Sunday, August 23, 2009

My First Time Shooting a Film! - Part Two


That morning, I decided to watch Pulp Fiction again to get energized and inspired. It helped some, and I got to enjoy the movie on Ben's bigger television (I never noticed before that Tim Roth was shivering in his scene with Sam Jackson).

By 10:00 am, I had finished the entire script. It was definitely much darker than the original, but just as sardonic to the characters (although, the girl, instead of dying and being raped, has an attempted rape scene). Soon, I'll have to post both drafts of the script on the blog so you all can see what my deranged mind produced.

Once the afternoon came about, Brendan came over to get started. He read the new script. And loved it. I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to be complemented on my writing. I was suddenly ready to hit an artistic high. Also, he came bearing good news and bad news: the good news was that he found a girl for the part; the bad news was that it was Aimee, a girl he had broken up with. Will it be that bad? So now we needed four more parts casted. Ben had to play someone, as did I. Ian was playing the zombie. Maybe he could play the wimp, too? A double role more bizarre than Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood? Ah, compromise, you sneaking bitch. It should work if we do it well.

We shot the first major sequence involving Brendan's character, named Roger, packing the getaway van and getting bitten by the zombie. It took about an hour to shoot, starting with an crane shot turning into a dolly shot running parallel to the driveway and Brendan. Brendan is a really good and dedicated actor, even if he can't watch his own scenes. While filming, he chose to run around the block and straight into the shot for realism.

After this, we shot his scene in the bathroom with Ian, now the wimp named Henry, which brought out Brendan's real acting talent. Essentially, Roger wants Henry to kill him before he becomes a zombie, but Henry refuses and runs away.

After this was shot, we stopped for lunch. Brendan and Ben would go get the pizzas, and also pick up Aimee so we could shoot their scenes together so Brendan could leave for college by Friday night. While they were gone, I created a scene list to keep track of our shooting progress. There were 31 scenes. We finished two. Oh boy.

Soon, Brendan, Ben, and Aimee arrived with pizzas and pop. Emily also arrived later for no reason in particular. She watched and enjoyed the production. Aimee looked over the script (she complimented my handwriting, which made me feel even better) and got the jest of it all. We immediately got to work on the garage scene, which required Brendan to be tied to an overhead pipe. Now, throughout this junction, there was a real tension between Aimee and Brendan that in a strange way helped their scene together. Brendan whispers to Aimee to do something for him for him, but she doesn't want to. She looks a lot like Anna Paquin.

Next was the dreaded attempted rape scene. Quent, played by Ben, was jealous of Aimee liking Roger, so he attempts to rape her. No one wanted to do this scene, and it wasn't until it was over that I realized just how serious the matter was. Now I regret doing it, but being naive and silly about it, we went and did it anyway. Originally, I envisioned Quent's angry as equally that of Jake La Motta's in Raging Bull, especially the scene where he beats up his brother for allegedly having sex with his wife. However, Ben was really puzzled by the mere concept of the scene (understandable), so we decided we would improvise the entire thing. This time, Brendan filmed the scene as I directed. Ben's improvising was the creepiest thing we'd ever seen. You'll have to see the final film to truly experience it...let's say it if Jack Sparrow did an attempt rape scene. But worse. That's the best I can do.

After that was done, we stopped for the night. We were extremely exhausted and had to stop. Brendan, Aimee, and Emily went home. Martin, who was supposed to show up today, didn't. I called him and he promised he'd come on Friday so we could film some stuff with him. That night, Ben edited a trailer for our film with the existing footage that looked really good, especially since it was to be made black-and-white. We tried to watch The Wild Bunch, but I fell asleep after the first violent scene and woke up for the last. According to Ben, I wasn't missing anything.

We'd finish all of Brendan's scenes tomorrow.

Will finish up tomorrow.

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