Wednesday, June 23, 2004Day Fifteen
Once again, I'm a little late in posting. Between you and me, it's a minor miracle that I'm still posting on this shoot at all... I lost interest in the venture at least a week ago. I'll probably be glad I stuck with it later, though.
Okay... let's see... where to begin?
I started Tuesday (if you accept 6 PM as "starting Tuesday") by completely bailing on the Co-op workshop. I was supposed to give some instruction on basic camera operating, but by the time 7:30 rolled around I was in a somewhat surly mood, and feeling only like hiding under a rock somewhere. Giving of myself and interacting closely with other people were not things I felt capable of doing, at least not if I wanted to prevent myself from bailing on the shoot later.
So I set 'em up with a DVD -- some doc on poetry slams by a workshop attendee/Co-op member that would've been good if it were cut down to about 20 minutes (the actual running time was roughly two hours) -- and once the lights were out, I retreated to an office and spent an hour or so valiantly resisting the urge to freak out completely. While I was in there, Lee (the director of the next film I'm working on) tapped on the door and asked to talk. To be honest, at that moment that was the last thing I wanted -- it wasn't about Lee, who's a great guy, but just about being spoken to about yet another film, another way to give up two months of my life. But Lee was actually helpful; he's a rather calming presence, and reassured me about where I was at as much as I hope I reassured him about his ongoing preproduction worries. Morgan's been in a rough place the last few days, and the Great Directorial Triad has been pretty inaccessible; there hsa really been nobody to vent to about this uncomfortable last stage of production, at a time when venting is good for one's sanity.
Things on the production front have continued to be tricky. We arrived back at the party house at 2:45 AM with the cast and crew(but no drunken extras), to discover that we were not particularly welcome. This is the problem with unpaid locations, especially those that are normally somebody's home... as much as you try to leave things in good order, once people realize how extensive the disruption to their lives can be, they often begin to do whatever they feel they can get away with to repel the production. It's highly understandable, and even the most well-informed hosts often don't really, really realize what they're in for. I can't blame the home's residents for not wanting us back, but it does cause some significant problems for the shoot. For one thing, we had twenty people standing around at 3 AM not doing anything, and second, while it might be possible to scout another location that would match closely enough, it's a huge pain in the ass and not guaranteed to be successful. We don't yet know that we won't be able to use that location again, but at the very least we have to reschedule those scenes. That means the production just became one day longer at a stage when nobody wants to do an extra day.
The tension surrounding Philly continues as well... she's one of those people who has apparently decided that she has a right -- nay, a moral obligation -- to shit on anyone she decides isn't doing enough for her. She's an interesting personality, to be sure, and I do understand why Morgan cast her; I just wonder if it was worth the trauma. We have a laid-back, adaptable, relaxed cast and crew; there are few rampant egos around, and I think that's a big part of what has allowed this to be as peaceable and smooth a production as it has been. Philly enters the scene as a raving egotist, shitting all over that easygoing vibe. (I want to underline here that this is NOT Morgan's fault; Philly is solely responsible for her own actions. I don't think Morgan realized when he invited her what a disruptive influence she would be.)