December 3, 2000
- Nightclub sequence #2 (with Beth Lahr)
feel like I just came back from the dentist. You know the feeling
you get when it's all over with? "Aaaaaaahhhh...the last difficult
sequence is done." The guys in the film had dragged Johnny
to a nightclub, and he attempts to be charming by doing card
tricks (as sort of a crutch.) We had already filmed half of
this sequence back on August 12,
2000. At the time, I needed to film Darby's
stuff no matter what, because he was leaving for Hollywood at
the end of September. Now that I had all of the necessary outdoor
stuff filmed, I could go back and get the rest of the indoor
stuff. I only recently sent all of the outdoor footage to be
developed, so I can only hope that it came out. (Gulp)
Good ol' Beth
Lahr. If you check out the journal entry on February
6th, you'll see Beth Lahr was part of our little intrepid
group from the start. She got the part on that day, and I
told her that we would be filming her "in a couple of months."
Well, it's not almost an ENTIRE YEAR later...and NOW we're
shooting her. I've been sending her e-mails all along going,
"getting close Beth! When are you available? Are you ready?
Here we go!" Nothing.
Beth is a force
to be reckoned with. I believe satellites would drop of the
sky and slam into her body if she were any more outgoing,
personable and attractive. (And I'm not saying that to make
points with her, she's very happily married.) She was an absolute
riot to have on the set. Where Lauren
Verge is a riot in an intellectual way, Beth is in a physical
way. During the scene where she gives Johnny her phone number
on a playing card, she runs back into frame and gives Johnny
a little affectionate kiss. Just as I stopped the camera,
she runs back in and leaps ONTO Johnnys chest and wraps her
legs around him in a bear hug. (Johnny had to either catch
her of duck.) Friggin' funny as hell, she cracked the whole
crew up. Wish I had the camera running. What do you expect
from a woman who jumps out of airplanes for fun and excitement?
Bridges pulled "another one" out of the fire for me. Just
before we started shooting, I noticed that I had a shortage
of women to film all the different sequences where the guys
attempt to be charming to all the women at this nightclub.
Robin Frank had brought a
bunch of people as extras, but I didn't have too many women.
I THOUGHT I had more women coming from the feedback from my
e-mails. I tell Dan what the situation is. He and Robin immediately
go out into the street and starts pulling people in. I think
he ransacked a Burger King and a McDonalds by approaching
everyone as they were eating. They managed to round up about
10 people to fill out the crowd. On top of that, I think I
used most of them in a bunch of assorted two shots with the
guys. If you were a woman on Boylston street near the Fenway
on December 3rd around 1 pm, you would've gotten yourself
a featured extra roll in a film. Who says you need an agent
and a head shot to be in the movies?
Paul Norton helped
me with lighting one more time (thank friggin' God.) Deirdre
Williams came by in a black wig to do assistant directing,
Geoff did boom and Robin
Frank helped with getting all the necessary release signatures.
Did I mention that I'm still amazed at the enthusiasm that
I've received from my cast & crew? Try writing that in a movie
making manual: "once your done filming with your unpaid actors,
have them perform the crew duties over the course of a year."
They'd think your fucked.
A quick observation on fishnet pantyhose.
fishnets are one of the threads that work themselves through
this production, I thought I'd mentioned a few things that
I've noticed. Who knew that there were some many different
kinds of fishnet pantyhose! I kinda thought that all fishnets
were exactly the same, and that this specific article of clothing
would keep re-appearing through out the movie. (Same stockings,
different women...get it?) I've now filmed three different
women wearing three different styles of hosiery, and I just
told them to "show up in fishnets."
I just assumed
that all women went to the same place (Fredericks of Hollywood)
to buy their trashy clothing. I guess my point is, it's kinda
interesting that I got a different look on the three women
who wear them in this film. I hope no one comes up to me after
the film and goes, "wow, how long did it take you to find
all those different styles of fishnets? You must've had one
pretty big leg fetish." My only option would've been to have
women read for the film in costume, then after they were done,
I would've had to ask them to hike up their skirt to check
out their legs. Not only would I have ended up being a male
pig, but probably a stabbing victim as well.
Cast & Crew
Crew at bar
Gang on steps
John & Christine
Wet tie Phil
January 12, 2001
- Interesting Alfred Hitchcock quotes!
Horray! The money
came in! I can finally finish this project with the funds
that I now have. I had been working on a CD-ROM project for
one of my clients for about a year now. I was supposed to
have received a final payment for some quicktime movies that
I edited and squashed back in August. My plan was to use THAT
check to pay for the rest of the film, developing and production
costs. NOW I get my hands on the loot. :-P I've had to pay
for all expenses out of my personal living/rent/food money.
I've got something like 8 rolls of film to be developed, and
I have no idea if my camera has been scratching everything
or if it's all out of focus. Darby is long gone for California,
so if his stuff is messed up, I'm totally screwed. I guess
My girlfriend Therese has been keeping me on a steady diet
of books from the library where she works. Practically every
day she brings something home that she knows will be of interest
to me. A recent find is Peter Bogdanovich's "Who the
Devil Made It". It's filled with stories from a ton of
great film directors who were interviewed by Peter on how
they made their movies. One section that I found very relevant
was a portion of the Alfred Hitchcock interview. I may have
to post this on every set that I may work on.
Hitchcock: (from "Who the Devil Made It", page
"I think that montage is the essential thing in a
motion picture. You take a shot of Jimmy Stewart, say, looking;
then a shot of what he sees; then his reaction. But you see,
it's like the old [Russian director V.I.] Pudovkin test. he
took the same shot of an actor looking downward with a blank
expression, and spliced it between a shot of a baby playing
and a shot of an open grave. The audience that saw it marveled
at the subtlety of expression and emotion the actor's face
has shown. But in reality it was the same identical shot of
the actor after both the baby and the grave. Only montage
has that power of audience suggestion. I'm very keen on that
method of storytelling."
Note: V.I. Pudovkin
was a Russian silent film director who wrote a book: Film
Technique and Film Acting (First Evergreen Edition, Translated
and Edited by Ivor Montagu. Grove Press, Inc. 1976. ) Hopefully
Therese will be able to locate it and I'll give you, my humble
reader, a report on it later.
Alfred Hitchcock: (from "Who the Devil Made It",
As I tried to explain to Kim Novak in Vertigo, 'You have
got a lot of expression in your face. Don't want any of it.
I only want on your face what we want to tell to the audience-what
you are thinking.' I said, 'Let me explain to you. If you
put a lot of redundant expressions on your face, it's like
taking a sheet of paper and scribbling all over it-full of
scribble, the whole piece of paper. You want to write a sentence
for somebody to read. If they can't read it-too much scribble.
Much easier to read if the piece of paper is blank. That's
what your face ought to be when we need the expression.'
I thought this really hit home in regards to acting. Bad actors
always seem to be doing too much, even when they aren't speaking.
Or inexperienced actors aren't confident with what they are
doing and feel the need to "sell" their performance.
I can remember a couple of times asking everyone to just take
their lines and just "throw 'em out there", be completely
nonchalant about it. I especially prefer to have a line (that
will hopefully be amusing) done with a straight face. If you
get the joke, great, if not, let's move on.
I always loved the early Zucker brothers movies. I always
thought "Airplane/Police Squad" was refreshing,
having everyone say those outrageous things with a dead serious
face. I'm sure Leslie Nelson was hired BECAUSE he was known
as the actor who did all those "serious" roles on
TV. Why they started to make him "sell" his performances
and do all that grimacing just bugs the shit out of me.
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