Yesterday was such a busy day that completely missed a picture wrap for one of our leads. That is crazy. And very unfortunate that we did not get to show our gratitude to our actress, but is a testament to how hard and fast this crew is moving.
In any case, Cassandra Freeman wrapped yesterday and we’ve lost the first of our main group of actors. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been writing/working on this project for 6 years and it’s coming to a close. That said, there is still a ton of work to be done on the film, I will be very busy from a producing side, but I won’t go to bed scribbling notes for a rewrite or waking up with a character joke; which is something that I’ve been doing since McCaleb and I sat down in Washington Square Park one night and sketched out the characters and story.
Today we wrapped Leigh, Mikal Evans, and Elizabeth, Brianne Moncrief. I’ve known Brianne for years, but never really worked with her on a project. Mikal is a new friend who came to us through Innovative putting together some auditions for us. They were both fantastic on the shoot and they’ve brought in some really wonderful performances.
Today was a make or break day for the film. Early in the schedule you have the leeway to move things around, mixing and matching what the weather calls for or what is gonna be best on a given day. But as the end date approaches you get locked into scenes needing to fall in a certain order; exteriors, interiors, day, night, weather, etc… all affect what can shoot when.
We’ve gotten to the point where we absolutely have to have the weather cooperate in order to finish this film on time. Our day/night splits has locked us into a certain order and we needed tonights weather to cooperate so we could shoot a major night exterior on the beach. The scene that needed to be shot is a very pivotal point in the script; it needed to be done, and it needed to be done well.
The night called for McCaleb and I to be in the water for a couple hours, with Jacob joining us in the water about halfway through. Even though we were only chest deep in the water it’s really exhausting. The air was pretty cool and by the end of the night we we’re shaking so badly we could hardly speak. But we shot quickly, we got some great footage in the can and everyone walked away safe and healthy. That’s all you can ask for.
(I thought this would be a good point to insert a ridiculous picture of Michael, Jon, McCaleb and I)
It was a struggle to make the day, but we got it done. Making a day is a fine balance: there are some things you have to get, and you stay with them until you fell you have them. There are other things that are less important and moderately expendable. Today we had to make a couple of those calls and cut two scenes in order to make the day. Nothing serious, both scenes that did not have dialogue and were not story dependent. However, it’s an odd thing to have written on something for so long and then to have to make a split decision to cut it right there in a pressure filled moment. But that is what producing is about.
Let it be known that our crew was right in the water with us. It wasn’t planned, but it’s what a magical night of shooting brought us to. Michael and Jon saw and opportunity and seconds later in came the director, DP, and 1st AC. I’ve never seen someone go handheld in chest deep water with 80k of equipment on their shoulder, but that’s what Michael Belcher did tonight. Balls. Big balls.
It was an exciting night with a group energy and focus that I’ve only experienced a few times in my life. Exciting. Very exciting.