Saturday April 02, 2011
Shoot, day 2: Crash and burn
Miscommunications abounding, I'd called faculty advisor James and left a voice mail about the next morning's transport, a few hours earlier having texted without reply.
I considered that perhaps the number Francesca had provided me might be a landline, and the text had gone Nowhere.
When I called,
picked up, or at least "answered;"
I could hear a loud discussion going on for a few moments before the call was disconnected from that end.
I texted back to Francesca that based on results, I was going to have to make it to the shoot on my own.
Francesca replied the implication that James would drive me "most of the way home."
Saturday morning I started the three hour bus ride to Reseda.
Around 7:40am, James Gleason called me, having gotten in late the night before.
I pointed out I'd already reached Union Station.
Sincerely apologetic, James assured me he would drive me home afterward, also pointing out he'd be arriving shortly after 10am.
The bus got me to my 10am calltime by 9:45am.
Francesca arrived a few minutes later, and it was clear the other students were all going to be late.
They began to arrive in dribs and drabs and I had to assure Francesca and Ashley Simpson they needn't continually apologize to me for the delay/s.
It also began to become clear there were students who simply were not going to show up.
One student was attending a funeral, while one of the two leads was literally ignoring communication and not replying.
Ashley's phone conveys that a text was actually received and opened, but the boy was not responding.
James arrived and was understandably concerned at this lack of commitment from the missing students.
He had the girls relay to the missing student/s that their entire grade depended on their attending, their having committed to this project's shoot date.
Chris, the missing co-lead actor, began texting apologizies, but strongly inferred he would not be showing up.
The other young actor, who was there, who sounds like that of cartoon-voiced
waited with me as we pondered the fate of the production.
Finally Chris communicated he was On His Way, and we headed over to A-Hall to shoot one of my two big scenes while we waited Chris to arrive.
A fellow Taurus, Francesca is a bit of a perfectionist, which often can be a hinderance.
James began to get frustrated that Francesca would describe "far too much" of a scene.
(during their trying to set up for the second scene later),
I told her the best thing to do is to let her actors run through the scene
(as we see it written),
and if there are any adjustments to be made, to convey them then.
Well over an hour and a half late, Chris texted that he'd arrived but inexplicably wanted to be "escorted" to the location from the front of the school, earlier having texted he did not know which hallway was A-Hall, despite his attending the school.
I offered my services, with which to give him some somewhat scathing "advice."
From a distance though, I could see the extremely tardy Chris jogging his rather large bulk to get to set.
Being already horrifically out of shape, he had to wind down for a few minutes from what would come across as the first actual physical exertion he'd done in years.
We set up and filmed the boys walking down the corridor, reacting to
(and hiding from),
my approach; my retrieving a blood-leaking garbage bag with which I exit.
Stage blood was placed before the bag and despite running the bag across it, on the first take it didn't really read well beyond the first few inches.
The lot was quickly cleaned
(albeit with paper towels: they'd lacked the foresight to get mops and/or brooms from the .99 cent store),
and a second take we used more by creating a second line of blood across which to drag the bag, leaving a better blood trail.
After filming the boys' aspects of the scene, it was clear we were running out of time,
Despite the time window being until 3pm, Francesca announced she would have to leave at 2:30 as her mother was retrieving her.
James was ready to wrap it at that point, correctly asserting there would be No Time to film the second scene, which was the rest of the movie.
We hastily got to the locked back gate
(to which James had the padlock key),
but again before we could rehearse, the passionate Francesca began Describing The Action and their Acting to such an extent I gently stepped in with the advice I previously mentioned above.
The two amateur actors ran their lines, but instead of rehearsing the throwing of the paper bag of flour, the boy did throw it,
and like the lack of mops for stage blood and brooms for loose flour...
the students had only acquired a single bag of flour for the shoot.
Physics took its tool and the bag predictably shattered, rendering it utterly useless for the scene or any other aspect of the film.
And it was 2:30pm.
(In case there was some way to salvage and film the scene),
I urged Francesca to stay at least until 3pm, and either James could drive her home
(which would be great as it would be close enough to my rental box I could stop by there),
or if she was so concerned about riding the bus alone, I could accompany her as I knew the way to the neighbourhood where she lived as it was only a few blocks from where I used to be domiciled.
She called her mother
(who had to go to work),
but her mother's response was to get out to her car Now.
That was it.
The shoot was over, it seemed.
James was understandably disappointed, but the project's collapse from within seemed to drive him to want to seeing it completed.
He decided that one aspect to change would be to replace Francesca as director with Ashley.
We would set up another shoot date, to be set up around my
James drove Ashley home first as she was near the 118/210 area, then we headed south to where I'd been staying.
James again apologized for the disorganized day.
I pointed out while not the most... prepared production... the students' passion was still there
(at least Francesca and Ashley).
James and I agreed that Flour would be finished Somehow...