Thursday, June 19, 2008

so much to say

i don't even know where to begin!!
i suppose i'll start by saying THANKYOUUUUu to everyone who came to our shoots last weekend. you were amazing for putting up with the heat and our mania, and we owe you forever.
after a week of preparation, we shot at white station on friday the 13th, for the first scene of Black Swanson High. it is supposed to be a busy morning before school, which we managed to achieve in the shot of georgie's monologue. the opening sequence isn't perfect, but it looks great anyway, thanks to our amazing cast. we may end up scrolling the opening credits over that little bit... could be nice. i ended up filming both parts of the scene because they were walking shots and i am closer to morgan and claire's heights than katherine.
we got to meet lots of nice kids, who were all so willing to help out and do what we asked. justin campbell created a pile of rollies even though he had to leave before the shoot really got started; the band kids wore their uniforms despite the tremendous heat; robert sunburned and his flower wilted but his spirits were high; god only knows how many black & milds spencer smoked; geoff enlightened us all about robert johnson; the snapdragons were snappin along. claire's performance of her monologue went off without a hitch. what a pro!! she'll never admit it, but you heard it here first... by the end of the day, everyone was totally beat and covered in sweat. we told em to run off, but a few kids stuck around to kindly help us clean up in the cafetorium and move stuff to the cars. thanks again, wonderful cast, for acting AND performing manual labor.
after that, we moved into midtown and arrived at Pillowsham, where sally was making fruit cocktails with her juicer. we happily accepted these and prepared for rehearsal. in the meantime, brock become our gopher and was sent away to pho hoa binh for steamed veggies and lemongrass tofu.... mmmmmmm... our poor actors had to watch us eat, as usual. they always say they don't mind, but we know better. luckily, it is all part of our job as directors to torture everyone else with food we don't share. on the other hand, we got to see ryan for the first time in months, which was lovely. he had his lines down perfectly, and it was great to see him in action with morgan and claire. due to some sort of miscommunication, neimeyer wasnt able to be there, which was disappointing... but we made do.
after THAT, katherine drove out to skateland to borrow some skates for the party scene. i went home feeling ill and upset. then katherine and will showed up and made me come outside, where hte sky was exploding in constant, silent lightning. of course we filmed it... hopefully we'll be able to share that soon. i am sorry for anyone who missed it in person. we watched some footage and watched will's reactions to it. he was pretty astounded/disgusted by the birth scene. katherine and morgan think we need to reshoot it, but i am not yet convinced. perhaps one day when we have time, i can start considering it, but right now i'm barely capable of thinking about it.

saturday starts early, around 9, when katherine and i write a shot list and head to party city to acquire supplies. we buy a BLINKING HEART BUTTON which would probably have worked wayyyyy better on the bus than the one we built ourselves with cardboard... oh well. we will have to put it in a different scene somewhere... suggestions?
katherine dropped me off at home so that she could meet up with ben siler at our kings court motel room to shoot some things for his movie, before our rehearsal, shoot, and after party. between that time and when i dropped off morgan to rehearse while i found props, my mood took a serious turn for the worse. props became an impossible task and the road gathered up all my rage. i yelled at all the cars and went back to kings court, where katherine and i switched jobs, so she went on the treacherous mission for props while i rehearsed with morgan, ryan, martha, and neimeyer. katherine picked up tommy kha, who helped not only to calm her down, but to find everything we needed to make the scene perfect. i was astounded that they got all of our ridiculous props and made it back to the motel before all the extras got there. excellent work!
we began to get set up with all the props and things... we ordered a fucking dominos cheese pizza for my starvation. i lost my second piece when the extras started arriving, and found it cold and lonely way later. of course i tried to finish it. of course it was disgusting.

onwards and upwards.... we almost got in trouble for having more than six people in the room, and the manager had to call us and tell us to make some people stand outside. very funny, trying to make us abide by the law and all... we did it for a minute at least. overall, i think we had about 20 extras, and in that tiny room, we managed to make it look like a pretty happenin party, if i do say so myself. the main blow of the shoot was that neimeyer had to leave at 5pm, which neither me or katherine was aware of before about 3pm. we started shooting as soon as we had some extras in there, around 4pm, and finished the newton sequences only a few minutes after 5, which was extraordinarily impressive, if you ask me. neimeyer was really prepared with his lines, so he did a great job in every take of his confrontation with georgie. a few of the shots look really good, and i definitely think we'll be able to pull a scene out of what we got, although i was very nervous and discouraged about it at the time. in my terrible state, i made katherine do almost all of the shooting, which i hope she is not annoyed about. after neimeyer left, we moved on to georgie's parts, since claire was dressed up in a freakin trenchcoat, hat, and mustache, and she was burning up without the air conditioner on.... it was pretty loud and we had to turn it off so the boom mic wouldnt pic it up and ruin all the dialogue. so our poor cast had another miserable day in the heat, although at least this time we could stop and take breaks to cool off. slowly, slowly, we crossed the shots off our list and the extras trickled away. the last stuff we shot was with molly and emmeline with their marshmallow castle, which took way longer than we expected. martha has never done film acting, which i think she was a little nervous about doing, but she performed really well, and the shots look great, with brock's bubbles floating around in there. so that was that, and martha took some pictures when everything was said and done.
the king's court: beautiful place, beautiful people

you may not know it from this picture, but will is on our team.

Clover passes out alone at his own party.

Martha/Emmeline loitering in devestation

the face of anger

katherine shoots on the bus, by brett:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

mostly good

JoJo missed our 5pm rehearsal because he was hungover, so we kicked him out of the movie. Too bad for him. Khy played the stranger and also wore the blinking heart, but it was so bright on the bus, I don't think it showed up in the picture at all. Alden was brilliant again, and working with Khy was wonderful. The bus was extremely crowded this time, since this was a daytime shoot, and we almost got kicked off for filming. Luckily, Brett was there to talk some sense into the MATA people and got official oral permission from their public relations people over the phone, in the middle of the ride. He told us to just keep shooting and that it would all be fine, and amazingly, it was.
Since then, we've had a couple great rehearsals and a shoot with Claire, who is now playing Georgie. (Last summer, we had Jessica, but she stopped returning our calls, etc.) Claire has never acted before, but she's amazing! I think our shoots with her can only get better, and I can't wait.
Also, here are some photos from our May 15 shoots with Morgan and Michael Neimeyer as Newton Fig. The pictures were taken (mostly) by the lovely Laylee, who was our PA that day.

getting some cover shots as school lets out

neimeyer takes one (or 10) for the team and eats a mustard sandwich

laylee feeds me hot fries while my hands are occupied

mix it WHAT day?!

she's like a commercial!

i am either very pensive with my shot or trying not to laugh.