Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Night Exterior

At our production meeting the Saturday before shooting began, the director referred to Day 6 as punishment. Well, that pledge was delivered yesterday.

Day 6 - On the slate for today were one lengthy effects-laden action sequence and a car drag race sequence. First the action sequence, which was our daytime sequence that featured Archie chasing two agents who have stolen his blood car. Fortunately for aesthetics, part of this sequence was shot on a rather steep hill. Unfortunately for me, I had to ride my bike down this hill wielding a shiny hatchet in pursuit. Usually riding down a hill is not very difficult. You just coast down the hill, right? Right. Uh-uh. If you're trying to convey that Archie is desperately after the stolen blood car, it looks incongruous if he's coasting down a hill. However, if he's pedaling furiously on camera, it looks truthful and convincing. Well, I don't know if you've ever tried putting a bike in the lowest gear possible and pedaling downhill at full speed while holding a hatchet over your head. It's difficult. I almost took a number of spills, which is frustrating and embarrassing because you cannot give the director exactly what he wants. Apparently, enough of it worked so it wasn't a total loss. When we did it uphill, it was easy as pie.

My coldest and most treasured memory yesterday was the head to toe blood drenching I received. As I chase the agents on my bike, the blood car springs a leak and a stream of blood shoots out of the trunk like a firehose dousing Archie. If you can imagine someone sitting on the back of a truck spraying blood in your face with a garden hose at maximum pressure while you try to chase it on your bike, that is what I had to do. It was the most fun I had all day. I did underestimate the drenching. It must have looked like I emerged from a swimming pool of blood. Thomas, the boom operator who always wears a black cap with 'Higher Learning' printed on it, had this to say: "It was the funniest thing I've ever seen next to the time when my sister did a cartwheel across our living room and got her braces stuck in the carpet."

Our night exterior scene involved quite an elaborate lighting setup simply because you don't have the sun to augment your lighting needs. Scaffolding stretched at least 20 feet into the air and held a 20K(or maybe it was an 18K) at one end of the street and a couple equally bright softer lights that resembled china balls only cylindrical at the other end of the street. The great lamentation of this evening was no behind the scenes crew to capture one of our drag racing gags. I'll wait until you see the film before I reveal the legerdecamera.

The nightmarish part of this evening was I almost had to sleep in Alex's father's rental house all night. It serves as our base camp and is almost completely devoid of furniture and decoration. Mr. Orr's house was burned down some time ago and he lost nearly all of his possessions so he temporarily resides here. No offense, but it certainly isn't the coziest place to wake up in at two in the morning. I had slipped into the back bedroom to sleep before my next scene, but I slept through wrap and when I awoke, everyone was gone except the grips and electrics, who were tearing down the scaffolding.

It was a long day and we didn't cover everything we had scheduled, which is a tough reality to swallow. But tomorrow is our day off and we need it.