We had gotten our feet wet with the first weekend. We had managed to overcome some pretty significant adversity during the second weekend. But this weekend was set to be our most difficult to date. There were just a lot of logistics to figure out. We needed to spend all day Saturday shooting in an office, which we had tenuous access to, and all day Sunday shooting in a comedy club, which we didn’t have any access to at the start of the week.
I’ll start with Saturday.
I work in an office building during the week at my day job. When we got pressed for a location, it seemed like the logical place to go. I arrived before everyone else to find several fire trucks parked in front of the building and fire alarms blaring as fire fighters taped off parts of the building.
However, the parking garage beneath the building wasn’t blocked, so I drove in with all the equipment loaded in the back of my car. Fortunately, my recklessness paid off and the alarms stopped soon after I parked my car. There had been a false alarm from the restaurant in the lobby of the building. The advantage of this situation is that the building was disorganized. Combine that with a construction crew working on one of the floors and no wondered why I was carrying a bunch of equipment through the lobby. Nor why I was letting around twenty people up into the building.
At least not until almost everyone had arrived. Then security stopped me.
They had realized we weren’t part of the construction crew. I informed them of what was going on and that we would be confined to the office that I work in. Some calls had to be made. The crew members in the lobby looked at me and I told them to go up to the office. I stayed with security as calls were made. I stood there, not knowing what I would do if we were told to leave. Fortunately, the higher ups in the building gave us clearance to shoot.
So we were off and running. Almost.
Danielle hadn’t shown up yet. She was caught in traffic and we were already starting to fall behind schedule. But that wasn’t a hard task to overcome. We shot around her. There were several shots that only required Alex, so we shot those first.
But right after Danielle showed up, I got a call from my boss. He was stepping off the elevator. He had unexpectedly planned to come in on Saturday to get some work done. This was the worst case scenario.
I met my boss in the hallway and began to explain the situation. I don’t know if I blindsided him with the information or what, but he didn’t say anything and we were able to keep shooting.
Then, from that point on, it was mostly clear sailing.
We shot everything that had to take place in the offices of the magical government. Which included Max (Ian Wallace) and Janine (Danielle Reverman) meeting for the first time and every scene involving Gerome (Andy Ahrens). Though the beginning of the day was filled with trouble, we had a rather successful shoot.
Here are some photos from the day.
While this day was difficult, our most logistically difficult day of the shoot was set to be Sunday of this weekend.
The reason Sunday was such a big day was because we were shooting several scenes set in a comedy club. This meant a lot of camera set ups and a bunch of extras, which means a lot of variables that could go wrong.
We started the day much later than usual. Not because of any disaster, but by design. We need to shoot a few night exteriors so we decided to start shooting our interior shots in the afternoon so that when we finished shooting those scenes it would be dark enough for us to shoot outside. This also allowed for Alex and I to be interviewed in the morning by the Jellyfielders Podcast, based out of London, England.
Anyways, we arrived at our location and began to black out windows to make the interior dark and feel more like the atmosphere of a comedy club at night. We also decided to lesson the amount of variables by shooting everything that took place on the stage first. That way we could cut down on the amount of time we would need with the audience members. Also, Domenic and Alex Lizotte did an amazing job of lighting the entire space so that there was very minimal changes from set up to set up. That really helped up move fast. However, it took longer than planned, so we began the day nearly an hour behind schedule.
However, after that set back I figured we would make up the time, but I was wrong. Because five takes into the day, we began to experience a plethora of audio problems. First the SD card we were recording to said it was full, even though we had only recorded five short takes. Turns out I had messed up when I offloaded the files the night before. I had removed the files from the card but didn’t delete them, so the card still thought they were there. Fortunately, our sound mixer on the day, Nicole Levay, was able to figure out the problem and fix it. But then the batteries began to die and we didn’t have any to replace them. We rectified that pretty quickly and then we were really off and running.
After our initial problems, Sunday actually went very well. Without having to set up new lights every time we moved the camera, we were able to move very quickly. Danielle and Ian really had the scenes down, which let us run the scenes in a bunch of different ways even though we were pressed for time.
Will has scheduled the day well so that the extras began to show up just when we needed them for the wider shots of the club, which also happened to coincide with our dinner break. Sean Carlson, our caterer, provided a fantastic meal of gnocchi, both in a cream sauce and spicy tomato sauce, beef skewers, roast pork, and salad. It was a really great way to welcome the actors playing the audience to the set.
I’d never directed that many people in a scene before, but they were a great group that were really receptive to what I wanted to try. So we were able to get through those shots pretty fast and get out of the comedy club and out onto the sidewalk to shoot our last scene.
We set up on the sidewalk and were able to get that scene shot before the traffic built up too much on the sidewalk or a cop pulled up to ask us what were doing.
So the most complicated weekend had been shot. And we had wrapped Danielle from the production. As well as Andy. Next weekend, we were set to start working with a new actor for the first time as we introduced Max and Stuart’s new roommate, Doyle.