Last night I finally headed off to bed at about two a.m. I'd just received my final phone call from the teams asking guidance concerning the rules, and I decided to keep my phone at the bedside. But I didn't get another call until maybe 7:30 this morning. It was one of the team leaders asking how he should go about shooting his piece. Aspect ration, frame rate, stuff like that. I was very pleasantly surprised. This was a team which had spent several hours working on a script and doing some serious pre-production. I was disheartened by the large number of teams who dived into production after two hours or so of getting the genres and elements. This meant one of two things was going on. Either these teams had written their script in advance, keeping it just vague enough to massage it to fit the parameters I handed out at 7 Friday night. Or, they were half-assing their pre-production. Both possibilities strike me as contrary to the spirit of this 48 hour development to post exercise.
Anyway, I told the caller what would be the least problematic way to shoot so as to cause as little problems as possible during the mastering process (what I'll have to do Monday to make the two master DVDs which will play Tuesday). But it looked like he was going to do what he wanted, my hints be damned.
“You can shoot that way if you want,” I said, angling the box fan more toward my face. “I'm sure you won't be the only one.” He thanked me and we said goodbye. I rolled over and went back to sleep. One of the reasons I so rarely give advice is that people so rarely take it. Fuck 'em.
Around 8:30 some Jehovah's Witnesses softly knocked on my door. They were persistent because I suspect they'd seen me peeking out the bathroom window earlier as I watched them working their way down the block. Fuck 'em, too. I grabbed another hour of sleep.
I took it easy, catching up on podcasts and email. Around 2:30 I headed to Pepe's Cafe for a late lunch.
Later in the day, I was back home, and I heard knocking. It wasn't those pesky witnesses, but the PrimaDonna team. I guess Nikki was serious when she asked me earlier if she could shot some exteriors on my porch. It was AJ, Lee, and Gillan. They were waiting on Chadd, Nikki, and Danni, their actress. Janet, from the Film Commission was also on the team as a lowly production assistant. She showed up in her Jeep just as AJ and the lads began to unload gear.
I hung out for awhile and watched them shoot a scene. Eventually, I headed off to see if anyone was shooting over at Urban-15. Joey's team was supposed to be doing some work there. But Herman explained that they'd already come and gone. I stopped to rubberneck a video crew in the Blue Star Arts complex. But as I failed to recognize anyone there (perhaps it had nothing to do with the 48 Hour Film Project), I didn't accost them.
Over near Guadalupe Street, I stopped and took some photos of an old defunct Humble Oil gas station. I couldn't resist. The place used to be encircled by an ugly wire fence. But now with easy access, I walked in and snapped away.
Back at my place, the PDP team was down to a final two or three camera set ups. They needed, as a prop, a hammer. They'd forgotten to bring it. And just minutes after I arrived, Janet — who had been sent to the Dollar General Store to get a hammer — drove up.
I hung back, snapping some more photos, and watched Chadd talking to AJ. Chadd was holding the hammer. I walked up and took it from him. He barely noticed. It had what I thought to be a horrid barcode sticker between the black rubber grip and the metal hammer head. I began peeling it off, but it was on there pretty seriously. Nikki was trying to get at it with here fingernails. A couple of the guys were saying it wouldn't show. Eventually AJ, who either agreed with me, or just wanted this bullshit I was bringing to the moment resolved, fetched a roll of white tape and covered the (to me) offending sticker.
They rolled on the little bits they needed, and were off … with a promise of a night shoot two hours later.
A nine o'clock tonight, the PDP team was back. The previous suspects, along with Raven, Marc Daratt, Laura Evans, Wesley Blake Conklin, and a lovely woman doing the make-up whose name I never got.
It's always a treat to see Marc, Wes, and Laura. They are wonderful people, gifted actors, and people who I have always enjoyed working with.
I'm still vague on the basic story line. But it seems that Wes is a bad guy. The stocking over his head was my first clue. The gun, my second. But, of course, everyone had a great time.
The group struck the set at about 11:30 tonight. And they were off to another location.