A Little Rusty

August 17th, 2009 § 0 comments

We went back into production Saturday after a week-long recess. The day was remarkable for the record-shattering number of times I managed to bring things to the edge of total disaster.

It all started in the morning. Upon arrival from my Vancouver vacation I had spent the night at a friend’s house about thirty minutes out of town. This friend had said he’d take me home in the early-afternoon but got caught up in some matters of home improvement and, in order to honor his obligation, just gave me his car. He said he’d pick it up later that night in Olympia. The day’s first location was at a drive-in movie theater. It was a complicated shot, probably the last shot of the film, and we’d been granted only two hours by the management to get it done. Punctuality would be key. I texted Mackinley to make sure he’d be ready and received an all-too-familiar response. “Wait…we’re shooting today?” To make matters worse, he was not in Olympia. To make bad matters better, he was not too far from where I was. I picked him up in my friend’s car and we just barely made it to the shoot on time.

As I mentioned before it was a complicated shot. With Dusty gone, our crew now consists of three people, and only two whenever I’m acting. We absolutely needed more people to get the job done. Naturally, we’d neglected to enlist anyone. Over the past several months, one of the things I’ve heard most often from people is “dude, just let me know if you guys ever need a hand with anything I’d be so down to help out.” Yesterday, no one was so down to help out. Pulling into the location I got a call from two dear old high school friends who were in town and wondering what I was up to. They knew next to nothing about making movies but were willing to be there in twenty minutes. Saviors.

We got everything set up and ready to go, but suddenly the audio equipment decided to fritz out hard on us. The recorder wouldn’t recognize the cards we put in it. It wouldn’t even power down. It seemed to be getting levels just fine, but Luc couldn’t hear anything in the headphones. The clock was ticking. The drive-in employees were getting anxious as customers would be arriving soon. I didn’t know what to do. Without audio there was nothing we could do. Our sole chance at getting one of the most important shots of the film was slipping away. That’s when we realized that the headphones were just plugged into the wrong jack and it was making the thing all screwy. We got the shot.

After a few hours of downtime, the next shot was to take place downtown; a re-shoot of something we’d done earlier and weren’t happy with. Thirty minutes before everyone was to meet up, Nandan and I remembered that we didn’t have the car that Mackinley’s character drives. It was a pretty big issue considering that the scene would be taking place inside of it. I made some calls and arranged to borrow my sister’s car, which would pass easily enough considering that it was dark out and that we wouldn’t be shooting the car’s exterior.

Nandan got in my car, I got in my sister’s car, and we left. This is when my friend called me wanting his car back. I told him where it was parked and that the keys were in the trunk of my car so he ought to meet us at the location. This is what he did, but in keeping with the rest of the day, the keys were not there. I had to abandon the other four members of the cast/crew to go back home in search of the missing keys, completely unsure of whether we’d find them.

I couldn’t find the keys. It was looking like an awful end to an awful day. Just as I was about to strap on a headlamp and comb the driveway, my friend picked up a set of keys off of counter and said “why don’t I just use these?” I didn’t appreciate his joking around and snapped back angrily. “Because they won’t work in your car.” “But they’re my keys.” Oh, so they are.

I got back to the location, we got the shot, and I went home to dream about all of the ways in which we might blow it the next day.

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