Day Three, Four

July 13th, 2009 § 1 comment

Days three and four were on Friday and Saturday, but they wound up being one long, taxing, child labor law-breaking day. Despite being the third and fourth days, I consider them our first real days of shooting on account of we tackled our first scenes involving something besides a single character wandering around giving blank stares with no dialogue.

I showed up at the location (Nandan’s house) around noon and we started getting ready by moving around furniture and placing lamps/christmas lights. The actors started trickling in a bit after six and we all ate dinner together and went over what we had to shoot. As soon as it got dark we started rolling. I had thought that because we’re shooting long takes, the process would go quickly because we wouldn’t be covering every scene from several angles. We found this to be absolutely false. Covering scenes in one shot means that you don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing the best bits from different takes, you have to nail the whole thing. We found ourselves shooting 2-3 minutes conversations almost twenty times each. It was incredibly grueling, especially from an acting perspective. The night lasted until five the next morning.
Following brief, ineffective naps we were back to shooting at 8:30, and finished around two that afternoon. It was rough, but on the bright side, the long hours helped our actors to effectively portray sleepy people in the morning shots. No one took their method acting farther than Mackinley. Check out “Wakeup” on our YouTube channel to see what I’m talking about.

The aftermath of the whole thing was a confused, anxious exhaustion. I couldn’t tell whether anything we’d done was any good. I still can’t tell. Being so involved in the process, it’s impossible to gauge anything from an audience perspective. My strategy is to keep going humbly and hardworkingly until the very end and keep my fingers crossed that what we’re making isn’t completely abhorrent. If it is, I’ll be bummed.

Finally, some shout-outs. To Elna Baker, for coming down from Seattle on short notice for a small role and giving an outstanding performance. Check out her website ( and pre-order her upcoming memoir, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance. To Luc Heuer, the other half of our crack sound team, for having gone unmentioned on the blog thus far but being totally invaluable. To Rhian and Thanh, the residents of our location, because people stomping around your home and speaking at high volume that late into the night is hard to tolerate. And to Danny Hibbard, because he showed up to help out even when it meant mostly sitting around waiting, and because I know he’s reading this.

§ One Response to Day Three, Four

  • bp says:

    I’ve forwarded this blog post to the Pac NW Labor & Child Welfare Bureau, Violations Division. Expect a visit sometime within the next 18 months.

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