Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

So, uh, about those nine pages I was going to get filmed today…

Seriously, today was supposed to get this thing mostly finished. After getting 2 1/2 pages of a 13 page script done our first day of filming, we reconvened today, over a month later, with my intention to get as far as the script’s climax, with only that and a flashback to film on the third day.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Life intervened. First of all, day 2 of filming was originally supposed to be three weeks ago, and everyone was set until I got a call an hour before we were to meet from the actor whose parents’ house we’re filming in saying his brother had a 101-degree fever and his visiting aunt wasn’t feeling too well either. Wouldn’t you decide not to film that day as well? It was actually nice because I was to work at the theatre that evening afterwards, so having the afternoon off was good, ’cause I wasn’t looking forward to doing both the same day. Sure, I was disappointed we didn’t get anything done, but there aren’t too many reasons better for cancelling a day of filming. The day before that, though, I set aside today- April 2- for another filming day. Since it would be a real day off work, it would be nice to just go home, post my blog, and relax.

So enough of that, how was today? True to the first statement of this blog, my intention today was to knock out most of the script because once we got one scene at the door filmed, everything else takes place around a table where the poker game was going on. Curse that pesky Daylight Savings Time- stupid rotation around the sun- which resulted in a slight delay in our start time of 30 minutes. No harm no foul. What made it difficult, though, was life intervening, resulting in neither of the sound recordists from day one being able to make it), and our cameraman- who I’ve worked with on “The Case” series (and supplied some fine ideas to consider and impliment)- having to leave half way through. But we slaved on (I’ll have another filming date set soon) and got 3 1/2 pages done. It may not seem like much, but it’s actually not bad given that none of us actors are professionals…or working much off-set to memorize our lines (or at least I haven’t- yes I said it). Without the performances of your fellow actors to play off, though, is it really that easy to do away from the set anyway? Making it extra-difficult for us non-pros is the writer-director’s crazy notion of combining dialogue and action- from the poker game- while maintaining continuity (what was he thinking?).

The dialogue was the tricky part today. Not the recording of it- we managed with the camera audio- but the performing of it. But that’s where rehearsal comes into play, and while onset rehearsal slows the process down, once you get to recording it, without a script in front of you, it’s surprising how smoothly it can go (don’t worry, some gag reel-worthy moments occured, though). I can see why someone wouldn’t enjoy filming on the day-to-day, and can’t wait to get to the post-production (I’ve loved putting it together in editing thus far), but if this is what it takes to make the film I want to make, the way I want to make it, I’m game. To say this hasn’t gone quite as I expected is an understatement (we were originally going to shoot January 29, but that day ended up as a much-needed rehearsal day), but speaking from a strictly biased perspective (hey, I AM that crazy writer-director fella), I can’t wait to see how it turns out…and to show people what I’ve got planned. This is gonna be fun.

Thank you to Ron, Dave, and Chris for your assistance today. To Jeff and Mike, you were missed; I hope to see you on the next day of filming.

Brian Skutle

Click here to download or watch Brian’s first video diary after the first day of shooting.
Click here to read my first “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.

Categories: News, News - General

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