Prescription drugs, madness, and filmmaking collide

I know I have been more brief on my postings lately. This posting will make up for it. Read it. Love it. Leave me alone.

Day 16 – Oct 22

After some good days the past couple weekends, this day seemed less than productive. It was a weekday. Most of our cast was not available, so we attempted to get some key bigfoot scenes shot. Kick ass scenes. Climactic action-filled scenes. Although, I was not acting in any scenes, and I have not seen any of the footage from the day, my impression was that what we filmed was the exact opposite.

Shit.

If we’ve learned anything during this film it is the following: 1) action sequences take FOREVER to shoot, and 2) if you aren’t prepared, they will kick your ass and you will lose.  Unfortunately, given our budget, actor availability, and the schedule we are now forced to abide by, we often find ourselves picking the days shot list out the night before and hoping that we have what we need when we get on set.

Bigfoot takes a breather.

This day, we had everything we need but a plan. Bigfoot (aka Jory) was there. Max was present. We had the weapons, set pieces, and blood. What didn’t we have? A choreographed fight. All our locations picked. All of our stunts/effects thought out. And a bigfoot that could stay awake and didn’t have to work in a few hours. In my opinion as producer, we did not get much useful out of the day (Tyler may say different), other than the knowledge of what we really need to pull the climax off.

Day 17 – Oct 24

In an attempt to recover from Thursday’s fail, we decided, same folks on hand, to shoot some of the less involved but equally necessary bigfoot shots. Some chasing, deep in the woods, wreaking havoc kinda stuff. The lack of planning was less of an issue with these scenes.

Timing a running stunt, with something lurking in the trees...

Until later in the day. We have a scene where the sasquatch ascends a tree. Problem: Jory cannot really function well enough in the suite to safely climb. What we devised involved special angles, a tractor, and an unhealthily skewed perception of reality. Needless to say, it did not work at all.

One thing I noticed was that Tyler was not quite himself, and was getting worse as the day went on. I took him aside and asked him if he was okay, and that I felt he was kind of off. For a second, he seemed to take offense at this, but insisted he was fine. I chalked it up to exhaustion, trying to make sure he had plenty of fluids and was eating.

We got off a couple more shots and then called it a day.

Day 18 – Oct 25

This was going to be a good day, even if it was going to kill us. And it was decided that the first to be killed would be me.

We started the day with some stunts involving my falling over the edge of a gorge. The plan was for me to run up to the edge of an actual gorge cliff, stop myself from falling with a branch, then break the branch and slip and fall over the edge. The problem was that the aforementioned branch had ideas of its own, in a conspiracy to kill me along with the muddy earth. Twice.

The ass of an actor that does his own stunts.

That’s right. Twice I ran up to the edge, grabbed the branch, which immediately broke, felt my feel give way in the wet ground, and proceeded to really fall down the little cliff towards Tyler shooting below. My back hit hard, my ass was covered in mud, and I stopped myself before hitting Tyler. But, it was real and I think it was good shit. It better be, or I will be doing it again.

The remained of the day involve Jeidy rejoining us for some walking scenes, some camp scenes with Rich, and a reshoot of some of the coyote scenes. All of it seemed to go well and everyone’s spirits seems better. It was a much more fun day of shooting.

Shooting the cryptozoologists in action.

On a separate note, I had a talk with Tyler later that night and he revealed to me that he was, in fact, taking a doctor-prescribed medication with was having a severely adverse effect on him. Turns out his exhaustion was actually a side effect of the medicine. He informed me that he was now off the medicine, was feeling better, and it would be out of his system in few days. And he would be himself again.

God help us all…

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