Good Weather

March 31st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Nandan here.

We’ve got a weak of filming left. Every day for the next 7 days is full with scenes we need to shoot. Brad flies on the 5th. On the 8th our lease is up and we leave our apartment, preferably as we found it, sin wallpaper. Gabi on the Roof in July (you know this by now, if you don’t go see it. Sophia produced and stars in it) is playing on the 7th in BAFICI. You should go if you’re here. On the 9th Sophia flies.

This is a scene that was schedule to be shot yesterday. It’s the first scene in a tri-fecta of what might be called the climax of the movie, and also the first scene we were scheduled to shoot. We began at 2pm and knew that we had to leave the house at 5:45. At 5pm the scene was not working, and Zach deduced that the problem was in the whole trifecta and that it needed to be re-worked. We rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon, because on Saturday we need to shoot the second trifect with an outsider actor (Roger, you might’ve heard of him).

It helps me personally a lot to have a rhythm, to feel a pacing that is quick enough to allow one to spend most of one’s time and energy thinking about the project, but slow enough to allow that time and energy to feel controlled. It’s a tall order, especially when making films that rely on a lot of external factors. Zach knows how to write a film that, relatively, relies very little on external factors. But inherently there are still quite a few. Other characters/people we need to work with, locations, weather, time. The last two suck. But to be fair, the weather’s been really gentle with us here. Extremely gentle actually. I remember being nervous when zach first pitched me the timeline for making this film. I was afraid that two months to prepare and shoot wouldn’t be enough.

I was in the shower this morning when I heard a knock on the door, followed by an extremely muffled voice. For some reason I thought the voice said “it’s okay”. I didn’t think this made sense. Then the knock came again followed by “open up, I’m puking”.

There was a string of pink liquid coming from zach’s mouth to his hand when I opened the door. I asked him how bad it was. He said he woke up three hours ago feeling feverish. He’s back in bed now.

In an hour and a half we have to leave to go shoot a scene at a skate park with some kids that we’ve had a small amount of trouble nailing down to a day to shoot, it’s been pushed back at least twice now. The scene as written involves Zach eating Empanadas and skating.

Up to now things have been really paced and have made me feel really good. Things are getting crossed off the list steadily, and as far as I can tell, I’m pretty sure I like what we’ve been getting. When I was nervous about the time frame I never imagined how many amazing people would come out of nowhere to help us make this project happen. A really really dumb amount of people have been incredible to us and this project. Ximena and Ezequial, who you might remember from the previous post, just finished 3 days of shooting with us in the city, to which they drove hundreds of miles just to help us and be in the film. And they slayed it. I don’t know why they did it, or why they’re so good, but they did.

Here’s some stills of their scenes:

Colónoscopy

March 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. I’m fresh back from Colón, Entre Ríos where we had our wildest and yet most comfortable adventure yet. Wild because we had four days in an unknown land to write, produce, and shoot an interlude-type sequence that comes exactly halfway through the movie. Plus there were tons of mosquitos. But then comfortable because of our friends Ximena and Ezequiel, pictured below:

Brad was also there, but too busy loving asado to appear in the photo.

Anyway, these guys hooked it up. They showed us all around Colón and took us everywhere we needed to go. They also arranged for a press conference at the mayor’s office in which a bunch of people with microphones fired questions at us. I’m not sure what they were saying and I’m not sure what I said back to them, but somehow that short meeting entitled us to a free hotel room and free lunches at a local restaurant. When it comes to filmmaking, we use the whole animal. Sleeping and eating was not all we did in those places:

Moving on, we shot a lot of cool stuff. For example:

El Palmar, a national park where we lied to a really nice ranger in order to keep shooting :/

A really scary structure of ambiguous design that I had to climb over and over again.

And most notably for me, at the Forclaz Windmill where our new buddy Juan Carlos came through with a great performance. After the shoot we all sat out on the lawn as the sun set while he provided ice cold orange soda and his life story, set to the backdrop of some rural ass birds and crickets. Otherworldly.

It was an awesome trip, and I think it was in Colón where we finally hit that magical milestone at which point onward it feels like we’re actually in the process of shooting a movie. A lot changed for us this past week, most notably for Nandan. He found a new use for Brad that’s going to make lighting a lot easier from now on:

But not all change was for the better. The stress of production drove him to take up smoking:

I propose that we all utilize facebook to encourage him to kick the habit.

Butt Colón aside, things are going well in general (in addition, of course, to the huge host of things that aren’t going well). One huge thing that happened was that we fake-wallpapered 2.5 rooms of our apartment using tons of fabric and a gooey cornstarch-water solution. I think it looks awesome. A few people have asked whether this movie is going to be in black and white or in color. Allow me to clarify:

The only downside of the whole thing is that the landlord has proven a little more hands-on than any of us expected and I’ve become crippled by paranoia for fear that she’ll find out. Yesterday I was home alone and the doorbell rang. Without even knowing who it was, I shut myself in my room and remained motionless until I was sure that they had gone. The thing about the fake wallpaper is that it pulls right off and causes no damage to the paint job. I’d just rather that the landlady not find out at all. Plus, even if she doesn’t care, she’s unlikely to be happy about the glass coffee table that Nandan shattered by sitting on.

Cucaracha Man vs. Lurker on the All-You-Can-Schvitz Express: My Inaugural Blog Entry

March 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hello world!

I should probably tell you my name is Bradley and that I have been with various Newhard entities here in Buenos Aires for about two and a half weeks. Writing my first guestblog to all you millions of fine readers is daunting, but then I look out from the 14th floor of our new apartment and its amazing balcony (where Nandan has decided to sleep btw), and the warm breeze and water view gives me the chutzpah to continue.

When I first got here I could not help but notice the professional dogwalkers in BA. I shit you not, at least ten dogs (I have counted as high as 15 on one occurrence), each leash entwined together forming something not dissimilar to a very thick, rainbow-cyborg-arm wrapped tightly around an appendage from someone usually under 150 pounds.

Amazed though I was, I found myself hoping our production would be like this…yoked together and moving in the same direction. Probably due to a combination of jetlag, new friends, and catching up on all new things TISFC, I began to suspect that helping out on this film was going to be more like herding cats. Luckily these suspicions proved false, and as we move from preproduction to shooting I can feel it all coming together.

Our new location/office/awesomeplace is really, well…awesome. When going through each room and checking lighting this week, Nandan seemed very pleased with everything as is. Now, I am catching up on my Newhard history here, but I have been told that this is a rare occurrence. Much has transpired already, and I am happy to say that so far, most things have worked out really nice. I have always thought of myself as agnostic when it comes to the film gods, but we mentioned noticing their presence yesterday. Let’s hope that doesn’t jinx anything.

This morning we shot our first dialogue scene at a location gifted to us by none other than Oscar winner Juan Jose Campanella and his production company. Here are two great shots of Zach going deep Method today.


Suffice it to say we are very fortunate and extremely grateful to Juan, Muriel, and (ZACH’S NOTE: the lovely) Dalia for this favor. Including the previously mentioned but worth mentioning many times over amazing support of 791Cine (an awesome indie distributor here in Argentina that is getting Bummer Summer some South American love). Locations, actors, and favors are flowing our way. Here are some stills from rehearsals with Radical Roger, our new best friend and cohort.

He is plays a really cool role in the film, and also has a band OLGA that we can’t stop listening to on repeat. Check it.

But just in case you thought we were hustling too hard, rest assured we have also been having good times with many new friends as well. From homestyle Asados (like a BBQ that is about the slow process of hanging out a couple hours until the tasty chorizo, ribs, and steak begins to sizzle and pop and filling the air with so much goodness that the dogs can’t help but lick the grill), getting comped tickets at sold out events, night-skating in a park with everyone sharing cold beers, pogo-ing at a crazy drum concert until the wee hours of the morning…we are feeling the love on the wild streets and humid nights as well.

For the rest of today we will be “arting” the apartment where much of the film takes place. This weekend has lots of shooting, and then we head to the rural Entre Rios for an adventure outside the city that we are really looking forward to. As long as we don’t lose Nandan due to his peculiar habit of walking and looking at the ground directly in front of his toes (drawing muggers wanting a Canon 5D), Zach doesn’t get kidnapped by the Vieja Contrabanista, and I don’t build a parador and decide to live there, we should return from the jungle intact with good footage from a great location and some tales fit for regaling.

In parting, I leave you with our small contribution to Argentinian culture after seeing the very cool first feature, Somos Nosotros. After the screening we humbly shared one of the simple secrets of life back home.

Storm Before the Calm

March 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Nandan here. Zach was very insistent I title this post this title. Which is fair. It’s a clever title.

I have mixed blogsires right now. The first of which is to strike back at Zach’s low-brow goading of my video masterworks that I’ve had cooking for the past couple weeks. One might think I might be bitter and expect some sort of snarky video in response to his insults. But instead I made an homage to all the work he’s been doing here:

Now that that feud has been sufficiently fed for one post, I want to talk about being ready. I’m not. It’s funny how I still kind of expect to feel ready. Just in general. I still get really surprised when I find I’m super-nervous about recording the first shot of the film, or in the days leading up to shooting. One would think that I would accept that I will always be an anxious mess of nerves and that I stop believing that that could be alleviated, but somehow I’m still hopeful and I’m still surprised when no relief comes.

That being said I have nothing to fear because this movie is running like clockwork. A calm it’ll be. I don’t know if you are all sufficiently aware of the way things fall into place here. We’ve found El Dorado. It’s a shame we’ll leave it. Maybe. Anyways, our very first shoot came yesterday and it was a perfect example of the voodoo-vortex that seems to be swirling the universe in our favor here. You’ve been givin the heads-up on Manuel Garcia, our boy from 791 that hooked-up the theater. Well we rolled up to the place a little early and walked into the theater to start setting up when we were quasi-immediately accosted by a crotchety old man yelling at us from the projector booth. This beast of an angry-soul was apparently the projectionist that Manuel had somehow convinced to string-up his 35mm projector and show us a movie so that we could shoot someone watching it. Zach started an attempt to pacify the man but luckily Manuel showed up a few minutes later and magicked everything into all-good. We shot the scene and low-and-behold it ended up looking way cooler than we ever expected even after the test. This doesn’t look good as a still, it’s just really dark. But trust me when I say it looks better moving. But I did want to give you something, it felt wrong not to give you a taste of SHOOT NUMBER ONE:

In other news Brad set up the camera to get a great dayinthelife flyonthewall veritestyle snapshot of the team coming together and finding our flow down here. I think I can honestly say that I do think you should all be hyped, this is proof that there’s gold being created down here that will hopefully be coming at you in the near future. I’m really excited about this project.

Muthalode

March 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. I’ve been trying to get an update on here for a scalding hot minute now, but we’ve experienced delays. It’s silly, really. Nandan started cutting together a video revue of all our recent exploits. He got off to a really lousy start and then dropped it into my hands. I worked on it for a while, failed to reverse the irreversible suck he’d established, and then gave up. I think that sometimes it’s alright to postpone progress for the sake of delivering critical news stories in a timely manner to the domes of the people you love (y’all). Enough excuses. Let’s get started.

First up, roster changes. Sophia left on Thursday, February 24. This was a very sad day for me, and I’m sure that Nandan and Brad weren’t entirely thrilled either. We’d been rehearsing every single day up until that point and via the process were able to make a lot of positive revisions to the movie. It got me even more excited to be here, which I didn’t know I could be. Sophia will return in March, but not before her very own BRAND NEW MOVIE premieres at SOUTH BY SOUTHFUCKINGWEST. Get some!

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Bradley Smith is here in a big way. We’re psyched to have him and all of the help he has/will provide us. As far as I can tell, the guy is 100% beneficial apart from the headache that comes with having to accommodate his dietary requirements (red meat, whiskey, nails). Within his first three hours in Buenos Aires he fed me a couple liters of beer and dared me to do a barefooted kickflip on my skateboard. My foot is still ruined.


We’ve been doing a lot of scouting, meeting, moving, shaking, etc. I’ve been consistently shocked by the level of complete willingness to help on the part of just about everyone we’ve come across. For example, local skate talent Mariano Blanco has agreed to cart us around his provincial neighborhood scouting tomorrow. And that’s in addition to taking on a small role in the film. He’s a director himself, I saw his movie at last year’s BAFICI. It was great.

And pictured above we have Sophia posing with Ezequiel who, along with Ximena (a friend of mine since my first visit in 2008), have agreed to appear in the movie in addition to letting us shoot in their apartment. I’m sure you think it stops there.

It doesn’t. They’ve also invited us to come out to their hometown in Entre Rios to shoot the one sequence in the movie that takes place elsewhere in Argentina. Above and beyond!

The list of people hooking it up for us goes on, and on, and on. Over the past few days we’ve met with people at two great blogs (What’s Up Buenos Aires and Juanele). You may also remember a recent update regarding some Bummer Summer screenings down here. Well, that’s all very official now according to facebook. And the rad poster is icing on the cake.

And I might dare say that Manuel and Martín, the two capos in charge of these screenings, have been most helpful of all. It started our first week here when I asked if they thought there was any chance that we might be able to shoot a quick scene at the Cine Cosmos (where the screenings are going to take place). Well, they set it right up. Here’s Manuel, Sophia, and I basking in the delightful glow of a well scouted location.

As we exited the theater, Manuel asked me if I needed help with anything else, which I took as an open invitation to dump an enormous laundry list of favor-requests on him. He listened carefully, said it sounded like no problem, and that was that. Meanwhile Martín has been providing multiple leads in our search for the third biggest role in the movie, the first of which we met with today and really loved. But there are more meetings to come!

So all has been well. The past week has been a beautiful-weathered blur of meeting and scouting. And no meeting/scouting combo has been quite so difficult and tiresome as the search for a megaclub location. Again, Martín has been pointing us in the direction of different options. And so I leave you with a photo of Nandan and I trying to pretend like we’re actually enjoying our VIP status. Convincing?

Check back early and check back often! We’ve got a whole grip of updates hurtling straight towards your face, not to mention an infinitely exciting roster of guest bloggers in the very near future.

Where am I?

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