Tuesday, January 25, 2011

shoot 1.22.11

actor came over at 4 to do voice-over, which starts the movie. he nailed it on the first take. we did it again for safety's sake but it was moot. around 5 dp arrived. we got into my car and drove across the river. we needed shots of actor on the max train - for the beginning and end of movie - but i had planned nothing out per se, going to steal the shots as it were so i felt quite at the mercy of fate. the three of us walked onto train, dp w/ hd camera w/ 35 mm adapter on it, and did our best to look inconspicuous. transfered lines and ended up downtown. we walked back to car and stole walking shots where we could, some from across the street, parallel w/ actor as he walked. by coincidence we went right by a series of food carts (the script has mention of downtown food carts in a - one hopes - amusing way) which fit right w/ script. only thing we needed was a shot of actor entering bar. decided spur-of-moment to get him descending down staircase into a restaurant/bar. several takes of that as dp had to do his own rack-focus...then across the river, to a vintage store in portland. they have great lamps that they leave on when store is closed and i'd hoped to get shot of actor crossing in front, but alas the store, though closed, still had all overhead lights on, which nullified any visual value. we got a shot off but i prob. won't use. we were just getting back into car when i saw a great neon COCKTAIL sign w/ a martini glass so we got a quick shot of actor walking under it.

back home for last scene. other actor arrived as did camera help. camera dept lit the living room while i ran the scene w/ actors. didn't want to give too many notes or over-direct. finally started shooting. i'd planned to do it all in one shot but decided on set to do a close master and two singles. got what i needed quickly and wrapped.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

shoot 1.17.11

shot yesterday at the blue monkon SE belmont. rehearsed the afternoon before at home w/ both actors, one of whom had just stepped off a plane. the shoot went pretty well i think but some issues popped up. we shot in the downstairs part of the bar which happens to be directly under a bar next door (if you follow that)
and right in the middle of a long two-shot we started to hear pounding and rumbling sounds. turned out to be people drinking early and shooting pool. i had met w/ dp at blue monk previous friday but - since it was night and there people about and a small band onstage - this never occurred to me. i won't say it ruined takes but more than once the sound threw/distracted one of the actors so much so that he lost his lines. the refrigerator kept cycling too. quite loud...

there were two big issues, both of which were solely my responsibility 1) i hadn't fully worked out the visual approach. b/c it's such a talky scene (18 pages of talking!) i didn't want to cover the whole scene in a two-shot and run the actors down, so there were parts i did in two-shot and parts i did in singles. however this kind of disrupted the flow of what's meant to be a continued, real-time conversation. this left me uncertain about the visuals as the camera started rolling and i ended up altering a series of shots on-set, which in turn erased a great technical idea the dp had. 2) had trouble getting the exact pattern/rhythm i wanted in a long speech. the actor was mostly doing everything right, based off what i told and was telling him but it was still not hitting the beats i heard in my head. i think we ran that speech more takes than anything else and I think i finally got it but i should have worked on it longer in the previous day's rehearsal. i should have stayed on it then, not waited until the day of the shoot.

second half of shoot is this coming saturday. walking shots, train shots, and one final scene between husband and wife.

Monday, January 10, 2011

approaching destination

shooting first part one week from today. one actor flying in from SLC. landing sunday AM. rehearse w/ him and other actor Sunday PM. Start shooting the next AM. Accelerated schedule will either be a boon or an obstacle. TBD. Meeting w/ DP at location on Wed PM to go over shooting approach. I haven't storyboarded anything yet but there's very little to storyboard since it's a 18 min conversation. We can do a master, we can do two singles and that's about it. hoping to refine my approach in the coming days. I am sometimes nervous and jittery, sometimes calm and ready.