Got up early and went to the office, 1 block from where we were shooting. Our guard didn’t ever call back so I took his place. The Pa and actor were on time. It was a simple shoot and the son rose fast as hell. It was great to see scene 9 all in action for the first time.
Then we moved to the second location were we were shooting a Jacob scene, 10. The best part was that the food line for the homeless formed as we were shooting and added some authenticity to the scene. The actors there did so well, when we were resetting they were given food by volunteers in the park. It was great to watch my words play out so well in the moment. The whole time the PA and I did sound on Tim’s borrowed h4n. From 630- 1130 we shot, then we took a 7 hour hiatus. I fed the boys and we discussed adding a scene. It was never apparent to me how long filming each shot would take.
After taking a prolonged break together we met back in the park with Eric to shoot scene 12. It was hard, having to pause for the sound of the trains and sirens. We had to switch up a part because Eric’s old behind couldn’t get up and down like what was required of him. It made the scene feel alot different because The character of Troy had alot of shit to carry up&down. Then at the very end, when we were so close to finished with the master shot a valet couldn’t get a person’s car to work and kept setting off the alarm. Brook (Jacob) was on a time crunch so we had to move on without close ups, but we did get inserts.
Back to the park for the last Jacob scene 14. It was hard, coming into a homeless park in the night with lights and boom poles, so many people want to stop you to talk, not knowing our patience is wearing thin and you wanna cut for bed. It got a little tense and Tim wanted to call it a night without completing, but we smoked over it. Actually funny story, we couldn’t find the loose tobacco for a rolled cig So Tim decided to Cut The Scene Completely. I felt it gas good closure to the Jacob character, but I will admit he got off light for his transgressions. I also may have not got the auto for the final couple scenes because we had been out there for over an hour on the same sound file and forgot to click the h4n twice to start again. You only click once on my h5, which I was used to.
A week later we were going to meet Monday but that was postponed. We instead met again on Tuesday morning. I brought all the props to set up the morning of day one and day 3. Setting up the living situation was fun. For the wake up, I pulled a car to the side of the road down below so we would get the actors reaction to an actual car. I stress a bit because Tim doesn’t really do establishing shots too often. I’m slightly afraid of confusing the audience.
Erik was an hour late, claiming he got taken somewhere different with my precise GPS google link. But we filmed the last scene next. The death scene, using fake blood from a blender. 16 oz powdered sugar, 8 ounces water, 1 ounce food coloring and some chocolate power for darkness. Alot of this is thinking and acting on your toes. Eric cancelled the night shoot and so that involved moving shoots. Tim was a bit out of it, wanting to get back to his sick dog. I was than told we had to hold off on a short scene planned for Tuesday as well. It all consists of moving things around with other actors and the PA. Clearing my own scedule and not making any money on those days because I’m not at work. Rough.
There were alot of decisions I didn’t agree with, but it was me vs. The director. Producer should have the final say in a big budget, but I truly picked my battles so we could have a smooth shoot. Use your better judgement and maybe the scenes will turn out optimal. I made every decision I didn’t like work to the best of my ability.
When setting up for the phone store shoot Wednesday, the owners phone was suddenly out of order. I go there and he’s out of town with no way to reach him until he returns a week later… so more stalling.
Thursday we went to reshoot the morning 2 scene 10. My shoes looked odd and my shirt was Untucked. I tried to make the case that my character didn’t give a damn about their park ranger job, but that didn’t fly. He also wanted to reshoot both Jacob scenes, instead of just pick up coverage. So as the days pass, we have very little actually presentable according to him. One shot is a beautiful one shot, but it looks a tad bit strange when one actor touches another’s shoulder. So no insert, we must redo it. When we are redoing _ though, the sun never peaks behind the clouds. He can’t tell through the lens if it’s morning, noon or night. This is my first short film and it’s dragging. But I keep hoping it’s for the better of the project.
I finally think of a good compromise for Vida. Have everything play out the same, but have the manager reprimand him, on behalf of the company. It’s hard to think of a good compromise, but that keeps the manager as the potential employer in people’s minds and makes Ben’s a champion of the less fortunate. After a call and an Email, I am patiently waiting for her response. I also waited quite a while for Tim to be ready to film again. I wasn’t the easiest to work around with my kids either. I would be on call for shoots, able to find a sitter – but I wasn’t my normal pushy producer self. I think that made him not rush. But the actors are getting haircuts and shaving. Gaining new projects, which I am proud of them for but.. I’m hoping that doesn’t bode I’ll for production.
It seems like I’m bitching alot, which I am not. I certainly mastered the delivery and presentation of these problems by complaining to my Creative Partner Luis or my Film Connection Mentor J, but This is honestly just a proper representation of filmmaking. Initially i had hope and wanted it to go off without a hitch. I wanted it not to be like those numerous stories you hear – but it honestly all starts on the first day. Make it through though because when you’re on, the feeling is incredible. You’re actually making a film.