I foolishly went to bed late last night and it caught up with me today. This morning had a generous call time of 7:30AM. Because I our location was the home of a close friend, I got there early to facilitate the production team.
The day had its ups and downs, but we learned a very valuable independent filmmaker lesson. If you want to be low profile but are not a low-profile production, leave no evidence whatsoever.
I've been thinking about and talking about productions scale since I first started this blog and it is a recurring theme for us now that we are filming. There is doing things the "right" way, the "wrong" way, and "the way we are working today". All that matters is that last one. The sooner a director and his team can wrap their heads around making adjustments on the fly, the better. Each department on a film shoot has standards to be met, and minimum amounts of resources required to do their jobs. But, on some days you just can't have it. Whether we can't afford it, the location doesn't permit it, or the director simply says no, the best independent film crew is the one that is adaptable.
Today, we encountered a small hiccup that required us to be extremely adaptable. We had to be smart with our equipment, crew size, and overall efficiency. Everyone performed remarkably well. Well, everyone but me. I was so concerned as to whether or not my crew was handling the hiccup, that I found it increasingly difficult to focus on my own work behind and in front of the camera. This is the crappy part of wearing too many hats. There is no down time. There is no easy part of the day. There is no stress that is not your own.
What stresses me out? Too many people. Too much stuff. Feeling chained to money and equipment and "standards". I love frills and added value as much as anyone, but everything comes at a price. If you want that awesome jib shot, you will need some extra gear and the people necessary to operate it. If you want a comfortable place to put actors for holding, you have to pop open a tent on the street to accommodate and ultimately freak out the building owners for your interior location because they think you look like a hollywood set.
There is no shame in being small. It's hard not to feel like an idiot when you're spending money. Even when the value is good.
I 'm peeking at some daily footage right now and it's looking quite good. Better than I thought. I'm still behind on viewing footage as I am perpetually fried at 11:30pm (now). Maybe this Sunday I'll find a minute to get it all done.
We made our day again today. We even added a scene that was reserved for tomorrow. I'm hoping we can knock out tomorrow's big scene (biggest in the film) in a reasonable amount of time. More importantly, I hope I don't have to rewrite the whole opening of that scene. I'll be making that decision on my way to set in the morning.