In my post about the first weekend, I said that that first weekend was going to be the easiest of the shoot. That statement has almost seemed prophetic now. For the second weekend, we planned to shoot overnight on Saturday night and have an easy day on Sunday. Saturday was already concerns of mine, but then things got much worse very quickly.
The Monday before we were supposed to start shooting, we lost our restaurant location. We now had four days to find a new location to replace it. Given how tight our schedule is on this project, there really wasn’t a way to move that day. Believe me, my 1st Assistant Director, Will, and I tried to figure a way to do that. There wasn’t one. Alex and I began to plan ways to re-write the scripts. Ian, Alex, Will, and I began pounding the pavement and dialing numbers to see if there was anyone who would help us out.
On Wednesday we found a place that would let us shoot all our scenes there. Which was helpful because we were starting to makes plans for shooting for an hour at a time in different locations, which would have been awful. But Cafe Gratitude was very kind to us. Then, the same day we got our location we lost our sound mixer. So now we had the location, but we were going to be making a silent film.
Sam Ejnes, who had done sound on the first weekend, began calling around to find someone to fill in for the guy that dropped out. Meanwhile, I began to impinge upon the kindness of friends. I asked friends that I knew had packed schedules if they could come help me out of a bind. And they agreed when they saw my back to the wall on this. Fortunately, Sam found a replacement on Friday night, and I was able to call my kind friends and give them back their freedom.
And after all that, we still had a shoot that was scheduled from 10pm to 5am. In reality, we didn’t start until after 11pm, because the restaurant was still very full. It ended up being kind of funny, as I sent Natalie in to begin dressing an empty table with props. When she was finished, I sent Domenic in with lights so he could start setting those up. All while people were still eating their desert two tables away. But they eventually cleared out and we got to work.
Danielle and Ian sat down at the table and we began to rehearse the scene. They were pretty great. After running the scene two times, we were ready to go up for our first shot. And that is how it went for the rest of the night. I never really had to make a big change to the scene. Mostly, I just needed to find ways to adjust certain moments in the scenes. That was a big relief to me, not because it was easier on me, but because they had really good instincts about the scenes, which are the most important in the whole season, in my opinion.
The scenes came out great with both cast and crew working very hard and very late to put it together. Here’s a look at that night.
Sunday was a little kinder to us.
First of all, we weren’t starting shooting when most people are starting sleeping. That’s already pretty helpful. Also, we had a fair amount of control over our two locations. So this day went by with far fewer bumps.
We started off at Ian’s apartment, shooting a scene that involves the insidious nature of a rug. Trust me, it will make sense when you see it in the second episode. It was a lot of fun to shoot.
Next up, we booked it over to our location for the In Case Of closet. This scene was probably the biggest surprise of the shoot for Alex and me. We thought was funny when we wrote it, but, seeing it realized, we found it to be far better than we could have hoped. And a huge part of that goes to Production Designer, Natalie Groce, and Art Director, Ellen Jaworski. I couldn’t stop grinning every time I looked at the set.
We also shot two more scenes that involve an interrogation and a magical battle, but I don’t want to go into too much detail about those because they would spoil some pretty fun surprises.
So once again, we ended with a successful weekend, even given the problems we faced. In fact, I think the finished product will be better for it. It’s part of the process. A part which I actually enjoy at the end of the day. Of course it stresses me out when it is happening. But it is in those moments when everything goes wrong that you are forced to be more creative, and that always makes for a more interesting final product.
And there is plenty of opportunity for that to happen in our third weekend, as it is our hardest weekend from a logistic stand point. I’ll let you know how it goes as we continue on with The Idle Quest!