Hard Times - Making It, Vol. 1 - Entry #8 of 9 - Last Looks Before Moving On (Tahir Jetter Chronicles Web Series Journey)
Photo Credit: S & A

Hard Times - Making It, Vol. 1 - Entry #8 of 9 - Last Looks Before Moving On (Tahir Jetter Chronicles Web Series Journey)

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http://hardtimesseries.com – We’re premiering on April 22nd at 12P (EST), so please visit our website and subscribe, for more info! 

[Last E-Mail to Producers Before Shooting]

Subject Line: Started From Some Meetings, Now We Here (Last Email)

to Alyssa, Sharifah, Michelle, Patrick


Hey Team,

Looking forward to getting started, soon, so get ready for a fun-filled weekend!!  😀

Patrick, the A.D. for Friday and D______, the A.D. for Sat/Sun are probably going to be disseminating most messages about operational things from here on out.

Things to Note:
Depending on the day that you’re on set–the A.D. will be handling most things as far as scheduling shots, start/wrap times for the day, pushing us through scenes and cracking the whip are concerned, but people (each and every crew member) will be coming to you with the expectation that you’ll know damn near everything else about the production.  Which you will.  🙂

Things You’ll Need (Which I’ll Provide You With):

Production Book That Includes:

– The Script
– All Cast/Crew Contact Information
– The Preliminary Shooting Schedule
– The Day’s Call Sheet
– A List of All Equipment We Have and Where We’ve Gotten It From
– A Petty Cash Envelope – the balance of which is logged on the outside of the envelope for the duration of the shoot – any time anyone asks for money, we get them to sign their name down on the petty cash sign out form for the amount that they’re grabbing.  THEY NEED TO PROVIDE RECEIPTS, if they want to be REIMBURSED FOR PETTY CASH.

Reimbursements won’t be disbursed until after the shoot is over.

Things You’ll Be Expected to Know:

– Where food is coming from and how
– When the equipment is going back and how returns are happening
– Who owns each location (speaking of which, we have no _________ for ______________, so on the off-chance that we get accosted by ____________, chill out and don’t worry–playing it cool is the rule)
– If we have money to go on runs
– If production can reimburse people for this or pay out for that.

With that being said, I know we’ll do well, so let’s have a great shoot!

Speaking of which, two questions:

1. How much are we going to need to pay for food over the cost of this whole production?
2. Where in the name of all heavenly saints are we getting breakfast early Friday morning (with a gluten free option), and how are we getting it to set?


May 15th, 2013


Things to do for the day: 

We need to make sure Producers know to do the following:

Clock SAG actors for paperwork
Get the food here on time
Know how to work the petty cash situation
Keep track of who has the van keys at all times


May 17, 2013

So today as we finished our first day of shooting, I was flushed with this immense feeling of gratitude.

Nothing in this process happens in a bubble and nothing happens without collaboration.

Feeling really fortunate.


May 17, 2013

[E-Mail Sent to Producers: Thinking About the Next Shoot]

So yeah.  

Finding Nia’s Place – We gotta find this spot [a spot to shoot in that would serve as the location for Nia’s apartment.]

I have a few leads, but nothing solid, yet, but I’m confident that if we make some additional moves we can actually line something up.  

To Find Locations:

Phase 1 – Scour craigslist – people subletting apartments, sharing apartments,

     1bedrooms, houses, whatever, and hit them up directly with 

The Pitch: something impressive about who we are, what we’re looking to do, when we’re looking to do it and what we’re looking to pay (low ball it a little bit, but emphasize that it’s less than 8 hours and we might be looking to come back for future episodes/scenes). 

Reply to any craigslist posts that we get.  

Phase 2 – We make flyers and physically post them up on blocks, within a certain

      radius.  (I’m thinking as far west as Ft. Greene Pl, as far East as Malcolm X,

      as far north as Dekalb, as far South as Jefferson.)  (Just what I’m  

      thinking.)  — I just snagged a Zip Car to make runs and stuff, so if you all

      want to let me know when you’re available, we’ll take some time during

      the evening, and we can drive around and post things up.  

Phase 3 – Supplementary social media requests – if y’all feel like using your networks to ask, please do! (If not, that’s cool, too.)

Finding the Stripper Dude  

I’m ‘sposed to hear back from this cat, Thursday–but no contracts have been made yet.  He seems pretty on the up and up, but I think it’d be reeeeeally good if we could hit some other folks up just to see if we can grab some spares in case he flakes.

Let me know what you all think.

Muchas Gracias,


May 19, 2013

[E-Mail Sent to Shadow & Act]

Daniel Patterson (Newlyweeds, Gun Hill Road) is Cinematographer on Upcoming Brooklyn-Based Webseries. Please SHARE!

Hello All,

I hope that this e-mail finds you well and in a general state of good fortune.

This is Tahir Jetterwriter-director of the short films, CLOSE and the soon-to-be released FRISK.  I just wanted to shoot you some info about a new Webseries that I’m presently in producing that could be of interest to Shadow and Act viewers.  

I’m currently writing/producing/directing a Webseries called HARD TIMES, which I’ve created with Donald Conley (formerly featured on Shadow and Act, his most recent film SLEEP was selected at ABFF, last year.)

The Story: a dramedy following Derek Waters, a Brooklyn personal trainer who turns to shady means of earning income after his client base dwindles.

The Cast: a plethora of up-and-coming NYC-area talent: Abraham Amkpa (The Boring Life of Jacqueline, Mother of George), Bianca Laverne Jones (NYC 22, 12 Steps to Recovery), Ashley Denise Robinson (Docket 32357), and Vladimir Versailles (Side Effects, Moozlum).  

Award-Winning Director of Photography, Daniel Patterson, is also attached.

Production Info: The series is a 10 Episode Webseries created by Donald Conley and Tahir Jetter and is currently being shot in Brooklyn, NY with the aim of being released online in the Fall/Winter of 2013.  Producers are MichelleMondesir, Sharifah Suleiman and Alyssa Wilson.  

Please observe the attached screenshots and see if they might be of interest.  More information can also find more information at our website: facebook.com/hardtimesseries 

Thanks very much,
Tahir Jetter

May 24, 2013

[Planning for the Next Shoot]

What can be improved upon?

Need to rent minivan for Production Tech scout
Make-Up Artists – Must hire [we really were shooting ourselves in the foot from an efficiency/speed standpoint by not hiring these]
Wardrobe – might have to hire, also.  Maybe MUA/wardrobe swing
Ability to do Continuity on Set [Script Supervisor]
Food Delivery/Drop-Off
Going to Need Walkies/Set PA’s/Loaders
Gabby will need assistants for Production Design
Cube Truck
Budget more for parking/gas

May 24, 2013



1. Strip Club – LIC –
2. Apt. Bedroom – Inserts and CU’s – check continuity of Abe’s wardrobe – ep 2
3. Nia’s/Vanessa’s Basement – whosever it is should be that of the same place that later scenes are happening 
4. Babeland – Brooklyn


5. Strip Club –
6. Vanessa’s Place

May 26, 2013

What is our PR narrative?

– Sundance alum and NYU Film Grad and former personal trainer makes a story about being a broke personal trainer.
– Guy who once stripped makes a webseries about having stripped.
– Tahir Jetter makes the Black Hung.

May 28th,, 2013

[Hard Times: How to Survive The Recession (and Look Great, Doing It!) A Quarter-Life Guide, By Tahir Jetter]


I’m extremely thankful to both of my parents, C_______ and C_______, who’ve put up with and supported me, for so many years.

Possible Book Chapters

– Fuck What Anyone Else Thinks About What You Want to Do

– Your Ass Is Broke, So Get Used to It

– It’s Not the Clothes, It’s The Hanger

– Relaxation Techniques for the Broke Ass Artist

– Sex (Have It)

– Hustle Hard, Playa

– Relationships and You (aka It’s Not Them–It’s You)

– Punctuality is Key

– Sleep is for the Old (And Sleep-Deprived)

– Nutrition, Too, Is Key

– It Doesn’t Have to Be Nice-Looking, If It’s Not on Screen

– No One Owes You A Fuckin’ Thing, So Be Grateful

June 8, 2013

This next shoot is going to break me, but if we can nail it, I’m confident I can win the game.

Gotta get enough production value in every episode so that people realize I’m not fucking around.

Just contracted a potential strip club, Babeland, and might get two separate houses that both look amazing.  The cast is dope, talented crew people are down.  Just gotta make sure the story/performances are on point.

Still, this next shoot’s going to be really expensive.  I’m going to need to raise about another $_______ to recover and finish the season, but I’m confident that I can do it over Kickstarter in these next 8-10 months.  Maybe. Can’t win if I don’t try, as crazy as it all sounds.

June 16, 2013

Nothing makes me feel more greasy than this low-budget independent producing business. Finagling deals, begging, fibbing, delaying ________, promising shit that (though I’ll probably be able to deliver) makes me feel like a total and complete sleazebag, along the way…ugh.  

The problem is that I’m starting to think I’m fairly good at it.  I think I “present well,” people can tell I know what the fuck I’m talking about, I seem reliable, and I have the credentials to back it all up, but got damn.

This next shoot is the better part of episodes 2, 3 and 4.  I have got to lock down this fucking strip club and soon.  If this shit falls through, I’ll be extremely annoyed.  There might be one other place in the city that we can afford, and who knows if the fucking exterior will be awesome enough to work for what we need?

I have a feeling I’m really going to strain some friendships and business relationships before this whole thing is over, but the thing is, to be quite honest, I really have no idea of what alternative I might have in terms of being able to further a prospective “career.”  This is pretty much ALL I have.  If I can nail it and produce/shoot the shit in exactly the way that I want, we might be able to win.  Otherwise, it could very well be curtains.  

This next shoot is going to cost anywhere between $_____—$______.  $______ of that I’m borrowing from my ______ and ________.  I am fucking blessed, privileged and lucky, I know that.  But I have got to pull this shit off.  Raising the money is obviously just the tip of the fucking iceberg.