May 24. This week has been incredible… The animated portions of Ghost Money tell the story of my experience in Vietnam in 1972 and my relationship with Candy.
I have been working on the script for over a year. This week I started recording the bulk of the dialogue at Clark Salisbury’s studio in a foresty hide away in southwest Portland. To hear the words come to life through the talents of this cast of new and experienced actors has been an extraordinary blessing.
The week started with a charge into the heart of the project, with readings from Todd Robinson, as Captain Myers, and Brian Sutherland and Anna Nguyen playing Young Larry and Candy, the lead characters. I was blown away by how deep these actors would go. Todd’s read at his audition for Capt. Myers, put such an interesting spin on what could have been a stereotypical commanding officer getting on the enlisted man’s case, that I wrote two additional scenes for him. Brian and Anna were fun to watch. Brian, the seasoned actor and acting teacher, helped draw Anna out.
Anna Nguyen has done a little acting. But when she jumped into this role, amazing things happened. Her dark-toned, quavering voice brought richness and vitality to the character. Her dialogue is written in the simple “pidgeon” English spoken in Vietnam at the time. With subtle tones, Anna was able to bring great meaning to her lines. Brian and I were amazed how, after one short rehearsal, she seemed to grasp the character, and take control of her part. She took direction well too, which even some experienced actors have a problem with.
I was honored that so many talented actors wanted to work on this film. We have some great material. Now we’re ready to start the animation. thanks to all the actors and to the incredibly capable Tabitha Williams for were fabulous work at coordinating it all.