Monday, February 22, 2010


Pretty much all that’s left is exteriors and green screen, also to be shot outside. We plan our week. AND THEN:
RAIN... can’t shoot! But that’s not all. Not by a looooong shot.
Dude was getting only a couple hours sleep for way too long, coupled with massive stress along with an inherited heart condition caused a trip to the emergency room where our friends heart was almost stopped and then started again... we now have a lead actor out of action indefinitely. The movie takes a back seat cuz EVERYONE feels our friends health is of paramount importance.
Production’s on hold. Actor availability and weather has NOT been our friend.
It takes weeks to start up again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DAY 12

Alas, the rest of this shoot must now be finished without the brave and powerful full time help of the Real Deal, in demand dude got a good paying gig. Yet, the mighty Deal hath still pledged to help when ever he can.
It’s freaking POURING RAIN when everyone meets at the location PRAYING for a little blue so we can shoot. Three actors will be wrapped(actually two won’t, but this won’t found out till later). It’s cold, the rain continues, and there’s no were to hang except under this adobe porch. A coffee and gas run is taken by Kelly Jones, where being in deep valley, takes like, forever to find any petrol, it’s now POURING so hard one gets soaked to the bone just going from Kelly’s car into Jack in the Box. Then, on the way back, ANOTHER PROBLEM:
The Kelly mobile as run over something, that or some pan-like thing fallen off the bottom of his ride. Either way Kelly’s transpo won’t move with that pan-like thing stuck to the bottom of it. The Set General does what he can in the POURING rain, SOAKING the General. Kelly joins him, getting soaked too. Said ride finally makes it’s way to under a small part of the balcony for a closer look. We’ve also been let into a dry area to chill.
Still POURING we got a crew and some actors, but can’t shoot a damn thing. But can so SOMETHING, Suzan Jones needs ta snap a few pics to be used in the movie later. The actors for that show up in the still POURING rain and a little photo shoot commences.
Three hours later, nothing’s been shot, and then:
A patch of blue. IT’S FINALLY STOPPED RAINING!!!!!
The van is quickly parked, green screen set up, actors in. We proceed, shooting each scene one side and side at a time, fighting bursts of light rain all the way. It gets done and everyone’s off till we meet again later at the next location.
The Jones’ head to the Set Generals where a hot lunch, proper English tea, and wonderful conversation ensues. Until:
Everyone meets back up at the next location. Lord and Lady Deal are there for this round, much to everyone’s joy. City streets can be seen from the windows where we’re shooting the first part of the scene. The rain has given them a ‘wet down’ look, greatly enhancing the production value. We move downstairs for the next part, where Lady Deal, White Gold, and Suzan Jones are all extras. Suzan wears a hat so as not be recognized as another character in the flick.
Camera rolls, actors act, we wrap.... little knowing DISASTER is about to strike... which shall be saved for another post.
photos by Suzan Jones

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DAY 11

LA is exited at FIVE IN THE FREAKING MORNING to set up our base camp/location deep in canyon country, the actor driving the van/prop/location has ONLY gotten two hours sleep. TWO HOURS SLEEP, and then:
The freaking van/prop/location’s engine light goes off. The van has to be pulled over. A frantic call goes into Kid Friendly, who says ‘proceed’. Proceed we do, only now the van is driving like ka-ka. Base camp is way up a hill, which the van is not able to really chug up. We stop again. Call the Real Deal, who already at the base camp shows up with the Set General. We try again, BARELY making it to base camp. After some consultation, it’s determined the van is just low on gas and the problems on the hill actually had to do with gas moving around in the tank. WE HOPE!
Once settled Lord and Lady Deal go to scout another location. Everyone else heads down the road to get gas for the van. The van gets gassed up and everything seems fine. THANK GOD!
Stop number one, first scene of the day, just happens to be by a big transformer(great for sound, NOT) and a rehab center, where the sound of people rehabbing is heard, loudly(great for sound, NOT). But we don’t have any studio $ or any $ for that matter, so proceed. The Set General uses a lighter to simulate heat coming off the ground, because it’s supposed to be quite hot, but is actually quite cold.
We shoot the next scene, still near the transformer(great for sound, NOT), simulate an actor pissing with a water bottle, shoot a train, and then go back up the road.
The next scene is much longer, so gets broken into three parts, and then:
It starts RAINING!!!!! We somehow manage to get through the first part of the scene, fighting-fighting-FIGHTING rain all the way, but can’t go on with the second part, cuz: 
WE GET RAINED OUT and gotta go back to base camp/location :(
Another scene with animals, fish, in a tank. The actor in this one, who’s been affecting his voice for his character, is bending down, unfortunately making him not able to affect his voice properly. It takes ten takes to figure this out. 
We get to the last scene of the night, an indoor/outdoor one, BUT: 
IT’S STILL FREAKING RAINING!!! But we don’t have any studio $ or any $ for that matter, so proceed. The Set General stands out in the rain set generaling. One half of the love story is doing sound as the other half is acting. The Set General’s impulsively commands an actress to slam the door, almost wreaking an expensive audio cord, making half of the love story explode, the other half is still acting. The sound of the rain hitting the gutters is ALL OVER the dialog. MORE to deal with in post. But we don’t have any studio $ or any $ for that matter, so proceed.
We finish, it’s late, and now the actor who’s STILL had only two hours of sleep has to drive the van/prop/location all the way back to LA for another day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DAY 10

Everyone’s back at 10AM with an open ended release time and nine pages of up to twelve characters to shoot. Another crack at last night’s completely changed on the spot scene would be nice. Can all this get done? Can any of it get done?
First off, blocking. The mother of all scenes is split into two parts. The General starts doing his thing with the actors... it’s not working. WAY too stagey. Time to pow wow. What’s the right ‘feel’? Looking around, the actors and crew have all formed little ‘clicks’, talking amongst themselves. That’s it! That’s the feel. 
The Set General creates a shot list in his head and away we go. The mother of all scenes is actually something like a bit of a Mozart opera, kind of. Four characters become eight, eight becomes ten, ten becomes eleven, eleven becomes twelve. The first part ends with eleven, so LOTS of coverage needs to be shot. It happens... well, some of it does.
Team Deal brings pizza. Most all of the cast is already there, so a pic with all of them is taken. Then with the crew too.
Part one of the mother of all scenes gets finished, time to block part two. The characters have pretty much settled into their spots so there’s not quite as much blocking, but still need LOTS of coverage.
Gotta get through the first part of the second half of the mother of all scenes first. It’s lack luster, everyone’s fried. But this is the climax! It’s gotta be great. The difference between a pretty good flick and an amazing one. Where’s the energy gonna come from? WHERE?
The ROCK ‘N ROLL MISSILE? Who’s been waiting ALL DAY for his big moment. 
The Missile, along with the eye of the missile’s energy starts bringing everyone’s energy back. But it’s STILL not enough, not enough UNTIL:
Danger has a giggle fit. DANGER, the actor who NEVER shows any emotion, he’s usually just hanging in his car, texting chicks with kickin’ bodies. Danger’s giggle fit becomes contagious and soon EVERYONE is laughing. Energy picks back up again(it’s also like, one in the morning), we get the power to push through and finally finish the mother of all scenes.
Another pow wow, will we be able to go back and reshoot the scene from last night? It’s about two in the morning and STILL have another short scene to shoot outside. The Set General has to get up early the next day, we’re already about 17 hours in. 
The Real Deal asks if everyone can help load out as we shoot the scene outside. It’s all we can do. EVERYONE helps tear down. After a long day and night... the mother of all scenes is in the can.
photos by Suzan Jones

Monday, February 1, 2010


EVERYONE shows up at 6AM, including our new best friend Tom FINALLY A CONTINUITY PERSON. Well, everyone BUT:
An actor, who’s stuck on the road with a flat tire. Another actor is sent to go find him, right as the lost actors PHONE GOES DEAD. What a way to start the day :(
Another actor is missing too. Actually, he’s just been sitting in his car, but has forgot a VERY important part of his wardrobe. Wasn’t this problem supposed to be solved after the last wardrobe mishap? Not with a tiny crew, who all has at least ten different jobs to keep track of. Dude now has to drive back to his pad in rush hour traffic. MEANWHILE:
The actor who went out to find the other actor CAN’T FIND HIM ANYWHERE! So much for an early start.
What to do?? Shoot some new inserts of the flyer we shot with an actress that was replaced with another one. We do that, walk out on the street to think, and then:
The actor with the flat tire rushes up all out of breath. HE WALKED ALL THE WAY TO THE SET. The actor still looking for him is called back. Meanwhile the actor with the forgotten wardrobe is STILL stuck in traffic. What now?
Reshoot part of another scene at this location that didn’t quite work the first time. 
The actor who forgot his wardrobe arrives. Time to get down to business. Shooting a long scene, involving six characters. The Set General works out all the blocking, but three different colors of maker tape continues to confuse the actors. The scene is broken down into four parts and we shoot, doing the first part of the scene last. A free style band jam that exhausts all the actors, after take after take of jumping around, riffing like crazy.
We move into the other part of the set, which TEAM DEAL has been dressing all day, it’s a site to behold.
But as per usual we are WAY behind... one scene is knocked out before moving outside to shoot dusk for dawn. Tom’s still there cuing actors. A short scene with only two set ups, then it’s back inside.
We’ve got a hard out, so gotta move. Another scene is shot before going on to the last one of the day.
We rehearse/block the scene, realizing we got a BIG PROBLEM. The scene just ISN’T WORKING. A pow wow ensues as the clock continues ticking. We try one thing/then another. It’s still not feeling right, but gotta shoot. A few more tweaks, it’s feeling a bit better. But gotta go. The hard out is about half hour away and we still got about five set ups to shoot of a scene that’s just been re-written on the spot. Is what it is, so away we go.
We’re still shooting as the next group of people using this location begin filing in:
Right as we’re shooting THE LAP DANCE SEQUENCE. Yep, to all these fine folks it looks like we’re MAKING A PORN!
Team Deal continues putting ‘hot set’ signs all over our section of the location, right as we finish at the last possible second and split.
photos by Suzan Jones