Sunday November 18, 2012
I'd been battling to learn the tongue-twisting lines since receiving the script, but while technically easy hearing, or wasn't super easy saying.
I did not bother with the bus; I walked and spoke aloud my lines
(working at saying them with the pages at my side),
and arrived at the
Gnomon School of Visual Effects
on Cahuenga at Santa Monica Boulevard by 9:40am for my 10am calltime.
The front gate guard directed me to the sound stage at the far end
at which I came across Christopher who had arrived around the same time.
As we waited for the rest to arrive, Christopher and I chatted, the Brit rather impressed with my ability to do an accurate British accent.
The restroom to which we had access was within the jaw-droppingly impressive
in the next building over.
while initially I was unsure as to why a 10am calltime when even the "callsheet" listed the first shot at noon, when my friendly co-star
arrived, I found he had been having the same tribulations as I as far as the challenging mouthful lines were concerned.
We ran through the brief scene numerous times as they set up inside the small airplane hanger-like green screen stage.
Eventually we were brought in, the "entire set" being two lab stools on which we sat, with a metal table between us.
Everything else visually, as far as the laboratory in which we were sitting, would digitally be added in later.
Despite the scene's chronological brevity, Michael's interviewer lines and my near-technobabble responses were still not exactly off-book letter-perfect.
However, thankfully, Eric stressed the script was a guideline; as with the audition, we were free to improvise.
To we actors, this meant more that if we remained to the context of the line, the actual wording of the line was pliable.
set us up with our body-mics, and Christopher ran slate
(Tanny ran slate when Christopher went out to get our lunches).
Michael and I actually liked our scripted lines, our having a tricky time actually saying them as written notwithstanding.
As we're the sort that do better learning lines Whilst Rehearsing
(and neither of us had had anyone against whom to play the scene to learn it),
we did the best we could.
There were actually about fourteen set-ups, and while we had about two or four takes per set-up, the actual Next Angle Set-Up is what took much of the time.
Our Director of Photography
had his work cut out for him.
With the green screen wall behind us, the lighting had to be far more specific, plus the large room was not really built as a Sound Stage, per se.
Its metal walls which rose to meet as a dome ceiling created a nightmarish echo effect.
The simultaneous lack of sound-proofing forced us to hold for passing motorcyles, low-flying small airplanes, etc.
We also had an unwelcome guest: a very loud, non-stop cricket Somewhere in the small building.
Eventually they learned if they scared the crap out of the cricket, it would stop, and by raising the automatic metal garage-door seemed to do the trick, for a while at least.
I pointed out to Christopher that at worst, we could come in and ADR our lines.
We ran the scene for each set-up, some inserts and pick-up shots were added, and after lunch, the last set-up was a crane shot that would look straight down at us.
Christoher took some behind the scene shots that Tanny promised would be sent along; after Michael and I were wrapped, the film's second scene
(which actually would be inter-cut throughout the interview scene),
would feature Tanny, her own set consisting of a white chair and white table, and the background of which would also be added digitally.
I'd asked Erik about the pre-vis to see if I could see artwork as to what he had in mind for the digital sets, visually, but either he did not understand my question/s thereof, or he didn't have any pre-vis artwork done up yet.
He told us it could be "up to two months" for the film to be completed, which we barely a hiccough to me considering some projects on which I worked took 6-9+ months to complete.
Michael I were wrapped at about 6pm, a bit later than anticipated, but thankfully the buses were remarkably cooperative
(ironically, in that each was several minutes later than their schedule),
so I was able to get up to the open dinner party at which my longtime friend, author and online radio host
Amber Grayson Vayle
was a guest, to which she had invited me so we could finally
meet in person.