Late in 1998, the film was nearly financed at Interlight Pictures, but
plans fell through when a key cast member dropped out.
During 1999 and 2000, Byler and Liu participated in the formation of
the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. Meanwhile, Byler worked as an office
temp and as a sports official, saved $5,000, and decided to make a movie.
The rise of digital video as a medium for feature films made it possible
to shoot "charlotte sometimes" for an extremely modest budget.
Byler's parents and two of his uncles contributed funds.
Executive Producer Michael Kastenbaum championed "Charlotte Sometimes"
at Visionbox Pictures, but was not able to persuade his colleagues to
invest in the film. A compromise provided for a production services
agreement, under which Byler hired Visionbox to aid in production. Kastenbaum
and Byler brought on Marc Ambrose as producer, and the production was
underway. Executive Producer John Manuils and Co-Producer Brooke Dammkoehler
provided advice and assistance from the Visionbox office.
Shooting began on March 17th, 2001. With only 8 shooting days scheduled,
Byler decided to go with a two-camera set (Sony PD 150 cameras with
anamorphic lens adapters). This provided lighting challenges for cinematographer
Robert Humphreys, but it did save time. The second camera was operated
by 1st Assistant Camera, Robert Muthamia. The first shot on the first
day actually made it into the film. It depicted Michael Idemoto as "Michael"
waking up to find a note left by "Darcy."
Sound was recorded on a DAT recorder by mixer Gary Day. Brad North,
who later would serve as Sound Designer and Supervising Sound Editor,
manned the boom. The Production Designer was Byler's long time friend
and collaborator Robert Shinso. The crew numbered between 8 and 12 during
the initial eight days.
Five days into the shoot, Byler and Humphreys decided to add a third
camera-- the more expensive Sony DSR 500, better suited for the establishing
shots scheduled that night. The production shot with three cameras for
the next three days, with director Eric Byler and gaffer Cain Angelle
serving as additional operators. Several scenes in the film were shot
with three cameras-- most notably the fast paced and partially improvised
lunch scene. The night exteriors in the backyard were also shot with
By the end of the 8 day shoot, the only source of funding was credit
card advances. When production resumed for two weekends in April 2001,
a single camera set was employed. The advantages afforded by the DSR
500 outweighed the additional cost. The tennis scene, the hotel room
scene, and the final scene of the film were among those shot in April
with a single camera.
Byler began work with editor Kenn Kashima in June of 2001 on Final
Cut Pro. When Kashima returned to television editing, Byler continued
on his own, bringing in Kashima, Liu, and editing consultant Tom Moore
for periodic feedback.
Reshoots were delayed several times due to lack of funding. When Visionbox
Pictures offered $800 to fund the reshoots in September 2001, Byler
served as director and cinematographer, leading a crew of three. The
DSR 500 was implemented once again, with sound recorded into the camera
instead of with a DAT. Scenes shot on this final weekend include Lori's
visit to Michael in the junk yard, and Michael breaking into Lori's
apartment. The last day of shooting was September 10, 2001. The last
shot depicted Kimberly-Rose as "Annie" arriving at the auto
shop to tell Michael of Darcy's return.