Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Yes, it is a little confusing that I'm writing these posts before the titular day of shooting rather than after, but I've got a system going and I'm not going to change it. I'm writing this before we start our 4th day of shooting, and most of the post deals with Day 3. Deal with it.

I've been super happy with the teamwork between my 1st AD Przemek Pardyak and my DP Ryan Purcell. Having gone through the script and the room maps of the locations, combined with what I remembered of the blocking (thank God we rehearsed on location), we were able to create a shot list that was both useful and fairly accurate. Best yet, they've helped us remember to get shots that may have fallen by the wayside.

Yesterday (Day 3) went by smoothly. Once again I'm really enjoying the performances, and am glad that we rehearsed as much as we did. We would have finished early, too, except we spent a long time waiting for a pot of soup to boil over.

Let me explain: One of the last shots in the kitchen has Alistair using a "milk" utensil on the "meat" dinner. Dassie sees this and needs to kosher the utensils that have been sullied, and she does this by tossing them out the window into the boiling cauldron of water (that we shot on the first, power-free day). Then Alistair turns and sees that the matzah ball soup is boiling over and helps save the day.

What we learned is that the "watched pot never boils" rule includes a pot that has a camera looking at it even when people weren't. My buddy Matt was in charge of this special effect, and had it all worked out... in theory. After the large pot of water finally hit a boil, it still wouldn't boil over. He added starch in the form of pasta, but it still wouldn't go. Finally he got the suggestion to throw some baking soda into it. Perfect! Throw a lot in and you get a volcanic eruption. Two hours after setting up for the boiling soup shots, we got 'em.

Today will be a crazy day. We're starting later, getting Alistair's walk-up to Dassie's house, for which we need daylight. Then we move into the final dinner scene, where Alistair finds out whether he'll be accepted into "the tribe" or not. We hope to start shooting that at 6 pm and finish by 1 am or 2 am. We shall see. We need to finish as early as possible because tomorrow we need to shoot the last of the daylight scenes at this location, and because we're going late tonight we need to start later tomorrow, and the sun sets well before 5 pm. Yikes.

Anyway, more later...

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