Tuesday, February 23, 2010

39 Days (and one last scene)

... that's how long it's been since principal photography wrapped. What have we done since then? Sure feels like a lot. First, I immediately took two weeks off to sleep, spend time with my daughter and basically process the production. At the end of January I met with Matt Rhodes, our special effects master, to go over the scenes that needed effects. 

By mid-February THE MACHINE had finally had arrived. THE MACHINE is my new editing station, a shiny brand new iMac7. New software was immediately loaded: Final Cut Studio, MS Office, QuickBooks and Final Draft. It's a little daunting just thinking about editing; I have a massively huge learning mountain to climb. My first goal: to cut the trailer. I also have a pile of DV productions that are sitting there waiting for me to create them. Let's just say there are a lot of "opportunities" to work.

AD Wyatt Norton, my friendly supporter and wise AD, was excited to shoot a scene for the credits that got cut from the shoot. He said, "That dialogue is too good to waste," which is a great compliment in its own way but also a challenge. It sounded good to me, but I was having a hard time conceptualizing where it would fit in. Should we put it at the end? But then, would it take place after the bridal store visit, or would we have to put it in the front, so it would be an event before the the movie scenes happened? I called Mick, my trusty co-writer, and he was having the same struggle. Then I called AD and opened up the conversation -- what are we trying to do with it? Since I had to do a little re-write of the scene -- taking it out of the bridal store and moving it to a separate location -- I had to know the "why" behind the scene. AD got deflated that we had to take his little idea of whimsy and catapult it into practical reality... but I think we came up with a fair solution. I wrote the scene so that it could sit anywhere in the film, front or back, and take place in any time, past or future. We'll put it in and see where it works.

THE SCENE:  Holly and Jennifer showed up. We put them in clothes and makeup, and set the lighting. While we had originally conceived it to take place on a beach, AD hadn't had time to set up with studio to do a wide shot so we had to stay with medium and close-up shots. Hmnmm.... already it's different. As we were prepping the bottle of champagne for the toast, the cork popped, and I was okay because I had brought a couple of bottles. I pulled Adele, our trusty mannequin into the shot and laid out all the liquor bottles on the bar. I brought two margarita glasses from my favorite SF Mexican Restaurant, La Barca, and pink champagne. Where are they? On a beach somewhere, at a resort, at the tiki bar, looking tan, wearing summer clothes, and toasting champagne to Helen's "happily ever after." It was a struggle. We had no help (Olivia, our trusty studio assistant had stayed home that day to do a history project), and AD had had a rough couple of weeks. By the time Jen had left, AD realized that we had forgotten to back-light Jen's close-up, and it was the first time I actually had to say, "We'll fix it in post. " By 1 pm, AD and I were finishing up the last of the champagne and coming up with ideas on how to use the set, listening to Kasey Chambers sing, "If I Were You (It's All Gonna Be Okay)." Nice.

No matter what, at least we all got to drink a little champagne in the city in the AM on a Sunday.

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