Archive for January, 2012
We’ve got it. We wrapped principal photography on episode 6.
Shoot day 15. Thursday, January 19th. Scheduled to begin shooting at 9 p.m., it took us a long time to get our gear into the convenience store location and get the crane set up. We started shooting at around 10:30, went until 12:40 a.m., got 3 difficult shots, put the store back together, and got all the gear out by 1:15 a.m. It felt like a really long night. Whenever we’re doing logistically complicated stuff that involves a lot of talking things through, it feels like things take forever. We got what we needed though and it looked great. Aside from the brand new volunteer crew member who showed up drunk and started hitting on our actress while he was boom op-ing, and not getting as much of the shotlist as I hoped, everything went really smoothly. Craig has a separate YouTube channel where he uploads brief videos about his day from his iPhone called alwayswheezy, here’s one that he shot from that night.
Original shoot day 16. It was supposed to be the next night, but the snow finally caught up with us in a big way. That wouldn’t have been a problem, given that we’ve wrapped all of our exteriors, except that it was snowing so hard and constant that it made driving conditions ridiculous—It turned a 35-minute drive to the location into a 2 and a half hour drive. Nope. We ended up canceling and watching Jurassic Park on Blu-ray. Good times.
Actual shoot day 16. The following Monday. Back to the convenience store, started shooting at 9:15 p.m. wrapped by 12:15, reassembled the store and got out of there before 12:45 this time. It wrapped Greta, it wrapped Craig, and I finally had the rest of the pieces to get the teaser (the part of the episode pre-opening credits, not the teaser trailer) for the episode put together. It was a great night. Very cool shots and everybody had a good attitude. We only had one accidental pistol whipping and no one was drunk…that I know of. I also won Eliza a stuffed animal out of the claw machine between takes. To get an idea of what that was like, here’s an alwayswheezy video in which Craig gets a win of his own right after my victory.
Shoot day 17. Tuesday. We went back to the location of shoot day 14 to grab the pickups that we didn’t have time for. 7 out of the 8 shots were effects shots in frozen time, so it was a lot of frozen acting and specific framings. We got to location at 7 p.m. and wrapped and geared out by 9:15 p.m. Pretty painless. It doesn’t really feel over. We started shooting the episode on November 27th and we wrapped last night on January 25th. Now that we’re shooting with great cameras and having a bunch more locations, our 1-month production process appears to have become more of a 2-month production process.
I can’t wait to get into editing and put this thing together.
Thanks for reading, guys.
Shoot day 14. Saturday, January 7th. We all arrived at a knitting store location at 9 a.m. They were supposed to open an hour early so that we could shoot there before they opened. They never showed up and we defaulted back to shooting the scene in our kitchen. I think that turned out fine because there’s really not a lot of apartment time in episode 6 and it’s nice to see our characters in the Sanctum.
We then did a company move to our only other location, which turned out to be more like four locations because we had scenes in the front yard, back yard, kitchen, and living room and it took forever. The stuff we got was outstanding, but by 9 p.m. frost was forming on the exterior work lights my dad loaned us from his woodshop and everybody was freezing. We had very emotional scenes to take care of and our actors were amazing. However, by 10 it was clear that we weren’t going to get everything on the schedule so I re-organized the shotlist and we wrapped all our exteriors for the episode. We have to go back for one night of interiors shooting, but the cast list is smaller for that, we won’t be freezing cold, and it’ll only take a couple of hours. It’s really amazing that the weather held out for us. Sure, we froze our asses off a lot and sometimes it rained on us, but it never snowed enough to accumulate. Our exteriors that we shot at the end of November match the exteriors that we shot at the beginning of January. Someone was really looking out for us this time. No more scheduling episode production for the snowy season. Two nights of production this week and a pickup day scheduled for the weekend and we should be wrapped on Ep6. Fingers crossed, y’all.
Thanks for reading.
Again, one shoot day.
Day 13. Tuesday night. Shooting in open public locations is always a little nerve-wracking but it also ups the energy ante for everyone involved in production. You get energy from people’s curiosity as they try to see what you’re doing without being too obvious about it. You also get energy from the staff of the place who feel like something different is happening for a little while. It’s nice to feel that kind of energy around, especially this late in the game. We finally got back into Half Price Books for a night. Last time we were there was episode 2 and we shot that two years ago. I love that we can get a continuity of location like that. It makes the PoPS world feel real. Plus, Half Price Books just looks awesome on camera; all the book shelves, tons of stock, solid lighting, and customers who will just keep shopping in the background of a shot. Love it. We were there for about an hour and everything looked amazing. I love not having to light. I love just being able to constantly move.
We then moved location and shot at our friend Caitlin’s apartment complex. We used the same apartment on Shoot Day 1 for a different location, but we just shot in a different area of it. We had to de-bulb all the fluorescents in her common area hallways and stairwells for a couple shots and she was just horrified. You could see it on her face: That’s not yours, that’s not ours, you can’t do that. But we had to. The light was causing weird pulse-lines on the monitor. It looked like it was showing up on playback too. So we did what we had to and put it right before we left, but that’s one thing I hate about production. I feel like we’re always inconveniencing someone. Most of the time, people don’t mind the inconvenience, and a lot of people have seemed genuinely excited about being inconvenienced as we invade their homes for this episode. I still feel like I’m abusing some kind of trust. But we got what we needed and got out of there by 10:20 p.m. We also wrapped Caitlin and Carlyn for this episode. Got a big day coming up on Saturday.
Thanks for reading, guys.