Thursday, September 25, 2008

Two Days of Grueling Euphoria

‘the hell? This is the most interesting part of the process—the MAKING part—and where is the update?

Here it is:

I’ll make no excuses for the delay… Yes, producing is a draining, tiring process, and yes, I also work my forty hours a week, plus I belong to a volleyball league, and a book group. But, honestly, I’ve still had time enough to throw a little update to the people. Something else has been occupying my thoughts and time. I’m not proud. But it could be worse.

So. Last weekend. We started by putting our star in the bathtub. Throughout the weekend, Brandon had Jonathan do a whole slew of strange and extra things not in the script. He came up with one particular series of actions for the first Studio scene. All strung together, it was about a straight 5 minutes of action. These weren’t things in the script, Jonathan was told what to do once, ran through it with Brandon once, then we started rolling. And Jonathan nailed it. We did a series of these very long takes and he made them funny and interesting and sad and cool all at the same time.

One thing about these epic takes: someone has to hold the camera. We don’t have time for tripods so our living, breathing cameraman has to hold a not unheavy camera in an awkward position and not move for a very long time. Even though his nose may itch and his leg may ache and his hand muscles start to rebel. I was getting tired and antsy just being still enough to not make noise while rolling, then I looked at Jeffrey, doubled over, motionlessly holding the camera through the entire take and my fidgetiness felt petty. And standing next to him, Karrie held that boom aloft with the same degree of stoic immobility. To say it was impressive is to say the Meteor Crater is a divot in Arizona.

Also, we were lucky enough to get a real live photographer to take production stills on Saturday. I’ll share some with you as soon as Chris uploads them.

On Sunday, we descended upon the offices of CB&S, set up shop in the conference room and shot Jonathan and Ladawn’s scenes. Ladawn was priceless. She came up with little improvisations and tweaks on her delivery that just killed. We have so many good shots of their two brief interactions that we want to use them all…

Around one, pizza came and Jeffrey and I ate cheese, which later proved unpleasant to our internal processes… Corey arrived and didn’t bat an eye when Brandon told him his first scene would now take place in a bathroom. He added a specific something to one scene that I can’t tell you about because, if it makes the final cut, I want you to experience it with no forewarning.

Then Jeffrey contorted himself into new and unnatural positions to capture more of those long wonderful shots that Jonathan again pulled off flawlessly. In one particular shot, Brandon helmed the camera, while Jeffrey and I checked the monitor for focus. And yes. It was the one shot out of focus. Aside from that, we only had one other flaw. One scene of dialogue was too quiet from one end. We may have to do a little ADR. That's okay, it'll make us feel fancier.

By the end of the weekend, we were tired, we were spent, we were sore. And now, I want nothing more than to do it again. And again. And again until I expire.

I’m putting together the next script in my head. I’m thinking… more bathroom scenes.

No comments: