Day 5 Production Blog


Day 5

"...My sprained finger has now ballooned into 2 sausage links. Shut your mouth and stop complaining let's go!!!!"

Call time today is 10am. You'd think I'd be able to sleep in a bit, but I have a meeting at 9am for some contract job related to my day job. I still have to wake up early. I get to set at 10:30 after almost everyone. Let's go!

My shot list is now a fine tuned engine. I have the shots now grouped by lighting set up so we can polish off all the scenes however out of sequence they may be from the same basic camera angle. Then the list is further organized by what actor is in it which helps not only match the shot with the day the actor will be on set, but other logistics like when they have to leave and whether their costume will need fx work (cuz if it does, I can shoot all the scenes prior to the fx change first!). Since my child actor, Dmitry, is arriving on set after school at 2:30pm, I've pushed all of his shots to the afternoon.

Today is Einar, Marleah, and Dmitry's first day on set. It seems like it's been a month since we started here at the warehouse. My sprained finger has now ballooned into 2 sausage links. Shut your mouth and stop complaining let's go!!!! We start with the scene where the Major and the Diplomat square off. We already filmed Nathan as the Major and now need to do all the reverse shots of the Diplomat's replies. We hit some 'crossing-the-line' issues which drive me nuts, but Patryk eventually finds us an angle we can use. I didn't have time to break down remaining shot list into today and tomorrow, so I just work off the master list and we polish off a lot of the miscellaneous camera angles leaving only one primary camera angle for the remaining 3 dozen shots - 3 dozen shots - I try not to think how insane that sounds. That still includes a couple of special effects shots.

Today goes by pretty slowly with a relatively low volume of shots. These are all the last couple of shots we never got in the previous 4 days that I now must get done. We do another smaller FX shot of our squad's medic, played by Ashley, getting her ass kicked by the Combat Mech. We do a series of shots where she coughs up blood. The GornFX team was also made some home-brewed guts for her to cough up, but I have to nix the shot since we just don't have time and jump to the next shot.

By mid-day we've wrapped with Brianna. Her last shot as Willie was with Dmitry. I wish I could spend more time thanking her, but I have to burn to the next scene. At the cast party I'll hang out with her more, I promise myself.

The final shots of the day are FX shots I'll use for some digital effects. We lock down the camera and shoot Rob in a number of different positions. In post production, on my computer, I'll composite them all together so that the shot will look as if there are a half dozen Combat Mechs standing in a line. Jen and Cal hide off screen and when I cue them, they use their fingers to turn on the Mech's lights. It looks like the mech is turning on. Cooool.

We wrap and I'm on my way home at 9:30pm when I realize that tomorrow, the final day of shooting, is the day with the Diplomat dies. Einar, my actor, is wearing my best suit! I try to convince myself that the blood and guts can come out in dry cleaning and that it'll be ok. But it's my very best suit! I'm the biggest, stupidest idiot in the world. Why the hell did I decide to use my best suit? I'm cursing myself in the car when I see a Marshall's store on the highway. I walk into the store at 9:35pm when it closes at 9:30pm. While the overhead announcement says to please exit the building, I rush to the men's section and find a business jacket and button down shirt that kinda matches my suit in color (not material! My best suit is NOT from Marshall's!!) The cost of the jacket: $40. That'll work. I rush home to prep for the last day of shooting.

Who Am I and why in the world... i doing this?? I ask myself this all the freaking time but the conclusion is always the same- I don't know why, all I know is that I just must, must, must make this film...

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Paramount Pictures screening room

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