Monday, August 29, 2005

Four To Go

The whirlwind first weekend at Debbie and Raoul's house is now behind us, and with some distance I feel pretty good about it - especially the stuff from last night. Maybe the whole sex stuff just psyched me out subconsciously, because once we started doing straight dialogue and attacks and gore, I had hit my rhythm. Let me try to recap:


We started Saturday night at about 6 PM. Scenes to be shot were all the scenes at Dolores' House, including the dinner/sex scene. We shot the lead-up, and a later scene (the "your brother's dead" scene - oops, SPOILER), and then moved to the back-and-forth with the two cops GENTRY and WHITE. The transition shot to that scene was pretty grueling and time consuming to set up - a dolly/crane shot on a canted Heights street from the location to a parked car further down the side of the street. It took a few tries, but it's a shot I really wanted, and I think we got it. The camera/grip crew and the gaffer team (they overlap a lot - heh heh) did an excellent job on finally nailing down that shot. So we got the cop stuff, and then moved inside for the unskinny bop.

Once inside, we shot the sex scene for Dolores and Will. It turned out pretty well, and was hot without being pornographic. At the end of that, we then shot the remainder of shots that we did not get on Friday night (mainly the magic battle between Will and Keely. Final wrap time: 6 AM. Ugh. But we got it all done, and we got to throw Tim against a wall, and see Roxy teleport and throw lightning. Big shout out to the cast and crew for sticking with me until the end there.


Sunday was supposed to be pretty easy...and it was, considering how Saturday went. We had a simple dialogue scene with Eldridge and Will, and then the Eldridge's death scene. The first monkey wrench is that an evacuating family from New Orleans (with a dog, and a baby, and a small child) had to come crash at the house we were shooting at (they're relatives of the owners). The dialogue scene took way longer than it should have because of some tension on the set, and the recurring noise from above family. I had to pull rank and step in as DP and gaffer for the one scene just to get it done, but we did get it done, in the traditional Mel House run-and-gun shooting style (thank you again, Rebel Without A Crew). By the end of that shoot we had all the shots I'll need, and we were back on schedule. After I talked to some of the crew a bit, the tensions were eased (at least for the rest of Sunday). I think the Hickory Hollow barbecue that our Location Manager Richard got helped morale a bit, too. Thanks a bunch, Rich. While the got the food, we started to shoot the scene where Leandra (Anjanette Clewis) attacks Eldridge. We choreographed it a few times and then knocked it out so that Anjanette could get back to Dallas for work on Monday. It came out well, I think.

We took a break to eat, then Steven Scott (Eldridge) got his gore on for the death scene. Our makeup artist, Ashley Frazier, did a killer job on that stuff. It looked nasty as hell. Exactly what I wanted. We shot Eldridge's dead body, and Spanner's discovery of said corpse, and then we were done. It took about an hour and a half to pack up and get out (Raoul was coming home later that night, plus they had two more evacuating families on the way). We got out by about 11:30, and I crashed by 12:30. Not too bad, considering. Most importantly, the footage looks good.

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