I awoke at 4:45am this morning ready for the final day of shooting this film. Today was our "steadicam day" which called for the shooting of three major scenes throughout Manhattan. The plan was to trim down the crew, bundle into a single 15-passenger van with people, camera, support, wardrobe, etc. The van would serve as our "base camp" and major mode of transportation. I arrived to the location early to wrap my head around this daunting last day. I was sitting in an empty Starbucks reading through the scenes when Zak happened to walk in. We chatted about the day's agenda and how tough it would potentially be. After guzzling our coffee, we went to meet the rest of the crew to get ready. The team was lean and mean: Cinematographer, Assistant Camera, Steadicam Operator, Sound Mixer, Wardrobe, Production Manager, Makeup, Assistant Director, and three Producers. We had actually anticipated less hands on deck for this day, because we couldn't afford much more than the Steadicam itself. Our team of producers as well as some volunteers came out to flesh out this crew and it was truly all hands on deck.
First scene up was a simple dialogue scene that leads into a running sequence. The second scene was the running sequence itself which took place in Chinatown. In addition to our able steadicam operator, Dave Ellis, we utilized a custom rickshaw built for mobile camera operation. We needed to be able to keep up with a runner at sprinting speed, so we perched Dave in the seat of this metal contraption pulled and/or pushed by Alex and Zak. For those of you who have ever been, you'll know how hard it is to even walk through Chinatown let alone sprint through it with a Steadicam operator ahead of you. I've had anxiety about this day for a long time. But we nailed it. It was insane. Check it out.
We captured amazing stuff all day. We stopped around 12:30pm for a Chinatown lunch. I ate very little as I was still pretty nervous and knew I had a good deal of running to do. My legs were killing me from all the running. That, coupled with the heat and exhaustion were taking their toll on me. Brad ran the day like he always does with deliberate and steady urgency without any inkling of panic. By around 3:00pm we were done with the rickshaw and moving up to Midtown to shoot our final scene of the shoot.
The wrap party followed the day's shoot. Everyone was there from actors to crew to friends. It was truly awesome to sit on this NYC roof-deck and know that we have this thing in the can. (I made Brad promise me that we shot everything we needed to.) We still have another two days of pickups in a couple of months, but they are just for icing on the cake. The story is there. We have it.
I can't articulate much more at this point other than to say thank you to all of the many people who did me the favor of helping me to make this movie. The filmmaking process is massive collaboration and the past three weeks have been supremely fulfilling. More thoughts to come, I'm sure.
Thanks for watching.