Ant brought us a surprise; a DVD with a rough cut of the first day's shoot. He's been working in secret editing on his home computer, and had a great little 2 minutes of assembled footage to show us. It looked really good, and our actors got a kick out of it. Good job, buddy!
The pressure was intense to finish in the time we had. We needed to get about 25 shots in two hours; I mean, even when Ed Wood was shooting "Plan 9", he had an easier schedule than that! We needed to work fast; and gosh darn it, we DID.
Typically, when one of us was operating the camera and directing (yes, we're embarassingly low-budget filmmakers), the other would scan the script and try to prepare for the next shot. Hence this highly stylized yet dramatic photo of myself, gripped with tension while planning our next move (yeah, right!)
Antony (for some reason I've started spelling Ant's name the way Paulina does) did a great job keeping things moving; I heard him say "That's great, but let's try one more take" only about 15 times last night, compared to his usual 30 or 40. My teeth feel good today, as I didn't need to grind them incessantly. Antony's unique and innovative style is demonstrated below. Ant directs Michael, who looks slightly befuddled as Ant says "Lean back against that wall, and then back up some more!" (Don't deny it Ant; we all heard you!)
James leapt into his character with enthusiasm and energy; his improvising had us struggling to keep from laughing out loud and ruining the take. Under brutal conditions he consistantly delivered. Some of the stuff he did was just TOO funny. It's really cool to call "cut" and look over at everyone else cracking up at what's been going on in front of the camera!
Something interesting happened once we started shooting...we got into a sort of frenetic rythym, where we began working as a team; knocking out shot after shot, getting our blocking done fast, everybody pitching in to position lights, props, etc. It was fun and energizing in a way I hadn't expected. By the time we had to pack it in, we'd gotten all the necessary shots done, and done well.
Ant and I want to thank James and Michael for all their hard work, patience, and talent; and it's been a blast working with them both. We're looking forward to finishing this project, and getting underway on our next one soon.
Thanks guys; and thanks Chad, Chad, and Paulina for your help also. And thanks Sound View studios for the use of your facilities and cameras (even if we DID bitch you out some behind your backs). And I'd like to thank all the members of the Acadamy and the Hollywood foreign press, my agent Mike Ovitz, all the little people who made this moment possible, and especially craft services for all the wonderful catering.
"You like me, you REALLY like me!"