Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Training Wheels

The first day of the shoot was an experience, to say the least. I woke around noon (early) to the sound of my phone and confirmed what time I had to be there. Things went as they usually do, not as planned, and I fell a bit behind schedule.

Mom, Aunt Karen, and I hit the road and arrived at the set around 4 PM, but not before getting lost and driving past the building twice.

The Bullcrank boys had everything set up inside. They had lights and cameras, but the action was still a couple hours off. I roamed the maze of cubicles, trying to familiarize myself with it and take everything in.

Hanging with Larry, Travis, and Aaron

Clint, me, and Ian

We all ended up hanging out for a while and had some spaghetti, thanks to Mom and Aunt Karen.

As we finished, more crew and the cast started trickling in. I saw lots of familiar faces and met a few new ones. Everyone scurried about the set doing what had to be done: getting into costume, troubleshooting the sound equipment, etc. That's when I began to wonder what I should be doing. And that's when my first directorial duty arose as our lead actress, Marisa Tomasic, came to me asking which outfit she should wear. A fairly easy first task.

Marisa displaying outfit options

Donna puts Larry's face on

Rick being all suave

Minutes later, everyone was ready and I was set up in front of my monitor behind camera one. Things looked good, Larry and Rick were ready to go and I called "Action!". With that utterance, my complete inexperience was revealed. Apparently the cameras have to be rolling before action gets called. Who knew?

Aaron, Ian, and Andy were a huge help the whole time, I think I'd have been pretty lost and miserable otherwise.

The night went on, not without its bumps, but everything kept moving forward. I know I must have looked like a deer in headlights, as that's exactly how I felt, but I'm glad I was there. The long day ended as we headed home at 2 AM, after ten hours on set. That's nothing, compared to the others, who were there for thirteen hours and doing a lot more than me.

The foggy road home seemed fitting at the end of the first day of filming this werewolf movie.

Day two began around 4:30, after a rainy drive back to the set. I was more on track with everyone else, as they were just setting up when I got there. The days shoot involved much simpler shots, which made things much easier and less chaotic. There was also excitement in the air, as this was the day we were filming with Cleveland legend, Big Chuck Schodowski.

Day two

Big Chuck and Larry

Chuck arrived and donned his security guard uniform. Ian called for the cameras to roll, I called action, Marisa rushed through the doorway, and Chuck greeted her with "...I didn't hear 'action.'"

I spoke up and it was smoother from then on.

Big Chuck and Lil' Jay

I enjoyed the second day much more than the first. Communication was better, the setup was better, Chuck was hilarious, and I think we got some great stuff. Aaron's lighting was especially awesome looking. I can't wait to see the whole thing put together.

Directing Big Chuck

Kickin' it with the stars

Vince works the camera

We wrapped up around 9 PM and did the obligatory group photo before anyone left. The remaining crew dismantled the set and returned the building to its usual state while pausing for sloppy joes.

The Brothers Longstreth relax after a long day

"Leave no evidence we were here!"

We all ended up leaving at about 10, ending my time on this movie. Back at home, I relaxed by watching the Werewolf episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The rest of the gang will continue filming over the next several weekends, including a trip to New York City to film with Lloyd Kaufman. Meanwhile, I'll be here hammering on The Greatest Fan Film of All Time.

It was a crazy weekend that initially left me a little wary of the whole filmmaking process, but I feel like I learned a lot and when the opportunity arises again, I think I'll be ready for more.

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