If You Build It, They Will Come.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Ugh, folks. Ugh.

Okay so the shooting for the Looker went fantastically super splendid. Everything went really really well. No problems, a few minor hiccups at best. Plus, I had help from the finest PA and best giant lobster ever, Éowyn Mishawn. A big round of applause for her please. Let her hear it.

There will be some stills from the film up at the Coughing Dog site soon.

Now we're on Dave's set. Not seeming to run as smooth. Our shoots all week are from 5pm to 5am, so I'm on the graveyard shift. Apart from that, he's got 104 shots. We were supposed to get 37 of them done today. We got 12. That's right 12.

We had a meeting afterwards, and he's considering cancelling his whole shoot. See, I like the guy well enough, but maybe he's really not cut out for this business. First of all, he is the guy in charge. If he only gets 12 shots in 12 hours, he's got no one to blame but himself. He's put $4500 into the design of his set, which, while it looks pretty nice, I'm sure it was unnecessary. He basically built a hospital room, instead of finding a room that could be turned into a hospital room. That's where his moolah went, and he's still not happy with it. To me, it looks fine. He's not happy with the performances of his actors, but to be honest, he had one guy who has a broken leg (in real life) come out from about an hour away, arrive on set at 7pm, and not get his first shot until 2am. He has another actress, who was on set until 5am, and was never in a shot that a stand in couldn't have done. He's walking around like a giant ball of stress, the tension is palpable, and he's claiming that he's not sure what to do. Apart from that it's like 3am. Of course your actors will be "flat." After we wrapped today he had a meeting with us and said that today was terrible, and it made him feel like he should give up being a filmmaker and go back to working in the bank in Indiana. He's seriously considering canning the whole film. That alone to me signifies he isn't cut out for it. One bad day and that thought crosses his mind. In this business you need to handle pressure. Lots and lots of pressure. This shoot, this is nothing at all. This is a breezy walk in the park compared to a budgeted film, where you're spending other peoples money, and as the seconds roll by, the dollar signs are ticking away. A major motion picture costs on average $20 million. Figure in that budget 40 days of shooting, that's $500,000 a day, at 12 hours of shooting a day, that's $41,666 an hour or about $700 a minute. If you only get one shot an hour like he did today, not only are you instantly fired, you'll never work again.

Anyway, on to lighter things. As I mentioned, Éowyn helped out on my shoot. She spent the week here, and it was totally flippin' sweet. We had a great time. She worked on my set, she got a few roles in the film, we went to Universal and went on the rides, we took the tram tour, she ordered about fifty grande non fat one pump vanilla sugar free latte's from Starbucks, we went to Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, we toured NYFA, we walked through the Universal Prop building and the Universal Wardrobe building and came up with the idea a little too late to pretend we were really important set designers for Spielberg to show off to a passing tour group, we dressed as warriors and played with swords, we drove up Mullholland Drive and almost made Éowyn carsick, we got lost a few times, we ate breakfast in bed, consisting of cold pizza and pudding pops, I gave her a foot massage that was so awesome she tried to knock herself out by hitting her head on the porch railing because there was just too much joy for her body and mind to handle, we went to Hollywood and eventually saw the walk of fame and the handprints and we spent easter sunday having dinner at the Hooters across the street from Graumann's Chinese Theater, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe, we hung out with Tom and learned about "protrusion," we watched the last half of the season finale of Carnivale, then we watched the first half, we screwed up parking a few times, once at City Walk, and once at Starbucks, we watched nearly all the dailies from The Looker and took still frames, we cleaned a lot of freshly spit strawberry and creme frappacino from my computer monitor, we helped move equipment into and out of NYFA, we hit our heads on shit, we went to Sebastians, she cramped my style in a bar in Burbank, she almost blacked out in a warehouse parking lot after miraculously receiveing a concussion through her elbow, we drank a lot of wine, and we finally watched Napoleon Dynamite together. It was eventful, quite eventful, considering it was the first time we'd ever met. It was an absolute freakin blast. I was sad when she left. Both because she was gone, and because I had to be in Santa Clarita by 6:30am, and we stayed up really late the night before. We had a really really good time. Thanks for coming, Éowyn.

Anyway, it's 7:30am. I have to be back to that hospital set at 4pm, so I need to get some sleep.

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. As you can read, I've been pretty busy.



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