Leftovers – Day Two

When my cell phone woke me up (it's also an alarm clock) at 6am, I was well aware that I had managed to get no more than four hours of sleep after an intense day previous of shooting for almost 20 hours.  I think I was having some real interesting dreams.  But I dragged ass out of bed.  Showered. And loaded up some equipment.  I made it to the location pretty much on time.

The scenes we were shooting involved the protagonist's work place.  Carol (played by Sherri) has a part time gig as a radio shrink.  She's about mid-point between Frasier and Doctor Laura.  Our radio station location was the studio of Keith Harter Music.  He has an amazing space over by Austin Highway and Harry Wurzbach.  Keith's studio isn't only involved with music.  He also does film work. He told us about working on ADR for a major Hollywood blockbuster.

We used one of the standard studio rooms.  You know, two rooms separated by a soundproof glass window.  We started out slow today.  We are all exhausted from Saturday.  But Kevin learned from all the bitching of the previous day.  We finally had coffee.  And loads of the stuff.

Coffee can only help so much, and then you have to take some of the blame.

There was plenty of blame to go around.  But all productions limp along for the first two or three days until the crew learns how to work together.

No one can blame make-up artist Ezme Arana.  Ezme had a lot of work on the scenes we shot today.  It was one location, but we were supposed to see these two women through, I believe, four different days.  What makes Ezme brilliant isn't that she creates radically different looks for our actors.  Nope.  Not even that she actually makes these two beautiful actresses even more beautiful with  make-up.  Whatever.  This is the stuff all good make-up people do.  What makes Ezme rock is the way she delivers a complete look, different each time.  There was one costume change where Emily Eldredge (a powerful and sexy actress from Dallas who plays the producer of Carol's radio show) was wearing this clunky necklace made from large smooth-tumbled stones.  The predominant color in the necklace was a dark-tone amber.  And when Emily, playing out her scene, reaches out to clutch Sherri's arm, I noticed that Ezme had painted Emily's nails for this scene in an amber color, but in a mottle design, like some natural rock pattern.  I hope the camera caught it.

I can say with fair confidence that today the camera crew came close to living up to the high bar set by both Ezme and Emily.

I think me and Russ managed to create an intimate space by keeping most of the two sound studios dark, with light mostly thrown on the two women's faces.

We had the final scene still to shoot when five o'clock rolled around.  That was when we were supposed to leave.  Our contact with the location was out, and we had no one to beg a spare 45 minutes from.  After a tepid confrontational exchange between Russ and Robin (come on guys, don't hold back on my account), it was decided to push on.  I think, even rushed, we got that final scene down well in a couple of interesting set-ups.  Sherri and Emily were delivering the goods — at least they appeared to me to be giving strong performances.  My only concern is whether the camera work will cut together.  I don't believe we had any safety cut-away in case the two camera set-ups don't cut.  But working with talented actors has saved my ass so many times when I'm editing.  They hit their marks perfect every time.

This movie has a weekend only schedule.  And for some reason, we have next weekend off.  So, we won't be meeting up until Feb. 24th.  I only hope that Rudolfo hasn't died on us.  If not, we'll finally be able to see his face again.  I'm not sure I'll be able to recognize him without the face mask. 

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