Filmmaking is Murphy’s Law incarnate.

Well, it is the end of Day 3 of principal photography and, as expected, there is awesomeness to report and suckiness to report.  I am limited on time so I will give a quick rundown:

  • Saturday, Sept 19 – Day 1 – went well, with some slight mishaps. First, my half of the cast and crew that I transported ran a bit late. There were a lot of last minute “ooh, I forgot to pick this up” moments. Our director had the similar issues getting started on time due to misplaces memory cards. Had to wait for Best Buy to open to buy some new ones. Once we got going, though, shit was golden. We got some good stuff and then we taken by Tyler to a surprise location for an unscheduled (and unscripted) stunt.  Not something I would advise, but it worked out.   Long day, but cast and crew were well fed and watered, so they remained happy.

    Whatcha doing? Why? Where should I stand? Why? What's my motivation? Why?

    Whatcha doing? Why? Where should I stand? Why? What's my motivation? Why?

  • Sunday, Sept 20 – Off Day!!! We all collapse into comas and rejuvenate for Day 3.  Our Special Effects Dept Head celebrates his birthday by catching something on fire.  Later that night, I find out that our star, the man that has been preparing for the definitive portrayal of bigfoot, Jory, hurt his back on Thursday and has been out of commission since. Worried about his status on the film, he did not make this information public until now. After a quick producers’ meeting, Tyler and I insist that he see the doctor and update us in the morning. He is not going to further aggravate his injury by running around in a bigfoot suit. Period. We will find a way to deal with it. We assure him that his role is secure (after all, the suit is built specific to him).
  • Monday, Sept 21 – Day 2 – This day is supposed to be dedicated to one pivotal scene in the film. It involves stunts, makeup effects, a fire, and an explosion. In other words, a shitload. Well, with bigfoot out, the middle third of the scene must be put off. Bit of a downer, but we can make it work. Tyler re-worked his shot list the night before, and has a plan. We get at it (a tad late) and bust ass a hectic pace. And then it suddnely poured down rain, hard for about thirty minutes or so in the afternoon. SHIT! We managed to get all of the set pieces and equipment under cover, thankfully.  We are now further behind, we got some good stuff shot. We do not finish the scene, and have to finish it the next day.  Mutiny aain averted by superior catering skills of Stephanie.
    The face of a star in pain... or modeling his new Sasquatch grillz. Either way, ew...

    The face of a star in pain... or modeling his new Sasquatch grillz. Either way, ew...

    Report from Bigfoot HQ: Jory has a possible pinched nerve. He is sufficiently drugged up and will continue to be on hold until he is able to be as mobile and pain free as we need him to be.

    Punishment from the director is harsh, but fair...

    Punishment from the director is harsh, but fair...

  • Tuesday, Sept 22 – Day 3 – Well, we are further behind than we would have hoped. On the plus side, Tyler posted a few short, quickly edited together scenes and… IT ROCKS! Morale is boosted. Energy is high. We focus on finishing up the previous day’s scene, which is to culminate in a blazing fire and explosion. Good shit… if it ever gets to be shot. Once again, the shooting takes a bit longer than anticipated. The pace is quickening, but… well, to put it simply, you have to get a lot more coverage for an action film than for a sit-in-a-restaurant-and-talk-about-your-life film.  And our, young,  non-bigfoot star, Damion, is getting worn down quickly as well… he get more irritable as the day progresses. After a short producer’s meeting, it is agreed that we are loosing light too quickly for the remain shots and that we should salvage the time by getting a scene in an alternate location (with different characters) that has more sun exposure. Tyler heads off with Stephan and the makeup fx head to the other location, while I get the crew together and clean up. I have a talk with Damion and we straighten things out. It’s been a long day, but cast and crew are smiling still with barbecue stained lips. I have determined that good catering is the glue that binds the film universe together.

    Jory Watch 2009: He is walking better and enjoying his new drugged lifestyle. He is, however, convinced that he is getting ‘roid rage from his corticosteroids.

    I have been trapped in this box for 2 days... can I please, please just have some Burger King?

    I have been trapped in this box for 2 days... can I please, please just have some Burger King?

So, there it is. A quick summary of events so far.  I hope to have more detailed journals posted in the future, both from myself and Tyler. But for now, suffice it say that things are as good as shitty allows.

One definite lesson from all of this: apparently there is no way in hell to predict how many pages you can actually shoot in a day. Some days, it’s two. Some days, ten (although, we have yet to get close to that number).  Every night, Tyler and I talk about what is working and what we can do to improve. And every night Tyler shifts the schedule around, so that we can get everything the MUST at this location.

Are we gonna pull this off? Hell, yes. Once way or another, it will get done.  And it will kick ass! And Murphy will kiss mine.

Lovin it... or dangerously unstable....

Lovin it... or dangerously unstable....


2 responses to “Filmmaking is Murphy’s Law incarnate.

  1. Thanks for posting even though you’re busy shooting. I can’t believe your bigfoot is out of commission! But then I suppose it’s a good thing you have a director who worships the Jaws director.

    As much as I enjoy your postings, Dennis, I’m really hoping Tyler posts again sometime because I’d love to hear his perspective on things. And I’m curious as hell about how much this “no budget” film has actually cost so far considering how it now has lawyers and catering.

    Keep up the good work folks. And there better be a screening of the movie in the tri-state area that I can attend someday.

  2. Interesting, this was actually a very great read! thanks

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