The Making Of Saved In The City

The Making of Saved In The Series was and is definitely a labor of love. From the idea of having a show that would be able to showcase real issues with the ability to work them out in ways opposite of what we are privy to in many of our reality shows, I wanted to bring an even mixture of the day to day struggle with relationships, friendships, family drama, sex and religion and find common ground with what many of us have grown up to believe and hold true. In this day and age a lot of people are turned off from the church, hence they aren’t really getting a true sense of who God is and could be in their lives, so I wanted to provide an avenue for people to be able to see themselves, be entertained yet find solace in the fact that God loves them and is here for them. Now don’t get it twisted! This isn’t a show that is going to bible thump viewers. I am tackling issues in a real direct way in which all can relate to, so there is no sugar coating! However, God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness is the overall theme across this series. The series follows the lives of 4 friends who are living totally different lives and experiencing challenges that bring them to question themselves, their relationships and friendships. It’s something that we all go through and at some point in our lives we can relate to each of the characters experiences. 

 

Why Saved In The City?

Saved in the City came about as a result of being the listening ear for most of my friends. I had to learn the hard way that sometimes giving your opinion isn’t always needed, sometimes people just need you to listen, but in listening I always felt that if they could see how they look, or someone else looks in their exact situation, then maybe they would be able to find their own solution to what they were going through. It’s always easy on the outside looking in to find a solution. So, I started writing fictious characters with similar situations and allowing the issues to play out in my mind in a way that I felt would bring about the most healthy and logical resolution. Being a Christian, it always included submitting to God’s love, grace and forgiveness. What that looks like is different for each situation, but it’s authentic all the same. In that I found that my friends were more receptive to these characters then they would be to me saying “Girl you need to do this.” “If I were you I would…”. So yeah that’s how it originated.

 

 

What do you want viewers to take away?

I want the viewers to first and foremost know that they aren’t alone. They aren’t the first or the last to go through whatever it is that they are going through. Second, that just because the church can at times look harsh and dictating that they are delivering the word (Bible) and it’s principals the best way they know how according to how they are receiving it, but God nonetheless is Love and desires to have a relationship with each of us. Regardless of our hang ups and shortcomings, HE has a blessing for us all if we believe. We are going to make mistakes and we are even going to be neck high in things, but he is always there willing and ready to save us! We just have to ask and receive. In addition, I want them to laugh and enjoy the journey of these characters who are definitely going to take them on a ride.

 

 

How did you select your cast?

A few of the cast members were already in my mind from other projects that I had done and the friendships that were formed. Others, I held a casting call/audition and the remaining were chosen that way. It’s crazy because each character embodies the role that they are portraying. The chemistry and ability to come to set and give me what I need, with no prior rehearsal or meeting was amazing to me. I have to really take my hat off to them, they knocked it out of the park. And wait to you see the little kids, They are just down right adorable. 

 

How long did it take to film it?

It took about 7 months collectively. The hold up initially was trying to find the RIGHT person to play a few of the characters, so I would film what I could with the characters I had, and then return to filming once the vacant characters were filled.

 

Where did you film it?

The filming took place in Atlanta Georgia. My friends were gracious enough to allow me to film in their homes, cars and places of business. 

 

Did you have a crew?

I did not. Actually, not only did I write and direct the series, I served as the DOP/Videographer, Lighting, Sound, Wardrobe, Props, Boom Operator, Editing and Catering. Lol. But again, my cast dubbed as some of these things as well. We all worked together to make this project work, and I can’t forget my husband and kids who also stepped in when needed. We made it happen.

 

You ran a one-woman production?

In so many words – yes. There comes a point in time where you realize that if you want something done, you have to step out there and utilize what you have. A lot of independent filmmakers will understand this concept – when you aren’t working with a large budget, a lot of times you aren’t going to get what you want. You are going to be “fit in” and “worked in” amiss what others have going on and that can be frustrating. So you look around you, and see what you can do on your own and you just DO IT! For me, I had an I-PAD, I ordered compatible microphone, lighting, editing software and taught myself the basics. I got tired of having so many scripts and drafts and they were just sitting. My friends were like “Alisa just do it, what will it hurt?” And at first, I was scared, I’m like “I’ve never done film.” “I’m a writer and a director, how am I gonna film and edit and put together a project?” But here we are a year later and it’s complete. And it’s a true testament of what you can do when you believe in yourself, the people you bring on to fulfill the vision and God when he says “I got you.”

 

 

Will there be a second season?

Absolutely!

Cast Folders

Getting paperwork in order.

Call Sheet

First Official Day of Shooting was April 8, 2017.

On Set

Writer/Director Alisa doing a test shoot.

On Set

Positioning and Lighting. Cindy Jefferson (Cynthia).

On Set

Doing a run through. Set Mother/Daughter Cindy Jefferson (Cynthia) and Teea Loreal (La'Nay)

On Set

Studying Lines.

On Set

Filming. Andrea Myles (LaShawnna) and Teea Loreal (La'Nay)

On Set

Filming - Andrea Myles (La'Shawnna).

On Set

Filming. Robtaevious Madden (Michael) and Tiffany Brown (Bria)

On Set

One of our set couples. Patriece Manders (Harolynn) and DJames Jones (Montell)

On Set

One of our onset families. Nycolette Blanks (Cameron), Marc Henry-Lazarre (Travis) and Aria Brooks (Dezi)

On Set

Set Grandma Stephanie Ray (Janet) with her grandchildren La'Shay Kinsler (Mona) and Aria Brooks (Dezi)

On Set

Nycolette Blanks (Cameron), Patriece Manders (Harolynn), DJames Jones (Montell) and Katrina Ratrick (Chelsea).

On Set

Set Cousins La'Shay Kinsler (Mona) and Aria Brooks (Dezi).

On Set

Positioning Teea Loreal (La'Nay)

On Set

Kris Lingham (Michaela), DJames Jones (Montell) and Patriece Manders (Harolynn)

On Set

Director Alisa right before she called "Action".

On Set

Watching playback with Director Alisa.

On Set

End of shoot photo op.

On Set

This cast is super phenomenal. Nycolette Blanks (Cameron), Robtaevious Madden (Michael), Kris Lingham (Michaela), Tiffany Brown (Bria) and Teea Loreal (La'Nay)

On Set

Teea Loreal and Director Alisa in the zone.

On Set

There is always a laugh or two in-between takes.

On Set

Set Mother/Daughter Duo. Kris Lingham (Michaela) and Skylar Brooks (Gabby).

On Set

Set Father/Daughter Christopher G. Moore (Harold) and Teea Loreal (La'Nay).

On Set

Watching Playback.

On Set

The Kiddies wanted to help! Jr. Assistants. La'Shay Kinsler and Khalayah Gandy.

On Set

Tiffany Brown (Bria), Patreice Manders (Harolynn), Teea Loreal (La'Nay) and Nycolette Blanks (Cameron)

On Set

Tiffany Brown (Bria), Patreice Manders (Harolynn), Teea Loreal (La'Nay) and Nycolette Blanks (Cameron)