The Confidence Game was inspired in part by David Mamet's early film, "The House of Cards." In it, they discussed the confidence trade and how people are constantly shifting identities.
The auditions took place at Fairhaven Auditorium, and everyone who showed up got casted. All of them were virtual strangers when they auditioned, and some of them I still try to keep in touch. Jack was in the theatre department, Eliza was from Sehome High School, and Dansen was just looking for something to do -- and together they were the perfect actors for the role. Jack had the personality and suaveness for Will, Eliza had the authority and presence to be Laura, and Dansen added a phenomenal amount of depth I had never imagined to Alan.
Shooting took place around mid-April, 1999, and we were already behind schedule. Production had been held up because my camera had yet to be purchased -- long story. To make it brief, the university did not allow students to use their cameras long term, therefore we had to get our own camera. I had decided to get it through one of Jonathan's friends who worked at The Good Guys (an employee discount) but through some goofy antics, the delivery of the camera delayed the production from commencing for an entire week.
But there we were, shooting our first scenes at Western. It was an entirely new experience for me, and I had very little knowledge of the camera itself. The mike was usually placed need the actors, and that was about all there was. We abandoned the idea of markers fairly early simply because I got sick of doing it myself and then running back to the camera. Besides, this was videotape. It didn't cost anything to run long on footage.
Because of the structure of the script, whereby we met the actors with their regular hair color at the beginning, see them dye them in the middle, and then escape at the end of the film with their original hair color, we had to shoot the first and last part of the film first. In retrospect, this was probably not a wise idea for the final scene, which I call "The Red Square" scene, was a complex scene that needed a lot more help. Although I had storyboarded the Red Square scene, it was mostly ignored. That's why you can see a tripod in the background in one of the scenes, almost as big as the actors.
Year of the Horse | Victim | Authorship | Cells | Gonzo | The Confidence Game