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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

June 5th, 2006: Day 16

June 5th

Wow. Lotta shit today.

I waited for Ziegler since I was gonna drive him over to the eastern shore. He’s late—I had figured I’d stop and get lunch but now we might not be able to. I’m just pulling out of my road when I get a call from Steve Carson, one of today’s actors.

His car’s back windshield is broken and he says he can’t make it over to Frank’s. The cops stopped him, he says, and won’t let him drive. So I tell him to meet me nearby and we’ll give him a ride.

New detour—as we wait for him. He takes his time. Lunch is definitely out.

We get to Frank’s house 15 minutes late. We need two police cars—we had one real one that was gonna show up and I was going to rig up Brandon’s car for the other. But the real guy says he can’t come til later. So we make up my car into a cop car also.

We put police lights on both and I figure that in order to sell it we’re going to have to have the lights on as they drive around the corner.

The crew is a little lazy again—really starting to slack off. I run around trying to get things organized, and I find my $800 telephoto adapter in a prop box without its case—it’s dirty and maybe scratched. I wig out and go inside and yell at the crew. I’m getting pissed at how shoddy my equipment is being treated. The shit cost me a lot.

Meanwhile, Johnny Alonso hasn’t shown up. Someone calls him and he says he thought his call time was 8pm, not 3pm. He says he’s on his way.

We need tape to put the police stripes and police lettering on the side of the car. The crew asks Frank if he has any and apparently he says “That’s not my department. That’s grip and electric.”

I don’t know what he’s thinking. What he should be thinking is that we're all in this together.

I don't think he realizes that people have been getting irritated with him. He takes a smoke break every five minutes, often doesn’t know his lines, and is very cranky most of the time.

After we get tape and fix the cars,  we’re ready to shoot--almost two hours late. We have Steve and Stull pull the cars around the corner and then drive them into the scene. We do it three times. There’s a funeral or something where firemen and whatnot are coming out and we have our cars cutting through that.

Then we move to shoot a scene down the street with the van and mark. We have one pinhead crewmember who’s walking around with the axe, Frank has his badge and gun on, and all of a sudden a cop pulls up.

He’s pissed. He asks where our permit is. I refer him to Frank. Frank comes down and tells the guy we have no permit. Meanwhile I tell Mun to keep rolling ‘cause I don’t know if we’re getting shut down or not. The guy says he has to call it in—we may get fined for not having a permit. He says we can’t take weapons or badges or anything off Frank’s property. He also tells us there’s an ordinance against anyone in the city wearing a costume or a mask who’s older than 12 years old.

I’m thinking---uh what?

The guy leaves—says the administration will look at it tomorrow and decide if we get fined or not. He leaves, so we move onto Frank’s property and shoot some interior stuff with Johnny and Mark.

Then the tough stuff. We set up for the shoot out front. The stuff we technically are not allowed to shoot, now that the cop has shut us down.

We start shooting, but stop everytime a car comes down the street—Frank hides his gun and badge and we wait. Also, we have a crewmember across the street turning off the light every time he gets the signal that there’s a car coming. It’s very slow work, and we all feel like 16 year olds sneaking out to look at the Playboy hidden in the tree house .

We get the shots though. But we fall behind.

The last scene of the night is Jacky and Frank busting out of the basement. Me and Ziegler accompany them downstairs. After the last shot I run full speed out of the basement and RAM my head into the low ceiling so hard I see a flash of white. My head begins bleeding shortly later.

After we’re done we take off to get breakfast and I hear some unsettling stories about Frank. He appears to be coming apart at the seams. I don’t know how to hold him together.

We only have three more days to go, but Jesus, he’s killing me. I know he’s got a massive amount of shit on his plate, but without him playing a convincing Peters this movie will be dogshit. So I need him to hold it together.

We have no room at his house for everyone so I leave and get a room at the econolodge again. Home away from home. Same room even.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

June 4th: Day 15

June 4th
Got six hours of sleep. I get into a tie and slacks because I’m doing my cameo as a detective today. We set up pretty fast—Ron, John and Luke are also detectives.

Ron, Luke, and John. One of them actually brought his own real gun.

Believe it or not we get done on time—our only snafu is that Jared forgot to start a new scene on the audio recorder so he apparently taped over last nights audio.

Holy shit, does that suck. I may have to get Jay back from new york to loop his audio. He played one of the cops who has dialogue at the end of the movie.

We move to Annapolis, stopping by Fuddruckers for a great burger. John Bailey meets us at Luke’s work, which is doubling for a doctor’s office. We get through that scene pretty close to on time.

Frank’s forgetting all his lines and he falls asleep on the couch when we’re shooting John—then he proceeds to snore through the scene. Nice.

Off to Luke’s house—Frank says he got lost, and is getting nasty phone calls from his soon to be ex-wife. Frank takes an hour to get to us—we’re like 5 minutes away. We think he fell asleep outside in the car.

So we set up and get through the night—some okay stuff but I’m worried that Frank is falling apart.The strain seems to be getting to him.

Done by 2:00am, so I stop by the store to see what’s come out and write a rent check. Then home to do this diary. In bed by 4am.

Postnote: In the end, yes, I had to get Jay back for his dialogue as well as Vin. So if you see the last scene of FOC, EVERYTHING is looped. The firetruck, the talking, the ambient...I think it came out okay though.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

June 3rd, 2006: Day 14

Me, going over the shooting script, with Stewie doing a handful of nothing in the background.

June 3rd

Wake up to find it gray and rainy outside—the new weather forecast says scattered storms for the next 5 days. Wonderful.(I always hear Tom Atkins in “Night of the Creeps” when I say that)

We don’t start shooting until 1pm, but I had to check out of the hotel today because they’re booked for some Nascar event. So I sit outside the hotel using their internet for an hour and a half while I wait to show up on set.

Then I head to Frank's—it’s all interior stuff  between him and Jacky. We’re gonna start shooting and Jared informs me that the mixer definitely doesn’t work. I’ve had this mixer since “Hunting Humans”—it’s great. Really cleans the audio.

So I panic a little—I’m not sure whether the sound will match. We start shooting anyway, and I make some calls. I find a store in Wheaton, so Luke calls his wife Nelly to see if she’ll go get it. She has to drive a half hour one direction, then an hour the other.

She does though, and we get the mixer. We redo the audio, then pack up to go to Tuckahoe.

The scene with real police lights, an ambulance, and a fire truck!

We get there and there’s a fire engine, a paramedic truck, and Mark has all the police light racks working—on top of cars they totally sell the scene. I try to organize the would-be cops while they park the cars in position for the final scene.

And I’m speechless when Jared tells me the mixer we just bought doesn’t power up. It’s just like the other mixer, and we’ve owned it for barely an hour.

I’m pissed, but we have to move—after this scene we have to pick up 76b, then head across the bridge to get some sleep—we’re to shoot at 8:30am.

Waitaminute, that guy looks familiar...(Mark Lassise doing double duty as a cop)

I get to the scene with all the cars and flashing lights and people, and it’s impressive. Looks like a real crime scene.

We shoot, but it takes us as long as I planned for. I was hoping to finish it faster, so we could start 76b but so much for that.

We say thanks to everyone and then try to get all the cars out of the way so we can set up for 76b. By the time we’re ready(Mark played an extra in the previous scene, and then he went to get something to eat, so now he was late getting made up) it’s like 1:30am.

It starts bad when I find out that my lead actor, who is supposed to kiss my lead actress in one of the final shots of the movie,  has a cold sore. So there will be no kiss. I believe they call that an omen.

We move as fast as we can, but it’s dark with no HMI’s(we had to return them—we only had them for a limited time, and this scene was supposed to have been shot already).

Everyone is exhausted. Then a mini-disaster.

We’re doing a shot where the gun is in foreround and Frank points it at Shivers and fires. I’ve loaded it and handed it to Frank, but apparently he’s forgotten that you don’t pull the trigger until I say fire.

He clicks the hammer when Mun and me are hunched over the camera. Mun freaks out when the blank FIRES off; he’s closer than me, and my ears are ringing loudly. He cusses and stomps off, and I hear stuff being broken at the meeting hall.

A couple of people go over to talk to him, but I have no choice but to keep shooting with the B camera. Joe gets some shots, but I’m not sure if it will match. We’re shooting blind, and I'm not sure if he framed Jacky right or left, so I don't know which way to now shoot Mark so it matches.

(After note: I picked wrong--watch the movie at the end and you may be able to see, as I had to flip Jacky in post. Couldn't flip Mark because you'd notice his smile would be on the wrong side of his face)

Eventually Mun comes back; he’s okay, but you can tell his heart’s not in it. We finish the scene, though we’re missing shots, and we wrap at 5:00am—we start packing up and by the time I leave it’s 5:30am. If I get to my house by 6:30am then we’ll have two hours to sleep.

I decide to call off the first scene so we can have a little sleep.  I drive home and fall into bed.

Slackers Mike Baldwin, Mark Lassise and Jared Noe

Monday, July 5, 2010

June 2nd, 2006: Day 13

 How they look at the beginning of a day's shoot...

June 2

The 76b pickup is on the menu again, after the scenes we have to shoot. I get the early snafu report: Johnny Alonso had a death in the family. He has to go to a memorial service so he’ll have to leave early. We won’t finish his scenes, because some of them are night scenes.

So we hustle up and go to the phone booth between the Pizza Hut and the Wendy’s. It’s hot as balls, but we get the shots, then head off to find a secluded road. (yeah, I didn't pre-scout this...I mean, we're on the eastern shore, so I figured it would be easy to find. Not as easy as I thought)

We shoot a quick scene between Alonso and Lassise, and head back. Luke and Noah go to grab some pizzas.We eat and prepare to shoot 76b.

A storm hits—pouring the rain down on us and muddying the ground. Fuuuuuuuck. Will not work for the scene, as it doesn't rain anywhere in the span of the film, and the film doesn't take place in the tropics.

I do a quick look at the schedule. We have no covered set to go to. We can shoot the Lynn’s basement scene that we’d be shooting tomorrow morning—it will let us start a little later.

We grab all the equipment and go to Frank’s. His wife is there but he gets her to leave before we arrive. Perhaps I didn't mention that Frank is actually now in the middle of a divorce. Try being the star of a movie while producing it as you simultaneously move out of your house, and oh yeah, getting divorced from your wife while you keep your day job.

This no-budget moviemaking thing is EASY, right?

We shoot the scene in Frank’s basement without a hitch—Mun says it’s the first scene he’s really liked. Very comforting, since we've shot a TON of scenes and THIS is the first one he's really liked?

We finish at about midnight. Everyone’s excited to finish early, but I know it’s a false comfort—we owe 76b STILL and I don’t know when they’re gonna kick us out of Tuckahoe. The rest of the cast says they're gonna go find a bar, which sounds great to me but I can't be hungover tomorrow(or any day I'm shooting).

How they look toward the end...

I head back to the hotel and pop Psycho 2 into the dvd player. Man, still such an under-rated movie. Nobody has been able to follow Hitchcock but Holland. Even if that guy had nothing to do with Child's Play and Fright Night, he'd always have that.

Can’t sleep. I surf the internet some more. Finally around 5:30am I fall asleep.