Sunday, July 10 - Fourth Day of Principle Photography

 

Well it took us a while, but we finally managed to get another day of filming under our belts. We've had some problems with scheduling conflicts and realizing that renting the DVX was a pain in the ass - but no longer. I managed to swing us access to a DVX, at no cost, whenever we pretty much want. Yes, I know, it is completely cool. Somehow, this summer I got a sweet job working for Andover Youth Services headed up by Bill Fahey, who is is the frigging man and aside from giving us access to a DVX, let us borrow this camera for the weekend. The VX2000 is older than the DVX and the resolution and colors aren't quite as good, but it shoots in progressive (though I don't know if it's the same as 24p but it looks almost exactly the same in Premiere), has an external microphone and ours had an aftermarket wide-angle lens, which I'm not sure really does anything extra, but it makes the camera looks way cooler than normal. Check it out:

 

Anyways, this is just really good news because it pretty much eliminates a budget while increasing shooting ease by roughly 89.68%, which is pretty frigging good. Here's how the day went...

Ian goes to pick Dan up in Cambridge around 9 am while I drool on my pillow and roll out of bed like the lazy pile of crap I am. They come over and we get totally distracted for a while talking about nothing interesting and making fun of Fantastic Four, which perhaps aside from The Punisher, is the worse movie I have seen in theaters ever. I hate that movie forever and you should too. We head over to our new filming location off High Plane Rd. just down the street from my house. There is a ton of construction going on right now and there are just some sweet rocks and power lines and concrete pipes and a sweet giant Caterpillar Backhoe. Dan is taking a film production class at Emerson so we shoot his short before we start on BtN. Ian and I wear the suits from Consumed and we just make a movie. I get to see the Bolex (the same camera from Delayed) for the first time, so it's just cool. I learn a little about film cameras and Ian shows me how to use a light meter while Dan laughs at how ridiculous my acting is and tells me to take it down a notch. We'll let you know more about this project soon and we'll try and get it online at some point.

It's around 11:30 or so when we start shooting BtN. Our goal today was to shoot the full fight scene between Ian and Dan. The weather is just about perfect for shooting - high seventies and really sunny. Normally a traditional fight scene makes you sweat regardless of temperature and especially over 50 degrees. But, Ian made the executive decision to change around the traditional "fight" between  Dan and him to something we all agreed is both completely ridiculous and funny. We work out some absurd dialogue and character traits and begin shooting.

Per usual, we make the best of our location and shoot around some pretty interesting scenery. The backhoe provides a nice set piece and backdrop for most of the shots. Ian has some cool ideas for shot compositions and I do my best to perform them. I have to say, notwithstanding the content of this movie, the visual style will be top quality. We employed a number of new shot techniques that I think really highlight the abilities of the camera. We try some SWEET ZOOMS, rack focuses and telephoto shots that wind up looking outstanding. I would try to explain these techniques in more detail, but it feels weird coming from me considering I've never even taken a production class and have only read part of one book on the subject. I basically learned technical camera stuff from Ian and Dan, so ask them about specifics, if you're interested, on the forum.

We take a short break to go get Dan some sunscreen because his skin is totally falling off. Some guy in a pick up comes by where we're filming to look at the house being constructed on site, but says almost nothing to us and treats us with complete neglect. We got a number of long looks from people passing by, but no Andover cops pass the site ALL DAY. Though while shooting Circle the Drain we had a few cops come by the cemetery arch, they didn't seem to care and I had little reason to suspect they would shut us down today. But I usually expect the worst. We wrap up filming around 5 finish off with this freaking sweet looking shot and go home to capture the footage. We're all pretty excited about this and are really pumped about the rest of this movie. We really think this is going to make you laugh a lot. Here are some production photos and stills from the day:

 

Ian and I get really sad in this picture realizing it will be pretty hard to top our level of sweetness after this movie. Dan makes a cameo in the rearview mirror.

 

Dan and Ian check out a squirrel taking a poo behind the backhoe while I make fun of Ian, behind his back, for having stains on his shirt. No one laughs with me.

Here's me setting up a sweet shot idea that Dan had. Three seconds after this was taken, Ian slammed the trunk door on my head and drove around with me unconscious inside the trunk for a while. He later gave me an ice cream and I let bygones be bygones.

 

Here are some productions stills:

 

 

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