Credits – Director, Producer, Executive Producer, Editor.

Camera – Sony FS100

“Admins” was another film that was born out of situations that happened in the work place that had striking resemblances to movies. And in his case, it was “Clerks”.

In mid 2013, Eric Espejo and Korosh Karimi were working together and had been making jokes for a couple years about how certain things that happened in the office were almost the same as what happened in “Clerks”. People hating their jobs. People didn’t know how to work with other people. People were always making inappropriate jokes. Essentially, not being very PC at work at all.

As with “Techfellas” and “The Department“, the script came together fairly quickly and was done by January 2014. And with that, pre-production was swung into high gear. Luckily, the film was written in such a manner that there were only a few locations. A couple office spaces, A deli and A coffee shop.

We had two places to chose from for our office space and landed on Uberoffices in Tysons Corner. They were super friendly and very accommodating to what we were in need of. Two offices right next to each other and use of the rest of the facilities after-hours.

Once we had the location set we began working on getting our cast together. We had a casting call and, with it, thought we had secured all our actors. About a week later, two other actors, Jay Saunders and Doug Henderson sent us a YouTube video of them running lines and riffing on them for a good 10 minutes. They sold us that they were the two for the Dan and Randy. Once we had the two main spots squared away, we signed up Rebecca Wahls and Devon Saunders to be Vera and Kathy. Then got Dylan Hares and Trevor DeSaussure to be Jake and Silent Rob, which rounded out the primary cast for the film.

While we were working on getting the cast set, we also began working on getting the crew together. Eric was slated to be our Director, since he was the primary writer of the script. He had also been working with GMU FAVS (Film and Video Studies) and was able to get access to some great up and coming crew members. Manon Butt was selected as our DP and he hand picked Jim Van Meer and Chris Franklin for his Key Grip and Key Gaffer. We also hired Ryan Daliagon as AD and Vanchung Por for our Sound recordist, finalizing the on set crew. We also got Henry Smith as the UPM, Sandy Kosch for production design and my niece Erika Ali as the PA to Henry to help with coordinating extras and making sure we were all well fed.

With cast and crew officially set, we began prepping for production.  Unfortunately, about a month out from principal photography, Eric’s job required him to put in a bunch more hours and it was going to take away from his available time to do prep-work on the film.  So he stepped aside and I took over duties as Director. This kind of thing so close to principal photography can sometimes put a damper on a shoot.  However, everybody took it in stride and was gungho about continuing on with the film.

At Uber Offices, we had the use of the space for 2 weeks. We started moving things into the space the Tuesday prior to the first day.  This gave us a couple days to have some final meetings as well as figure out how we were going to coordinate the usage of the rooms.

Uber Offices is setup in a fashion where there is an inner ring of offices and an outer ring of offices. With the two rooms we had, one was in the center of the building with no windows. The other one was on the outer ring so it had a wall of windows. To help with continuity and lighting, we shot scenes in the windowed office up until about 6pm and then shot scenes in the other office after that.  This caused us to have to do a complete company move from one office to the other every night at dinner and every morning before the first scenes were shot.

Due to the nature of Uber Offices, we also had to make sure we were filming during the times when there was the least amount of traffic.  So we would start shooting a little after noon and go until 10-11pm at night.  This also helped us to be able to shoot in some of the common areas like the kitchen/lounge area, conference rooms, elevators, waiting areas and even the areas outside the building.  We used almost every inch of the space as we could without getting in anybody’s way.

The shoot started on Friday night and continued through the following Sunday. The only break we had was Wednesday. Even with the tight schedule and the days going for 10-12 hours, taking the one day break in the middle was a blessing for everybody.  When all was said and done, we completed the entire thing in 9 shooting days.  Completing and average of 10-11 pages of script a day.

Once principal photography was completed, the chore of editing began.  We had multiple people request to help out with the editing, so I came up with a plan to make it so that anybody who wanted to help out, could.  I first went through all of the footage and synced all of the sound. Then I cut it up unto each of the scenes.  I then created an Adobe Premiere project for every single scene. And I put all of these files, except for the footage, up into a drop box folder. This way, anybody who wanted to help would just have to get a hard drive of footage from me and they could download, edit, and upload any scenes they wanted.

This was great, in theory.  Unfortunately, most of the people who mentioned helping out with the editing couldn’t actually help out. Which meant I ended up editing 95% of the film.

Once the film was edited, I handed it off to Donnie Conty, out Sound Engineer.  He took it all and cleaned up the sound and added some volley and the music we had selected. And also sent it over to Zhibo Lai for color correcting and some minor special effects, like adding screens to monitors and removing boom poles.

The film was completed in September of 2015 and was accepted into the following film festivals:

  • International Film Festival North Hollywood
  • The World Music and Independent Film Festival.

It was nominated for the following awards:

  • IFFNOHO – Best narrative Full Length Film
  • WMIFF – Mannon Butt for Cinematography,
  • WMIFF – Eric Espejo/Korosh Karimi for Screenplay,
  • WMIFF – Jay Saunders for Best Actor in Feature film DMV,
  • WMIFF – Devon Marie Saunders for Best Actress in DMV
  • WMIFF – Doug Henderson for Supporting role.
  • WMIFF – Aaron Goodmiller for Best First Director
  • WMIFF – Aaron Goodmiller DMV Best Director

It won the following awards:

  • WMIFF – Eric Espejo/Korosh Karimi for Screenplay,
  • WMIFF – Doug Henderson for Supporting role.

“Admins” secured distribution later that year with SkyRocket Productions and was released to DVD and Amazon VOD in 2017.

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