Monday, July 17, 2006

"Random" rehearsal & location news

Today was a long day. Our rehearsal started at 2:00pm with Nate and Stef performing and myself, Chris and Matt working behind the camera. I went in to today somewhat cautious and quite frankly a bit nervous. As of yesterday, we still didn't have a location, and I was wondering how difficult it would be to nail down all of Nate's character's movements throughout the full fifteen minutes of the scene.

I'll start with the location. So, if you've been following along, you know that a location is something that we've been having a very difficult time with. It really seemed like this would be an easy one, but it's proved more difficult that I would have thought. In talking to Jeremy the other day, he mentioned that he knew someone who had done a lot of location scouting in the area for other films and he gave me her contact info. I shot her an e-mail on Friday introducing myself and crossing my fingers. She got back to me Saturday afternoon and said she'd be willing to help so I sent her a copy of the script and told her what we were looking for. Within a few hours, she sent me back several pictures of various locations (all of which looked perfect by the way) and had contact information for some of them. The response time and the specific locations themselves absolutely blew me away and truly impressed me with her ability to put together that amount of information so quickly. Knowing that we had our preproduction meeting today before the rehearsal, I forwarded the photos to Chris so he could look at them and we could discuss and make a decision. Well, late last night, Chris called and he had found a location as well (when it rains, it pours). He brought the photos of his find over today and they work perfectly for what I want to shoot, so I'm very pleased and feel a tremendous weight lifted off of my shoulders. So, with that, I want to send out a very special thank you to Sharon Seim for all of her help in such short notice. I promise we will work together on a project.

So, with that weight lifted, my nervousness had an opportunity to switch over to the choreography of our film. Since Matt is still on crutches, he has offered to script supervise and map and watch the character movements. His stage directing experience proved valuable and we were able to get all of the necessary actions down in a few hours' time. After arduously going through all of the necessary motions and documenting them so as to have continuity between the various camera angles, and just as importantly, to have the actors in comfortable, natural positions, we put Nate and Stef back in front of the camera to run the scene one last time and to my surprise and complete happiness, the actions that Nate did matched both my notes and Matt's notes. The whole process was a lot easier than I thought it would be, though it did take a fair amount of time, but ultimately it was worth it. Now, when we get on set on Saturday, we won't have to worry about movement, that's already been taken care of.

Nate and Stef have been doing a tremendous job with their characters and I'm excited (once again) to get this thing shot and in the can. Now I just need to figure out all of the coverage and close-ups that I'll need and we're ready to go.

Movie night was fun too. The film for the evening was "Magnolia". I will give no opinions at this point on my feelings about the movie other than to say it was probably twice as long as it needed to be. Read into that as you will.


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