God, do I love filmmaking.
As I said before, I believe that filmmaking is merely an amalgam of relationships. The the actors and crew that are a part of this film are literally its foundation. This ragtag group of the strangest people I know have formed together in pursuit of one goal; And I don’t mean that in a negative way...we’re an odd assortment of people.
We filmed a few scenes on Saturday, but we primarily focused on one that requires green screen work. Now, before I explain the shot, I want to again thank the crew. As I’ve written before, I recently got hired as a nightside photographer and weekend editor at a news station. My weekend shifts are from 3:00am - 9:00a.m. And I have been filming after that when I get home. On saturday, I got off a little early and went to work another job to help the family business, something I was more than happy to do to show my gratitude. Nonetheless, I know the day would be long. I still planned to shoot when I got home around 1:00pm. I bring all of this up because these actors and this crew are good at what they do. They are not professionals. They are not getting paid. But they genuinely care about the project. They knew their lines, or at least the knew the intentions. They were on board for blocking changes. And they sat in a hot car for an hour and licked a lightbulb (You’ll have to see the film for that one.) I thought I had a tough day ahead of me, but these guys really made the whole thing easier, and i am very thankful for that.
Any way, we did all the green screen work first, which included getting reference shots and reactions to a green window with nothing outside of it (again, I can’t spoil the details of the actual shot just yet. All I can really say is that Greg was in his underwear for quite a long time.)
We did a couple more scenes before we headed up to churubusco to get a shot. In this scene, Greg’s character, Piermont, is watching Cal from afar. He’s trying to use this old super 8 camera I have to watch him. The real scene will only end up being 20 seconds or so, but we really had fun with it. We even came up with plan if someone tried to say we couldn’t film. We were going to say we were producing a commercial for the upcoming Turtle Days festival downtown. Nothing happened, and I honestly don’t think that anyone really cared, but it was fun.
In the script, I have it as a disembodied voice asks Piermont to leave, stating that he can’t be here. Then Piermont just runs off. I still may cut it that way, but I wanted to try something a little extra. I wanted to get a really wide angle of the Piermont in the bushes from the otherside of the road. Because of the distance, I would now be seen in the shot, which I was not prepared for. I’m one of those guys that wears pretty much the same thing everyday, so I was wearing jeans, boots, and a solid black t shirt. Needless to say, I did not look like a shop owner that would be kicking someone off their property. I looked in the near are for something I could carry to look like I was actually doing something, but I didn’t see anything. Then Kevin, playing Derek, but running sound that day, saw some small plants for sale. He immediately ran inside and bought the cheapest plant he could. It was strange getting so excited about someone buying a plant, but it was just a great feeling. Jordan was across the street manning the camera. Kevin was rushing into a store to buy a stupid prop. Greg was crouched into the mulch running lines. These guys are genuinely having fun, which is what it’s all about.
So we got the plant and did the scene. I’m honestly not even sure what kind of plant it is, but I really think it’s symbolic of this project. Maybe that’s dumb. Maybe it’s just a plant. But to me, it’s more. It represents a group of individuals, all the cast crew included, forming together to make a thing. Like many things, we all didn’t know each other that well before this, but now we are connected. Like leaves. On a plant. Or something. I don’t know, make your own metaphor.
a ring-shaped object, structure, or region.