they SHOP. Our world is luxurious and powerful; so are our clothes. The selection fills a small warehouse.


Our interior set.

Here’s another moment that blew me away: walking into a drafty building and into our stages. Much of our filming occurs on location, but a few interiors have been built indoors. It’s one thing to find existing spaces that are allowing us to shoot; it’s another to create one from scratch.

Director's chair

The man with the plan.

Now it comes down to this guy. On the Friday before we begin shooting, his documentary, “The World According to Dick Cheney,” debuted on Showtime. He’s a remarkable director and a remarkable man, and we can’t possibly be in better hands.

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  1. Lou with the stinky van says:

    Sounds so great. Seeing it all come together must feel awesome., finally seeing the fruits of your labor. The best has yet to come. I can’t wait for the finished product. Although I was only involved in the scout, I felt the electricity, and your enthusiasm is contagious. I’m routing for you!!!
    Good Luck & God Bless

    • lisacullen says:

      Lou! We asked for you for the shoot but we got some other yahoo instead. Thanks for your stewardship, and I sure hope our paths cross again one day soon. P.S. Your van smelled way better than the other driver’s; he reeked of clove cigarettes.

  2. So exciting! AND I’m sure there must be a lot of stress. I know when my book came out, everyone was telling me to “enjoy every minute of it,” which was often hard for me to do because I was 1) super busy and 2) obsessed with whether or not the book was “doing well.” So maybe you can allow yourself certain times of day to feel your stress, and other times to just bask in the awesomeness of your achievement. Not that you need (or asked for) my advice. 😉 I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I’m rooting for you, Lisa!
    Best, Hilary

  3. Lina Lofaro says:

    Unbelivable cast !!! Congratulations !!!

  4. Judy Feldman says:

    Far out !!
    Congratulations and way to go, Lisa!!