Day 8, Saturday, October 26th. This was a great day, with a very manageable page count on the docket. The tense part of this one was the lead up to it. For episode 8 I was looking to finally get a superhero roof top into the show. Most superhero movies have at least one shot with their main character perched on a roof top, looking down upon the city they protect. Situationally, any roof top worth being on usually wants a production to have insurance which protects them from liability and damages. Production insurance is expensive, yo. Fact. Expensive for little guys like us. So our most Twitter-followed lead sent out a Tweet asking if anyone in his network had access to a Chicago roof top with a nice view. A couple responded and I started corresponding with this very nice girl named Liz. She goes to school in Chicago and asked her school on our behalf if we could get up on the roof of the 10-story girls dormitory for a 3-hour shoot session. With 3 days ’til the shoot we waited to hear. Nothing. Thursday, 2 days to the shoot. Nothing. Friday morning the word came down. Approved. I felt a tight knot in my chest loosen. Mind you, I wasn’t even aware that said knot existed until it was gone. Saturday we did a brief exterior shoot outside of a bar location and then headed to find out what this roof top looked like. When we got there, we were greeted by Liz, her sister, and a security guard who would keep an eye on us during the shoot. They lead us not to a 10-story building, but to a 20-story building. Hold up, let me clarify. A PERFECT 20-story building. No rails at the edge, no decking for civilians, it was a raw roof top overlooking all of downtown. It was gorgeous.Eliza, not a fan of heights, rode a mild panic attack all afternoon as we shot a three-page dialogue scene with the greatest backdrop we’ve ever had on the show. Really good day. After that, we walked to Sprinkles’ Cupcake ATM and headed home to carve some pumpkins and watch Fright Night (2011). Great flick.
Day 9, Tuesday October 29th. The thing about shooting in the woods at night is that there’s NO light in the woods at night. So it took us a little longer than usual to get the lighting right and get rolling. Not to mention the fact that I left the doggone boom mic sitting in the office at home. That kind of slip is more of an indication to me that I’ve been going too hard than anything else. Well, except my dwindling patience. More on that later. Eliza ran to get the microphone while Craig and I ran lines and Ryan and David set up the lights. We got to location at 7 p.m., shot from about 8 or 8:30 to 11, packed up the gear, and hung out at a place called Chief’s Pub, discussing—as peoples of great breeding and intellect are wont to—Ghostbusters, Gremlins 2, and first dates. At least it wasn’t freezing bloody cold like the week before. It was chilly, but much more manageable.
Eliza has been fabricating more props than usual for this episode. She spent the last few days putting together a large, unwieldy, and complicated bit o’ prop. I attempted to help her, but trying to balance production, work, exceedingly late nights, Halloween-related projects, and social life has ground my patience level down to a raw, exposed nubbins. Every minor setback was like the end of the world to me. She finished it herself over the following two days and she nailed it. I’m telling you, this woman is on fire. She went from actress and story editor to producer to producer extraordinaire including prop fabrication and she’s taken over as 1st AD too. Boom. Nailing it.
We aren’t shooting until next Tuesday now, so I have a couple days to get my bearings again. We have maybe five more shoot days of exteriors over the next few weeks. Here’s hoping the weather cooperates.
Thanks for reading, everyone.