"The Lottery Ticket” by Anton Chekov is a short story written by this amazing author over a hundred years ago in a world long past.  My movie, “The Lottery”, is based on that story in principle and uses a third person narrator to tell an updated version of the original short story.  I took a modern approach and placed the story in the New York City of today.  Reworking the story’s main characters, I switched them from the traditional couple to two married men.  I gave the characters more depth to their lives as we learn about them from each other.  By introducing the problem, the ticket became a character in itself and took their perfect lives on a turn for the worse. I was very strict in how the scenes played out as I wanted the scenes to be clean and funny but not to be a joke.

At the end, I gave an element of surprise to the story line.  I wrote and explored two ways to end the story.  The multiple endings gave me more to work with as I did the final edition to wrap up the project at the editing deck.

The main actors were very committed to the project as the filming took many, many months to close the production.  The several dozen actors involved in the production came through promoted casting calls.  I have a great deal of gratitude for my actors for staying committed to the film throughout the production. It was so much fun and we laughed a lot.

Every aspect of the film’s pre-production was done by me from booking the actors to selecting the locations.  I borrowed most of the wardrobe from Perry Ellis International to outfit the main characters and the narrator.  During the filming, I did the DP and used a very small production crew including a sound man that was also was my key grip, a make up artist that also did the wardrobe, and a production assistant to help me with continuity and everything else including the lights.  The post production was also done by me, including designing the promotional posters, recording voice overs, adding the digital effects and editing.  It was a full time job for me.

I had to stretch every dollar by doing most of the work gradually over the course of seven months of production and many months of post-production. Doing this project was an amazing ride. 

Yours, Director Carlos Valentin

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