Leftovers: Day Six — Road Closed

It's nice to live on the set. The call time was seven in the morning. I set my alarm clock for 6:30. Plenty of time to load up my espresso machine, shower, and check my email. And I was ready.

It had been a cold night, and as I really don't have a heater, our kid actors and their moms were rather chilly, even inside. I no doubt seemed callous, but I was moving lights and other equipment to stage all the stuff in my front yard. And I was warming up quite nicely.

I set up a basic lighting scheme where I lifted all my blinds, and supplemented the sunlight coming through the windows with a couple of Lowell Omni lights aimed at a white plastic party tablecloth hung up on a couple of c-stands. This is like a giant light box. I usually use a white shower curtain, but I like Russ' tablecloth version. I'm sure it's cheaper. Besides, the material is thinner, and easier to work with.

We broke for lunch and then the production moved to the parking-lot of NewTek, up on the far north-side. The scene we were going to shoot was a traffic jam. Robin had planned to shot it on the road in front of NewTek, as there is hardly any traffic there.

When I drove to the location, I missed my turn, and doubled around. There was this beautiful stretch of road behind a sign which read Road Closed. It was an area of a soon-to-be residential development. (One of the areas under development had a billboard with the contact info for realtor Dar Miller — I wasn't aware the girl was such a big wheel at her company as to be billboard-worthy.) When I got to NewTek, I mentioned the road to Robin. She's been thinking of using it, and when Russ and Rudolfo showed interest. We drove out to scout the place, and decided it would serve our needs.

We borrowed a large crane from NewTek, a massive Jony Jib that puts me and Pete's Cobra Crane to shame. We headed out to the closed road. Several kids came out to add their cars. I'm guessing it was some of Tracie's high-school friends. Eventually we had 15 cars to fake a traffic jam.

This is the sort of stuff I love. We spent maybe four hours shooting half a page of script. But we kicked ass on the production value. Robin and Kevin wrangled loads of cars and the crane. I'm looking forward to seeing this scene cut together. It turned out to be a very fun sequence to shoot.

And Kevin's mom, Pamela Kay Nations (I think I have her name right), arrived for a visit in town just in time to portray the woman who rear-ends Anne's character's 1971 Sedan DeVille. She did a fine job. And no Cadillacs have yet to be harmed in the making of this movie.

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