Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The First Big Shoot Part Two




Saturday the 24th Chris and I met up, we'd been doing weekly coffee at a shared destination. This is where Chris and I discuss our journey into the wild unknown forests of feature film making. Picture us, in the months to come if you will, huddled together at a small campfire in the woods struggling for survival and fending off wild hyenas who keep trying to steal our canned goods. Or, more truthfully, Starbucks, bullshitting about our favorite films while smooth jazz plays in the background. Hyenas always make things more interesting though. I'll try to work them in later.

Today was different, this was the day before the big shoot. This was a very important coffee date, even the smooth jazz seemed more intense. Chris still had a billion things to look after, and I realized I would try to come up with at least a rough shot list, as well as make some nifty lanyards for the crew. As for the crew we had asked Mike West, Shea Vanlaningham and our old buddy Dave Ewing to come along for the ride. On top of being awesome dudes, we knew we could place our trust in them. A last moment addition was Charlcee Davis and thank goodness she accepted. Meanwhile, Mercy's (Adrienne Jordan's) Blue dress still hadn't arrived, and I knew an unpleasant trip to the local print shop for lanyard graphics was looming. I looked down into my ominous cup of coffee and it seemed to spell out a message in the dissipating cream.

Shortly I arrived at the print shop with a bulging thumb drive in my pocket.

"Would you like a color copy?"
"Yes." I said hesitantly.
"That will be 300 dollars."

Nifty lanyards for the crew
With the rising price of ink, this scenario always plays out in my head, and it comes down to, A) buy a new color cartridge and get screwed, or B) go to the print shop... and get screwed. I got screwed but left with lanyard graphics. Oh yes, these graphics were going to be put into a plastic sheath and hung from a soft cord; and that is money in the bank. You offer someone a lanyard they're putty in your hands.

The dress that never was
If only...

Anyway, the day progressed and I got word from Chris that the blue dress had arrived. With a mighty Woot Woot, I texted Adrienne to let her know that she wouldn't have to wear a pretty horrible blue mess I had a bought in desperation a few days earlier. Ok, lets forget the fact that it was far to shear for a courtroom. Lets just focus on the determination of a fearless filmmaker who would brave the womens section of a thrift store.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The first Big Shoot Part One


And it so began on 03 25 2018. Actually it began before that, but I like opening with drama. It was a cold Sunday filled with BIG hopes, and not only the first shot for the film "Mercy's House," but the BIGGEST one at that. We were shooting down on A street in Tacoma WA at a place called Court House Square, that oddly enough had an old court house inside. The building itself is a very big old, somewhat imposing hump of ornamental concrete and steel, that would probably scare the jeebers out of some one who was fresh from Smurfsville.

 

We would be filming the quintessential scene in which the main character (Mercy) is sentenced. This was to be the scene where that special kind of crazy that Dr. Pavlov would manically spew, would first be seen. With the anticipation of a courtroom full of extras, this would also be the scene where "living room" filmmakers would become public filmmakers. (as well as grow hair, and other things... etc.) 



Unfortunately we had some real big unknowables going into the shoot, which quite frankly caused an untold number of stress goblins to begin dancing on the wings of my airplane.


1) I hadn't been able to get the cast into the shoot location for rehearsal. The same for blocking, camera set up and testing, etc, or for even that good old feeling of familiarity before entering the jaws of the shark. 

2) The unknowable amount of extras that we would wind up with. It could have been anywhere from five to three hundred. The amount of extras would greatly impact how we would be shooting the scenes. Would it turn into a quaint courthouse? or would it be a grand courthouse? Oh yes, the goblins were dancing and the little biplane was wavering.

Lets go back.

I had held two rehearsals before the big day, thank you to the incredible people at Sanford and Sons Antiques and the Knights of Pythias in Tacoma. I love you guys.

Rehearsal 03 18 2018  Joe, Bill Read Jr, Ira Katz and Sean Gill-Macdonald
First rehearsal on 03 18 2018 Sanford and Sons, went very well and we all had a good time. But you can plainly see how things that start off as normal can easily turn pretty ugly. Lol. Jokes aside, these guys are truly talented folks. Note: My buddy Chris the omniscient director of photography was there too. ... taking the pictures of course...