Monday, October 16, 2006

Shooting rampage, part 1

My silence just before the shoot has to be apologized for - I would have blogged, and I wanted to blog, but I simply didn't have the opportunity to. The Thursday before the shoot I ran out and bought 400 dollars worth of food for the shoot, and took out 150 for other expenses. On Friday, I did the last minute setups and checks for the film, which revealed a missing XLR cable for the mic. That was solved with a simple email, and we got back in the saddle.

Little did I know, Thursday night was the last sleep I'd get. I woke up at 7AM Friday, October 13th, and didn't get back to sleep until 1AM Sunday, October 15th. The Saturday was simply killer for me.

The day started off pretty shitty, to be honest. I had to work a midnight and get off at 2:30AM, which was perfect for me to head out and make a three hour drive to Toronto to pick up two actors and bring them back in time for an 8:30 shoot. Needless to say, I quit my job that night.

I drove up there, piling as much chocolate and sugar into my system as possible on the way. Lucky me; I got to my first pickup early, and parked in a Tim Horton's and sat there and just relaxed for 30 minutes. I got my first guy in perfect time; I'd met him already, so we just chatted on the way. I got the second actor right when I said I would, which was more coincidence than skill. He jumped in, and we headed off to London to make cinema magic.

I pulled into London 30 seconds after my DoP brought most of my crew to the location. We all piled out and met; and after they had coffee (I drank a juice, I think), we set out for the first location shooting with one actor and a few of the crew. Of course, the weather was all over the place and the air was colder than frozen shit, so as frequent as we could we threw a jacket on my lead, Ben (who was playing Lyndon). The traffic was annoying, and the sun came in and out, leaving us out there for an hour on 6 shots, which at least came together really nicely after our patience. Freezing our nads off, we all hurried back to location two.

After a quick talk with my DoP on the shots in the kitchen, we set up the shots at the door and started to film. It was freezing as hell; the wind whipped so hard some times that I could feel my blood slowing down. The sun danced in and out, ruining shots just before we could take them. Eventually, we got inside, which brought in the most interesting shot; a tracking shot of Ben and Jermaine (playing Dustin, the first friend) entering the house. We kept losing light from the side window, so we set up a redhead light out there - course with the wind, we needed a way to sandbag it (weigh it down). This is a poorman's production, so I ghetto-rigged it up and got my cat's food bag, duct taped the hole closed, and viola! Weight. We also needed to smooth out the running line of the camera, since it was on tiles with grooves - so I grabbed my dog's blanket and we taped it to the floor - bam: Ghettotrack.

We only got three shots in of the kitchen before Jermaine had to head out for another audition. No worries; we had a whole other house to go to that he wasn't in. But we were getting hungry; by this time, it was 12:00, and we were 9 shots in... out of about 90. We had about 41 more on that day to do, so we needed to get moving on it. The weather hated us; the shots weren't easy, and the location had switched from what was on the storyboard, so we had to pull some together out of the blue.

But I'll get at that in part two. For now, here's some production stills.

My DOP (Centre) and I (left) discussing a shot

My three male actors (Ben, L, Jermaine, C, Conor, R) and my makeup artist (Monika, L) relaxing while we set up

Myself with my crew outside, Ben (L), Mike (C), Me, Cory (R)

The ghettotrack carpet for the camera

The cat food sandbag (with duct tape!) on the redlight light stand

The shot in action between Dustin and Lyndon

More later.


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