With a 4:00am production call and a 5:00am Seth call, today was an early one. We were filming in a restaurant in the East Village and had a monster day ahead of us. The idea was to take this one restaurant and shoot it as three different locations in the film. We had this in our minds for a long time and planned accordingly. We mapped out the day with the shot list, extras, and we were very specific about our camera angles, lighting schemes and design.
First up at 7:00am was the bar scene. I wanted to shoot most of the day with economy, which meant no coverage for each scene. Having minimal setups for each scene also permitted us to shoot the restaurant for one main angle for each script location. That means we need to do as many takes as we require to get the scene and camera work to happen the right way from beginning to end. The bar scene was only two shots that each featured more than one character, dialogue, and our dolly and track. The dolly keeps the camera moving so we don't find ourselves getting stale with one-take shots that are locked off on a tripod. Because the bar scene takes place at night, our crew blacked out the windows and Zak and his team lit the room like a night club. With a little help of Brad managing the background actors, the place looked like a hot night spot in no time. Speaking of no time, we had to jump into our next scene at 11:00m, right after our lunch break.
After we lunched, we let the sunshine back into the restaurant, switched the shooting direction, and re-laid the dolly tracks. The second scene was also a single shot moving on a dolly. We did multiple takes of this one and had a blast. We had three terrific actresses on-set today and none of them disappointed. The only real hurdles we had today were the Avenue B street sounds and the fact that I was in front of the camera for every scene today. This was the first day to be so acting heavy for me. I enjoyed it, of course, and it certainly keeps me thinking on my toes.
Hair and Makeup and Wardrobe were all stationed in Alex's apartment upstairs from the restaurant. Production management and our DIT also camped out up there in the comfortable air-conditioned rooms. My favorite part was the home-brewed coffee.
Last up was another scene in a restaurant (to be shot in our restaurant). This time, we turned around and shot directly into the windows to have a slightly backlit look. The room transformed yet again and made for a convincing third location. We shot this last scene in multiple setups and coverage, so we felt free to screw up and retry things as needed. Because of our comprehensive coverage, I've no doubt that I will have many options when editing.
That's it. I'm tired. Good night.