Sunday, January 10, 2010

closer still...

many things humming now, balls up in the air, train running on the tracks. Hospital location confirmed for shooting next saturday. at first they were going to allow only a 1/2 day of shooting, apparently to offset their generosity at lowering the fee so much but for whatever reason - after i sent the draft of a location agreement to them, praying that they had forgotten about the million dollar insurance policy they wanted me to take out - they said 'we're all set'. perfect. doing a walk thru later this wk w/ hospital facility contact and DP and some things - start time, staging areas etc - will firm up then.

had rehearsal yesterday at house. actually DP came 1st at 11 am. went over storyboards, discussed possible ways to shoot certain things, camera mounts, wide-angle lens for very tight space that has slight distortion around edge of frame etc. we're on the same page on pretty much everything. he allowed that if he has a flaw it's his propensity to take a long time during lighting. i don't think that's an unusual trait among dp's.

2 cast, man and wife characters, arrived an hr later. we went thru script beat by beat and ran a few scenes. i have played this script in my head hundreds of times and am keenly attuned to any variance, for better or worse. hence when they have an idea about how to play something, which may be a perfectly valid instinctual approach, i have to find a way to show them what i'm thinking w/o doing line readings. it can be a challenge, even w/ great actors, but it certainly lays at my feet. further, i'm forced to consider whether my reaction is against what's best for the film or what's in my head. What's in my head is, by now, an empty construct. A blueprint at best. So, I have to allow for actors to find something i hadn't thought of, which may actually improve or better what I thought would happen. further, there will be on set rehearsals, in character, w/ actions most times, which will again, change the shape of the original.

An hr later the Dr character showed. The 4 of us sat around the table and repeated the same process: going thru the scene - the big 5 minute in a room scene - beat by beat, then reading thru. Same thing happened. I had to find ways to explain certain beats and what i was going for w/o line reading. I fear I got sidetracked in clouds of abstraction and may have at times, done the line reading, albeit in a conversational way. that's on me. in any case, we got through it. ran it a few more times
and by the last time it was humming. the actors 'get' it. as does the dp. very excited to shoot now.

funny, an hr before day started i was nervous about it. nothing really to be nervous about but i couldn't wait until it was over. i kept putting my mind toward later in the day when we could watch a movie or go to dinner or anything but rehearse. at some point a strand of thought floated in, if i was meant to direct i would not think this way, i'd be excited to rehearse. Thinking like that, aside from being common to me, can quickly metastasize, threatening to undermine everything as it doubles, triples in size. it's another way for the mind to diminish your own undertakings. During the rehearsals i was able to silence that voice and by 4 pm i was humming and buzzing w/ excitement about the shoot, so much so that i couldn't concentrate while i tried to watch a movie. that earlier strand had all but dissolved. remember this for the next one.

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