Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Didn’t mean not to journal again yesterday. We had a 14 hour (roughly shoot) last night after being on a normal schedule and we didn’t get back from set until around 6:30. The whole house is still asleep right now and it is 2 pm on saturday. I mean the WHOLE house, the early risers and workaholics and everything. I am one of the few people awake right now, me and Steve Sears. The scary part about yesterday was that we were only shooting six pages, and tonight we have the same amount of time to shoot twelve. Looking on the bright side though, yesterday was the first day of shooting and that slows a production down a lot. There was a lot of setup, there were a lot of technical difficulties, including have to throw away almost two hours at the front end because our location was difficult. We were shooting in an Order of the Elks building, sort of like a Lions Club. We were using a small office in the front entrance as the sheriff’s office of this town. Unfortunately, it is also the foot traffic corridor to a bar, which is an independent business inside the building and is down an open hallway with no doors not fifty feet down from us. So we lost a good two hours to loud drunks and a jukebox machine before one of the locals on the crew, Blake, took what we had not the courage to do and politely explained to them why we needed at least the music off because of what we were doing. Still after that, we were dealing with curious drunk people, and talking until about ten pm. By that point, we still had LOTS of coverage to get on this short scene. We also encountered technical difficulties, like cords hooked up to monitors not working, so only one person could really see and set up a shot at once. Then there was just a general lack of urgency with the speed  at which things were done that first day, which added to the difficulty of a challenge where we had to light night as day, which turned out incredible, by the way! We had a generator outside powers giant lights on sticks which shone tungsten with a daylight filter through stained glass windows high up in the office room. That combined with the room being very saturated with light, and the blinds closed, you could not tell the difference on camera between night and day. Incredible. 

I worry about the fact that today we are shooting in the same location, but even closer to the bar. On a saturday night when we will not have the right to kick everyone out and power off the restaurant portion. We don;t have nearly the budget. But as the kid blake explained last night, people in Los Angeles sometimes forget how to ask for things, because they are so used to just paying for things. Paying for everyone to be gone or quiet, or paying for a business to shut down for a night. Here we do not have that luxury. We also won’t encounter that problem with every location we shoot. The Elks Lodge building is a weird place.

I feel very good going into this shoot tonight. It will be another long one, probably twelve hours at least and keep everyone at this house on a strange schedule. The nice thing about staying up this long is that I don’t worry about my usual issues of tossing and turning and having to let my mind relax. I just knock out in under 5 minutes. I woke up pretty refreshed after sleeping in a deep coma for about four hours, where I had vivid dreams where I had deep conversations about art with Steve carell and Paul Thomas Anderson (who I was also assisting with his marriage problems.) Luckily, I have gotten invaluably used to being in front of a camera from shooting my web series. I am not worried about appearing bad on camera, I have faith that with the homework and preparation I’ve done (which in this case is a lot because it is a LONG scene, one of the longer in the movie) that I will be ready to rock and roll. That is also the joy of film, we move forward at such a crawl that you get a lot of opportunities to get things right. My important job today is remember my moment befores, my objectives and my relationships. Also, details details details. How the diner smells, are the seats comfortable, is there music playing, what time is it, am I energetic, lazy, pouty, where did I want to go for breakfast, where would I rather be right now? All these questions and more can make my character more real and easier to slip into when they are getting ready to call action.

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