Ep7 Shoot Days 1 & 2

Making this into a production diary really helped me out come tax time this year. All I had to do was go through all the old posts to figure out exactly how much mileage I drove. So in the spirit of tax-accuracy, I shall strive to be as thorough this shooting period.

Day 1 was on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. We had a killer garage location thanks to a very generous guy my dad knows in the lawn mower and small engine repair business. I wanted to get the outdoor night stuff first, so we spent most of the night setting up lighting and getting through the first three pages to get our actors inside the building. The owner of the location, Greg, brought his son around and we pretended like he had to get all signed up to act in the show, a concept with which he was completely uncomfortable, much to Greg’s puckish delight. The new actors that came in were fantastic, we’re working with a new fight choreographer/stunt coordinator who is absolutely awesome, and everybody brought their A-game. We got there at 7, shot ‘til around 12:45, and made it home by 2. Not too shabby.

Day 2 was the next day. We got there at 5 p.m. and the cast started learning their fights. I had shotlisted the sequences, but they changed so much with the introduction of fight choreography that I pretty much tossed the lists and started rolling with the punches. We all buckled down and tried to make each beat of the fights look cool. I was hoping to be done by 12:30 and after an evening of throwing ourselves around everyone was pretty worn down by that time, but we were far from done. Over the two hours that followed, we pushed as hard as we could and wrapped the location by 2:30, the crew started loading the gear out while Eliza (actress/producer) cleaned up the fake blood and we headed out around 3 a.m. I was so dehydrated (the 1st A.D., Chris, mentioned that the only shoot night that had made him more dehydrated was ironically the night we shot at a water treatment plant) and sore, but we had gotten our pages and the footage looked badass, so after grabbing a Gatorade to return me to coherence, I had that post-battlefield glow of invincibility that follows hard production days where you’ve still made your goal.

The last few days have been spent getting ready for another tough weekend. A lot of pages for this Saturday and Sunday, a big location, lots of characters and props, and one actor with a schedule complication that means I have two days left to find a last minute replacement, but it feels like things are coming together. We’re talking to rental places trying to round out our props lists, we went to two second hand stores to drum up some wardrobe, and we’re getting in the last of the Mr. Dr. Electricon fan art from our audience to feature in the show.

Last night, Eliza and I drove out to check on a location for two weekends from now. It’s a little more cramped and cluttered than I remembered and a much different layout than Chris pictured when he wrote the sequence, but I think the atmosphere is very cool and will make the tight quarters worth it. These next two weekends look to be pretty hard, but I feel like we’ve got a pretty good handle on things right now.

Tonight I’m working through some dialogue with everybody’s favorite villain, Damon, and then joining an Alien/Aliens double feature already in progress in my living room as we get ready for the release of Prometheus.

Thanks for reading, y’all.

–Jarvi

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