Thursday, April 22, 2010

Living in Oblivion

Helllloooo Racefans!

I have never in my blogging career - (right, all nine months of it) - been gone so long. It was so sad! I missed you people. I missed my incessant checking of Sitemeter and that hopeful check of my email in my constant longing for your comments. I missed reading all of your blogs (boy do I have some catching up to do) and obsessively word smithing mine.

But I'm back and I'm ready to dish.

I've been in a make a movie cave for the last weeks, it's simultaneously a very fun and painful place. It's like that trash compacter that they land in in the middle of Star Wars. I'm surrounded by soupy trash, the walls are closing in and yet I'm hopeful for a rescue of some kind. And when it comes, which, by the way, looks like reaching the end of the day and by some miracle all of the shots on the shotlist have been achieved, the pain of the stress and angst goes away and then I blow a hole in another wall and climb in again hoping that I don't find myself in yet another giant trash compacter with snakes under the water. (or whatever the hell those things are).

And if you're wondering why I love this job based on the description above, I'd have to say that I'd agree - it absolutely makes no sense.

Have any of you seen the movie that I named this post after? Holy bejeasus is it good. It came out about a billion years ago with Steve Buschemi and I think that it's required viewing for any filmmaker. I was completely living in that oblivion for the last few days. Complete with on-set drama and surreal scenes.

We shot Friday from 11am-11pm. Saturday from 11am-12pm-ish. Sunday from 3:30pm-3:45am and then Monday from 6:30pm-6:00am. (well those were my times in and out - thankfully my crew wasn't there as long, most of them anyway). Needless to say my eyes are still bleeding from lack of sleep but I'm also still running on adrenaline.

We made a movie!

We did it!

With a crew size ranging from 25-50ppl each day we all gathered and moved lights and rolled camera and acted and got mad and got excited and brandished a fake gun which required a cop to stay outside of our location and had a really talented actor suffering terribly in a giant dinosaur mascot costume. It's a beautiful blur and there were many moments that were so unbearably stressful. Like these!

* we've only got 1 hour to get the three shots with the kid in it before the studio teacher shuts us down! (many faces were mad, but we got through it with a mad talented kid)
* we've only got 15 minutes before we lose the cop or he goes into overtime and kills our already stretched budget! (we did it, no overtime)
* we've only got :30 before we have to leave the liquor store. (we were out in 5 minutes to spare)
* our permit just ran out, that lost shot? (we didn't get it. sigh.)

And then there were moments that were so freakin' awesome. I guess it's like any extreme sport, sometimes it just hits. Like this!

Clarity, magic and genius collide. The right exact words tumble out of my mouth and the actor says 'ah-ha!' and the shot is just exactly the right size with the right lens, with the rich color and the backlight and all of these pieces play into a sweeping little symphony including the pacing of the dolly moving just the right speed and the light flare hitting and the performance reaching it's warm and exacting peak and then the valley comes and the dolly is done and I yell cut and do a Tiger Woods fist pump (I know he's a jackass, but a talented one so I'm going with him on this fist pump thing) and then we're on to the next. 

And we try again to find that sweet, sweet spot.

I guess that's why I'm wearing my Princess Lea buns on my head and willing to wade back into the water. That altered state is what the yogi's meditate for, the athletes train for, the actors find and lose, the artists take drugs and wander back to. It's frustrating that I need a BUNCH of damn people and a place and a script and a lot of money but sometimes I get that lucky too.

Wheee. That's all I can say. Fawking wheee. Lucky me.

With wild eyes and grateful heart,

P.S. - If you're wondering how the hell I did this project along side my husband with a one year old in the house, I'll tell you - it's a one word answer. Grandma. This film would not by any chance in a million been made without her incredible generosity. She just moved in and did the deed, she was Mom and Dad rolled into one cute Gram for 5 days and much of the days leading up to the shoot. We're amazed and our gratitude could never truly be expressed...

P.P.S. - This picture for some reason sums it up for me. The dinosaur butt coming out of the back seat along with our gaffer that day posing under the starlet just makes me really happy...more pics to come fo sure.