First Big Shoot!

Usually I read the last post I wrote before I write a new one. But I remember I was feeling maudlin in my last post and I don’t want that energy right now.

SO ANYWAY!

I’ve been working on this feature film project for a long time, and earlier this year we got production funds to make a calling card short based on the feature. Which is a chance for me to get actual directing experience and like, basically a dress rehearsal for me directing a feature on my own. Because I’ve made films VERY differently so far. Like usually I am my own crew, I shoot my own stuff, I make experimental stuff, my actors are friends, etc. Just low/no budget experimental videos really, and the odd larger budget doc. SO I am making a short drama with actual Actra actors. And we have a real crew, like the whole big thing. There are various producers and co-producers. It’s been really exciting and challenging but an amazing experience. So far it’s all been preproduction, but tomorrow we actually shoot!

Today we had stunt rehearsal which is like, the big tough fight scene. It went really well. I felt good about it. I think the actors did an amazing job as did the stunt coordinator. And there’s been people spending a lot of time on this which is great.

I haven’t had time to play Animal Crossing for a week tho, it’s just been constantly working. I’m finally taking it easy tonight in between answering emails about the production. I’m gonna stay up late and sleep in tomorrow because both nights we shoot we shoot from like, dusk to dawn. So it’s gonna be pretty heavy. PLUS there might be a thunderstorm tomorrow.

There’s been so many details to work out and a lot to think about. And a lot of communication and forgetting to communicate sometimes. And I’m learning things the actors need in a script that just seemed obvious to me but AREN’T because they aren’t written down. So that’s interesting. The script is basically a living document. I think we’ve finally finalized it tho, there’s nothing changing anymore, until we go and edit. I’ve been sending so many versions when things change and I’m sure everyone is tired of it. BUT hopefully everyone has it now.

I’m feeling more confident about directing now that the rehearsal is over. It seems easy for me to talk about beats or what the characters are feeling or thinking. And I think the actors are great!

So tomorrow we just add ALL the equipment and ALL the crew and we make a film! While staying up allllllll night! And then do it again on Saturday and then Sunday morning we wrap and all go home and sleep.

It’s pretty ambitious, because there’s a car scene on the first night, and a fight/pyrotechnics thing on the second night. We get to “burn” a dummy called Mr. Crispy. And a fake arm. And have flame bars! It’s gonna be cool! SO COOL. I’m excited!

I’m feeling really lucky to be making something like this. I know people are always telling me to just make experimental films forever and not do Industry shit. Which is kind of a shitty thing to hear. Cause as much as I like experimental films, I ALSO want to make drama and some day comedies that are more Industry. And also I’ve been working on a feature for years and I want to direct it. And also I am constantly getting new ideas to make films about, and not all of them are well served by experimental film. Some of them need huge crews and real actors and stuff. And yeah I will probably always pop off some experimental films. I got convinced by a friend to make an experimental Super 8 to submit to a festival this fall and that’s just gonna be a short fun thing.

That’s right! I just bought a Nizo Super 8 camera in MINT condition from some person in Germany. I’m pretty stoked about that too. I ordered six rolls of super 8 for it too so I have all that to play with these next few months. When Quarantine starts again.

We are also being careful about COVID on our set. I got a test the other day, came back negative! I took a COVID safe sets certificate thingy. We have to distance and when we can’t we are wearing PPE. There’s rules around how the actors have to do things. It’s tricky!

BUT people think a second wave is coming this fall, so I really just want to get this shot before we have to shut things down again. PLUS a fight scene outdoors, hopefully weather permitting it will be warmish on Saturday night for our fight scene.

ANYWAY I got distracted so I should finish this post now. YEAH things are exciting right now!

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