Shooting Diary - Day 11

I can't believe we're almost done with Week 2 of shooting. We are a little ahead of schedule and things are going pretty well. Each day has its own unique stresses. Some days those stresses are manageable, other days they can be incapacitating. Today we were at a our second and last day of our "Fiona's Apartment" location. I was filled with stress throughout the day, as we had a crazy long scene to accomplish with lots of coverage and blocking. In fact, this particular scene had more camera setups than any others in the film.

With a 7:00AM call time, we started the day off like we usually do. Brad, Zak, and I all sat down to go through the day's shot list and map out the order and amount of time needed for each setup. After a thorough game plan, we diagrammed the day's shot list using overhead sketches of the room layouts. We then pencilled in the locations of the actors and their blocking for the scene. After that, we drew in all the various camera setups and angles with which we would cover the scene.

One the game plan was in place, I went to Hair and Makeup to check on our two main actors for the day. They were in the makeup chairs running their lines, and of course they had questions for me about the script. Their questions were good ones, and ultimately resulted in me changing a line or two. I'm not usually a push-over for that sort of actor rewriting, but they were making a terrific point (and I was exhausted). After the actor chat, we brought them in to run through the entire scene from top to bottom for the DP and crew. I usually use this as an opportunity to fine-tune blocking and get a head start on how I want to shape their playing of the scene. I usually just take my viewfinder and watch them rehearse the scene from various angles. There is almost always bits of inspiration that pop up during blocking rehearsal.

After the blocking rehearsal we waited another half hour for the Grip and Electrics crew to prep the kitchen for photography. We were only up and running after 10:00am, which is lame. I felt like for all our planning and organization, we ultimately got off to a slow start. The rest of the day would feel like catch-up. I hate doing it, but I end up looking at my watch when I should be focused on the scene at hand.

All things considered, we got some terrific stuff from the day. The performances were top-notch and the crew did their thing like they do it. The last few shots ended up being a bit of a compromise of what we had wanted to get and what we could manage with given time constraints and budget/location constraints. Ultimately, things got done. I haven't seen any daily footage yet because it is still logging.

More tomorrow. I'm tired. I already fell asleep halfway through whatever I'm writing here. In fact, today I actually fell asleep for a second while watching a scene on the monitor. How's that for encouragement? I fell asleep watching my own movie! Then I drank too much coffee and became stressed and jittery. So the cycle goes.

I'm out.