Leftovers — Day Three: Line Drawn in the Sand

I got up Saturday morning at 4:45.  And even that early, I didn't have enough time to fire up the espresso machine.  And, still, I didn't make it to the shoot in Seguin until 6:15, a quarter hour after my call time.  But I wasn't too distressed.  I arrived just in time to follow the first three cars as they turned into the swanky house on the banks of the Guadalupe that is our principle location.

We were looking at an ambitious weekend with an expectation of 23 pages.  That's more — much more — than I care to schedule.  But it wasn't my call.

The call sheet for Saturday had the crew slated for 6am until 6pm.  A page an hour.  This is possible if you're running two cameras, or if the camera set-ups are simple, or if you don't care if the footage sucks.  We only had the one camera.  The set-ups were somewhat involved.  And we certainly didn't want to do sub-par work.  The answer was, shoot for an additional five hours.  (Fortunately, I slithered out around 8:30 in the evening.)

It was a day of working with children.  Nikki from PrimaDonna Productions was on set to coach the kids.  She, as always, did an incredible job.

Ayla did great work, but I knew she would.  She was running a couple of scenes with Dallin, a young actor from Austin.  He's, I guess, about 11 or 12.  A very seasoned and natural performer.  Neither he nor Ayla flubbed a single line.

Cameron, an actor from Houston, a bit younger than Dallin, didn't have an opportunity to deliver too many lines.  But he did some fine work screaming and fighting as mom (played by Anne Gerber) dragged him out of the house.  He argued.  He screamed.  He went limp.  And as Anne tucked him under her arm and lugged him out the door, the kid fought like a champ.

And then there was Atticus (Robin and Kevin's son).  He's not a trained actor.  And he's really too young to deliver a long sequence of dialogue.  But he actually had a somewhat lengthy scene where he's telling this rambling and barely intelligible story kids so often feel a need to convey.  He actually had the story in his head, but he kept trying to impress all of us cast and crew with digressions and augmentations of his tale of Power Rangers and people sprouting wings, motorcycles, and, of course, explosions.  I think after several takes, we got the gist.  But I was impressed that Atticus did such a good job delivering his part of the dialogue that followed the free-wheeling story he told.  He's also incredibly cute.

At about 8 in the evening, Robin took a vote (I tried to explain to her the following day that a movie production is not a democracy).  Actually, it was like the old story (most likely apocryphal) where Travis drew this sword through the dirt on the plaza of the Alamo.  I declined to remain through to midnight.  Usually, I pride myself of being first on set, and last to leave.  But I had promised Carlos I would burn him a DVD of the rough edit I did for our music video, and get it to the wrap party by ten that night.

The party was at Brenda's house.  I showed up with three copies of the DVD, in case some refused to play.  Actually, none worked on my DVD player, but they all played on my computer.  I hoped for the best, and drove over.

We didn't get around to watching the video until just after midnight.  That was when it officially became Carlos' birthday.  His wife Shelly turned a video camera on Carlos.  He was a bit tipsy, and he launched into a birthday speech.  Afterwards, he toasted us from the silver flask he had received as a gift.  It's a mini-style hip-flask that snaps into a belt-buckle.  Very suave.  Very El Picante.

The DVD seized up for a fraction of a second about five times, making me wince and cringe.  I hate home-burned DVDs.  But the crowd was positive, upbeat, and best of all, pretty drunk.  Cheers all around.

I headed out by 12:30.  I had to get up, again, at 4:45 to make a 6am call time in Seguin for Day 4 of Leftovers.


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