7, 2000 - Beach scene
Well this was a
bitch. It's certainly easier to conceive of this shit verses
trying to film what pops out of yer little head. I thought
it would be funny to write a scene where EVERY romantic cliche
was crammed into one ridiculous scenario. What's that? Long
walks on a beach at sunset, romantic dinners by a fireplace,
violinist serenade and a surprise balloon delivery...all in
one location. Problem was I then had to FILM this fucker.
problem was finding a location. It was October, so I knew
we wouldn't have to fight with any crowds at any beaches.
We wanted to get some sort of permission to go there, because
it would've sucked it some cop had shown up and started to
ask questions. Dan had
done some earlier scouting down the south shore near Boston.
We both took a drive out there earlier in the week to choose
a final spot. We found a small secluded beach in Houghs Neck,
Quincy. We also spot a cop near his cruiser just over the
sea wall. What better person to find out who we need to contact
to film here. I sick Dan on him...Dan will approach ANYBODY.
We find out that this mother lives in the house where he was
parked. She also works at the town hall and knows the guy
who is in charge of the beaches. Great. Just as we are leaving,
Dan decides that he has to go back and ask one more thing.
I wait in the car while he pounds on the cop's mother's door
for 5 minutes. "Can we use your bathroom when we film here?"
he asks. Jesus Christ..I couldn't believe he did that. I was
worried if he might go as far as requesting a meal for the
crew once we were finished. Dan and I both had a laugh at
how ballsy he was at approaching strangers. Pity any poor
film distribution company that tries to ignore him once this
project is finished. Anyhoo...even though we got permission
to use the beach, we still would've snuck on and got the shots
we needed if we didn't, just maybe not THIS beach.
I also needed a
violinist. Who could play sappy music like you would hear
in a restaurant, come to a beach in October AND not be paid?
A couple of people apparently. I had posted an ad on an electronic
bulletin board associated with the Berkley College of Music
in Boston. A few women violinists had offered their services,
but everyone felt that it had to be a guy. (To fit the typical
profile, and the fact that Lauren would end up screaming at
this person on a beach.) The one male who responded, Jonah
Shue, actually plays sappy violin music in Italian restaurants
in Boston on the weekends! He was a cool guy who plays all
sorts of music. He also did some great expressions during
the rehearsal. Perfect.
Next, a fireplace.
At first I thought, "how am I going to get a pile of bricks
on the beach?" I found this paneling that looks just like
bricks at the Home Depot. Built a flimsy box out of it with
the right sized hole for the logs to sit in. In a rush to
get everything done, I ended up painting the inside of my
fake fireplace black the night before. Because it was a drizzly
night, I immediately took the still wet panels inside. My
girlfriend Therese, who was sleeping two floors up at the
time, was awoken by the fumes. The whole house stank.
the way down to the location, we picked up a rental clown
outfit and a dozen balloons. We got to the location around
2 pm. I knew we had light until 5:30, but after that is when
the sun would really start to set. It was a cloudy day, so
the sun kept peeking behind a cloud for a few minutes. We
were trying to match the light from shot to shot, so we had
to wait until we had direct sunlight. Of course we didn't
have our lines down pat, so we had to rehearse the scene a
few times to get up to speed. I played the clown who makes
the balloon delivery on the beach. I had Therese
put my clown makeup on when I got there, so I was giving orders
in clown face the whole day. (Very surreal I was told.) I
bunch of local 12 year old kids had spotted me and the crew
on their beach. They decided to hang out, watch and make noise.
Therese then switched to crowd control to keep the quite while
we filmed. She told me that they wanted to "kick the clowns
ass." (Just because you feel compelled to at that age.) I
must've looked like a big guy, I was wondering if they thought
a 235 pound clown would've given them some resistance, or
are all clowns pussies in the eyes of a 12 year old?
it, we had three lousy shots left, and this cold front rolls
in and covers the entire horizon with the sun behind it. We
were shooting almost all the way closed in the direct sun,
and we finished the day shooting all the way open in the fading
light. Christ. Hopefully the shots will at least match somewhat.
On the final shot of the day, we filmed Johnny walking away
from the scene of this tragedy as I walk off camera in the
other direction while letting the balloons go. Dan rolls camera,
I start to walk, let go of the balloons, walk off screen,
turn around and see a bunch of the 12 year old rodents trying
to catch the balloons WHERE THE SHOT WAS TAKING PLACE. Those
little fuckers. Dan didn't think they ran into frame before
the shot was over. If they did, there would've been a couple
of missing child reports in the town of Quincy that day.
Gang on beach
Johnny w fireplace
Lauren & Johnny
Lauren w script
Jonah on beach
Clown with camera
Cold front clown
October 8, 2000
- Drinkin in car, outside bar scene
they say write what you know, so this is where this scene
came from. During my 20's (and sometime my 30's) one always
had to have a few pops in the car outside of the club you
were going in. (Why? Because if you could get your buzz started
BEFORE you entered the expensive nightclub, you would be that
much better off money wise. This also seems to apply to football
I THOUGHT this
little scene would be easy enough to do. A page and a half
long of four guys sitting together in one spot. Who knew that
trying to light four guys in a car at night would be such
a hassle. I had no crew to help me on this night. (Except
Johnny and Geoff,
who were busy learning what they were supposed to say.) The
problem was, once you've got something that looks good for
one person in a car, it won't work for the person sitting
behind them. They will have all sorts of shadows blowing across
their face from the headrests, mirrors, roof, dashboard, etc.
Not to mention what it sounds like to record audio in a car.
I had forgotten
to buy booze props for this scene during the week. (I thought
we were going to get rained out.) I still hadn't gotten them
on Saturday, because I was running around trying to get the
beach scene shot. Thank God New Hampshire doesn't have blue
laws. I got Johnny to run up to the state where the drinking
never stops. We still had a hard time finding the right kind
of booze. I wanted to make a joke on Johnnys character drinking
Midori. (A melon liquor) They only had large bottles of the
stuff, so we settled on a generic bottle of melon liquor.
The scene called
for the guys to PRETEND to take nips from their bottles. Of
course as the shoot wore on, the guys (just naturally) started
to deplete their bottles. As usual, they were havin' way too
much fun while I played the part of an entire film crew. (I
had to start the camera AND the DAT before each take.) Someone
in the front of back seat would work the slate. I can only
hope that I exposed the camera properly. (It's hard to take
an ambient light reading when everything in the scene in back
I also shot this
scene on my one roll of Kodak 7246 ASA 250. This was basically
a 300' short end that I had gotten for $20 from a cinematographer
called Doug Shafer. It was two years old and had been sitting
in his freezer the whole time. You can't buy this film stock
anymore, so he had no use for it. I had no idea what I'd do
with it, until I realized that I had enough for this one scene.
Since it was at night and looked completely different from
anything else in this movie, I used it. (What the hell, if
the colors look funky, I can always say that's the way I lit
it. :-P) It'll be interesting to compare all the different
film stocks that I've used so far. Here's the run down: Kodak
Vision asa 100, asa 200, asa 250, asa 320. At the very end
of the night, I still had a couple of feet of the weird asa
film, so we shot the guys hanging around a wall, then did
a sequence where they leave and we see Horrigan pissing against
the wall. (Someone suggested it earlier, they shouldn't do
that.) :-) Who knows if we'll use it anywhere.
While we are on
film stocks: I recently got back the asa 200 footage that
I shot at Dave Chubet's house. (The Kim Lannon scene) Shit,
the Vision 5274 looks beautiful compared to the 320 stuff
that I've been using all along. I only over exposed half a
stop with the 200 asa film, and I don't seem to be getting
the weird highlights that I was getting with asa 320 film
over exposed a full stop. I've learned that Kodak can control
the contrast with their film emulsions. I guess Vision 320
is supposed to have less contrast than 'regular' stock like
their asa 200 or 100. Go figure.
Car scene LS
Four guys at wall
Phil & Horrigan
Three guys squirt
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