Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Fine Art of Dropping Out...

As soon as I wrote that I realised that it has more than one meaning in the context of where this blog has gone.

Really what I was referring to is that it has been five days since my last post, and that the reasons for that were that in various ways I have dropped out of the world for a few days. Filming "Men's Only" was this weekend. Friday after work I went direct to the location to do some early prep. I was home by 10 and managed to get to sleep by midnight which is a rarity for me no matter how you slice it. I was up and out the door early the next day and off to set. It was roughly an 18 hour day. Once done, we cleaned up some and then went to bed. I slept there, knowing that I was going to have to finish the cleaning in the morning. Which is exactly what happened.
I then had breakfast with my Mom and Eden. Then Eden and I went back to my place until she had to go to work. When she left I told her to take my keys 'cause I wasn't moving until she got back... which is pretty close to true. When the sun set, I had to close the french doors 'cause it was getting chilly.
Yesterday I lay about - Eden had to go and teach again. I normally would be working, but due to a change in the schedule at work I went from having my days off at the end of our work week to having them at the beginning - which resulted in a well timed four day weekend. I did do a few things - I wrote a thank you to everyone who worked on the film, and I started to look at editing "Godot" again. I need to finish the fine cut by the end of March. I also talked to John - the producer - about it. He may come over today to see where I am at. We want to be done in time for the Vancouver Film Festival entries.
Mid-day I went rollerblading with Eden.
Last night Ian came over and we commisserated about cheating wives and had some beer, watched Mr. Show and played some video games. I did a bit more work on "Godot" and was asleep before midnight - again.
Today, more "Godot" - except my computer is behaving poorly which is making it annoying, so I'm taking a break from that.
Probably a movie tonight after meeting with John. But generally, I'm still revelling in this rare occurance of little or nothing pressing to do. No work, no immediate deadlines. Lovely!

The shoot went pretty well, generally. We had some snags getting started... a crew member was late (and then later had to leave due to a family emergency); another got merely 4 hours sleep the night before - which became a bigger issue as the day wore on; a lamp wouldn't stop burning - zoiks; and one actor was on site, but not on set due to a miscommunication for two hours before we knew he was there.
We started 90 minutes late and then had to start over when the master got screwed up by someone hitting a light switch in the middle of it. By the time we were finishing the master, the extras were arriving - we were supposed to be about 4 more shots further into the shoot before the extras showed, but we were behind.
Something went wrong. One extra never got called. One had the wrong times and couldn't make the actual times... nor could the others he was to bring with him. One arrived on set just as the line "He's a rod-gobbler!" was recited. He took immediate offence and left. He was gay. Funny thing is, if he had stuck around to pick up the context, he would have seen that the film is taking his side... crazy.
If we had lost one more extra we'd have been fucked. As it was we were replacing extras with crew members who we needed for the shoot. It was pretty funny by the time we were shooting big tracking shots that required all of our extras. The only people behind the camera were the D.O.P. and the cameraman. The sound guy had the mic on a boom stand as close to the action as he could place it. The dolly grip was in front of the camera too. (The D.O.P. was doing that as well as his own job and the job of the cable-puller.) The cable-puller... well, you know. And so was the transport captain.... and my 1st A.D. Hysterical. We only had three extras show. We were looking for 8 to 12.

Through the shoot I took a lot of flak from the experienced actors and crew on the set. Because I had failed to clearly explain that we weren't going to waste a lot of time getting multiple takes - I was focussing on getting more coverage - and that any thing that was less than ideal in one angle we'd pick up elsewhere (with a few exceptions that we had to be careful of getting in specific places.) So much grumbling was done over "but we've already got lots of coverage of this" technically true... but just because I only took one take doesn't mean that it was perfect.
The upshot of that mis-communication is that we were scheduled to do multiple takes, but we rarely did - the master being a significant exception. By dinner we were caught up. By the end of the shoot we were close to two hours ahead of schedule... which the sound-guy (who had only got 4 hours sleep) was thankful of. He mentioned that he was supposed to be working at 7am the next morning too... Christ.

I'll get to see the footage in a few weeks. I'm not even bothering looking at the rushes until "Godot" is off my plate.

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