Production Week 4

Okay. This last weekend was the shoot I was most worried about when thinking about shooting episode 6. It’s over now and it was outstanding.

I was just about to launch into a whole big explanation of all of the crazy things we did this weekend, but the whole thing is one giant spoiler. How am I going to do this?

Um…vaguely, I guess.

My favorite job I’ve ever had (outside of the acting stuff–Old School, Dr. Vegas, and The Bondage–acting is the cushiest job in the world, I swear) was working at a little local video store called Center Video in my hometown. It was the best. Talking about, watching, and thinking about movies all day. Greatest job in the world. Too bad that it was practically impossible to live on the pay. Also too bad that video stores are going extinct. Anyway, the owner of the store was this dude I know named Walter. Very cool guy. Since the store closed he’s been spending a lot of his time rehabbing buildings into huge, awesome, amenities-laden apartments in the city. He’s currently at work on one of his buildings and he volunteered the space as a potential location for the show. Floor 2 is in a state of near completion, without any of the finishing touches, and he said we could do whatever we wanted to it in way of set dec. It was an offer that was too good to pass up.

Thursday night my D.P., Ryan, and I moved a whole bunch of stuff in from 7 to 10 and got it very near to set up.

Day 9. Friday night we got the team together and shot from 7:30 to around 10:30.

Day 10. Saturday. I had a two and a half page shot list, totaling 33 set ups for a sequence that will last maybe about 60 seconds in the final episode. It’s pretty action oriented and involved a couple of minor stunts. It’s the first time we worked with actual stunt people and a stunt coordinator, and that part was a hell of a lot of fun. A majority of the shots were also heavy effects shots so I’m very excited to see everything come together, but it’s going to take forever before that sequence is done. It was also the first day we were trying to keep track of things that 3D effects animators require, like measurements and stuff. Eliza (my wife) was measuring girl and she had the difficult task of keeping the shot log and stopping people from moving after I called cut so she could measure their final marks; our instinct is to immediately huddle around camera for playback, especially when shooting action. She was awesome. We got to location at 10, started shooting around 11 and wrapped actors before 5. We then got some inserts that involved safety goggles and caused me to have another “this is the kind of thing that makes little boys want to make movies” moment. We broke the set dec down, boxed it up, and left location by 7. The footage looks awesome.

Day 11. Sunday. Back to the location for a day of exteriors. We got there around 1 so that Ryan could do some effects figuring, and started shooting around 2. Everybody was operating with slightly shorter fuses than usual. It had been a long, hard weekend, and people are starting to get kind of burned out. You can tell it’s been a long weekend when we go out for a cast and crew dinner in the middle of a shoot and there are protracted moments of silence when conversation peters out so people can stare into nether space, zoned out. We wrapped around 7 again and everybody headed out.

Our shoot days are about to get a lot more sporadic, with there being one or two shoot days instead a bunch in a row. In fact, we have no shoot days scheduled between Christmas and the New Year and then Lize and I are heading to Florida for a week and a half in the middle of January, so that’ll be a nice break too. We have a couple more difficult sequences left for episode 6, but we’re past the hardest stuff. Talk to you later.

Thanks for reading,

Jarvi out.

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