Sister Novena's PortaPulpit
freedom, liberalism, movies, and truth

Saturday, July 31, 2004
Like Father, Like Son

Things are looking up, friends and neighbors. The Zogby poll is painting a picture that liberals should be pretty happy about at this stage in the game. Here's a link to the original report, but more easily digestible is this quick look, via Atrios:

Among Hispanic Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

Among Southern Voters:
Kerry 48%
Bush 46%

Viewed Favorably in the South:
Kerry 55%
Bush 55%

Approve of Bush's Job Performance in the South: 44%

US Headed in the Right Direction in the South: 43%

Among Young Voters (18-29):
Kerry 53%
Bush 33%

Among Single Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

In the Red States:
Kerry 46%
Bush 48%

In the Blue States:
Kerry 50%
Bush 38%

Among People Who Did Not Vote in 2000:
Kerry 50%
Bush 25%

The usual caveats apply: it's still three months till the election; a clean election is far from guaranteed; we still need the electoral votes; things can change; this is only a poll, and one of many. On the plus side, though: this poll was taken before any post-convention bounce could take effect. We can expect these numbers to get better yet.

Speaking of the convention, what did President Bush think of all those great speeches?
US President George W. Bush returned to the campaign trail, one day after the Democratic convention which he dismissed as a venue for "clever speeches."
(source)

Goddamn liberal bastards and their cleverness.
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Don't Talk About Our Son, Martha

As you can see from the previous post, I desperately need some time to wind down. Something with an edge is good for this kind of mood, so it was off to Black Lodge for movies, something to assuage my inner tension.

And I knew exactly the thing to aid in purging some of the bile, one of those films that I never seem to include on my top 10/50/100 lists, but which really does rank among my all-time favorite movies: Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

I have to admit, for a long time I didn't really "get it" about Elizabeth Taylor. As a horse-mad little girl, I'd seen her in National Velvet, and as an adult I saw her in Suddenly Last Summer. She was okay and all, but seriously, why the adulation? Then I saw her as Martha, and she was absolutely fucking phenomenal. I know not everyone likes this particular performance, but I've never seen a performance of the play with anyone other than Taylor and Sir Richard Burton, so for me they are George and Martha; I love them as they are, and I'm reluctant to see anyone else in these roles. I'm open to conversion, but only just.

I'm not even a particularly big fan of the deep character piece -- I detest Bergman's Persona for example, but the writing in this film is staggeringly good, and genuinely funny. Dour Swedes quietly tormenting each other is intolerable, but drunken Americans wittily tormenting each other is pure dark, sick pleasure. This is highbrow dysfunction, and endless stream of perfect lines, all subtext and allusion.

A quick plot summary: George, a history professor, and Martha, his wife and the college president's daughter, invite a new biology professor and his wifey little mouse over for late-night drinks after a party. They then spend the rest of the film peeling away layers of pretense and neurosis, slowly and painfully, until everyone has been thoroughly humiliated and humbled. Sounds like fun, no?

The weird thing is, in a twisted sort of way, George and Martha are very likeable characters, and not the demons they appear to be. George isn't as weak as he seems; Martha isn't as dominant, nor as cold. George may not be much of a history professor, but he can still give the new blood a few hard lessons; Martha, for all her venom, really does love him. It's kinda touching in its way; I think there are probably worse marriages than George and Martha's, if none more volatile.

Anyway, if you haven't seen it, you should; it's one of those "classic" films that really does deserve the honor. And as far as pivotal realizations go, I'll take George and Martha's son over "Rosebud" any day.
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Non-Journal, Days Sixteen and Seventeen

You know how I said I might still complain, but not as much? Then forgive me for what I'm about to write... I need to vent.

Lee is turning into a monster. Not an angry monster; that I could probably deal with more easily. What Lee is turning into is a coverage monster.

We had one short scene to shoot today: the main character and his love interest have a brief dialogue -- five short lines -- and kiss. That's it, that's the whole scene.

Admittedly the location was problematic; we were stuck between one construction site and another building that was being repainted, ie, lots of potential for sound problems. We were also on the bluff on the higher riverwalk, with lots of traffic below, another potential source of noise. Also, there was the trolley about seventy feet away, and of course the ubiquitous Memphis daytime sound: trains. Add to that the intermittent presence of walkers and assorted exercisers, and yeah, it was a finicky shoot site. But it was only five lines of dialogue, the construction wasn't continuous, and the rest can be dodged. Ten or twelve takes would have been reasonable; fifteen at the most.

But is that what happened? Hell no. Lee, who is already coverage-mad, routinely taking three or four times the number of angles he can possibly use (I once watched him take seven angles of a shot that won't last more than five seconds on screen... I mean, seriously, what is this, MTV?) took twenty-seven takes from five angles. (Remember, this is five lines of dialogue and one kiss.) Finally he decided he was done and told us to pack up. Hooray!

But wait, no... DeVere asks him, "were you happy with that?" Lee gives him a lukewarm response -- exactly the wrong thing to do with a self-doubting, sensitive actor like DeVere -- and DeVere predictably starts hemming and hawing, asking if we should do it again. This then feeds into Lee's own insecurities, making him further question whether the scene was any good. (It was fine.) After some discussion -- after I'd already gotten everything packed up -- it was decided that they'd go again. Unpack. Set up again. We're re-shooting the whole scene.

In the end, we did nearly fifty takes of the scene; the last few takes had only minor changes from the first few. We spent over forty minutes worth of tape on a scene that will last no more than one minute onscreen. Forty-seven total takes. Five lines of dialogue. Forty-seven, five. Insanity.

I found this especially frustrating (pointing out that I was already tired when we began), because to me it just seems like sloppy directing. How do we get through twenty-seven takes without the director a) discovering and b) addressing the fact that it's not quite working for him? I told him afterwards that only Kubrick got away with that; any professional producer would've been reaming him out after take twenty-five. One starts to get the impression that Lee isn't really sure what he wants when he begins, and isn't sure he's done it right once he gets it. To be an effective director, you have to be decisive, for better or worse... somebody around here has to have a clear vision, somebody's gotta know what's going on. Some days Lee doesn't seem to have that.

Now, don't get me wrong... I'm NOT saying Lee's a bad director. I'm just saying sometimes his actual directing is... well, y'know, not good.

(I'm such a back-seat director... now I have to shoot something soon, just to prove I can do it myself, and to show Lee how it's done. Heh... I flatter myself.)

I'm really dreading this coming weekend... this isn't fun anymore. We've got two days of shooting out in the sun, complicated scenes, lots of extras, lots of floundering around.

And if he should read this: yes, I'm fine; yes, I'll keep going. It's a point of honor for me to see it through. No, I'm not mad, I'm just tired and frustrated and annoyed. Yes, I still like you, although I'd like a few days without having to see you. I'm sorry if I seem disengaged or impatient. I wish I had something more substantial to do. And yes, I should probably say all this to you directly, but after seeing how it upset you when DeVere expressed dissatisfaction, I'm afraid of undermining your confidence even more. I wish I felt I could make this case without it being taken personally, but I don't think I can.

So I stew, and hang on til it's over.

God, I love filmmaking.
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Thursday, July 29, 2004
What's That Slapping Sound?

It's John Kerry, bending little Georgie Bush over his knee and spanking him the way his daddy should've.

I'm damn impressed.


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Non-Journal, Day Fifteen, And Shady Goings-On Elsewhere

We shot some stuff today. Just little pick-ups, nothing exciting. It was over in like an hour; I'm pulling another over-nighter to force myself onto a diurnal schedule, since we'll be doing early shoots for the next four or five days.

Enough of the boring stuff.

The biggest film-related news in Memphis today is this:

Extra claims sex assault by actor, assistant director
By Chris Conley
July 29, 2004

Rising Hollywood comic star Anthony Anderson and an assistant director in the movie "Hustle & Flow" were bailed out of the Shelby County Jail Wednesday night after being accused of raping a movie extra.

Anderson, 33, and Wayne Witherspoon, 42, were arrested late Tuesday by Shelby County Sheriff's deputies at the Shelby County Correction Center in East Memphis after the female extra in the movie ran naked from a trailer on a set, saying she was sexually assaulted.

(...)

Anderson's comic scene-stealing, gap-toothed smile and boisterous presence have made him an audience favorite, especially among children.

He has appeared in "Barbershop" (as the hapless thief who steals an ATM), "Me, Myself & Irene," "Kangaroo Jack," and "Agent Cody Banks 2." His latest movie, "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle," opens Friday.

Witherspoon, second assistant director on "Hustle & Flow," also has worked on the crews of such films as "Ali," "Star Trek: Insurrection" and the upcoming "Collateral" with Tom Cruise.

(...)

Local filmmaker Craig Brew er said he was inside his trailer at the time of the incident and would not comment on the arrests. Neither would the film's producers, who include John Singleton, the director of "Boyz N the Hood," who is financing the current movie's $2.8 million budget himself.

The arrests stopped a two-day shoot at the correction facility at 1045 Mullins Station. It was unclear how it would affect the movie schedule.

Anderson, who has a key supporting role as a friend of the movie's pimp protagonist, still has many scenes to shoot. Wednesday's filming was at the King of Clubs, a closed strip club on Brooks Road.

Deputies were called to the Correction Center about 4:30 p.m. by George Little, director of the facility, who told them a sexual assault had occurred.

The alleged victim, he said, had been taken by ambulance to Saint Francis Hospital.

A witness, James G. Williams, 60, heard screaming and unlocked the trailer door from the outside, and the woman ran out naked, according to the charges. It was not clear whether Williams, who gave officers a Los Angeles area phone number, was part of the movie crew.

The 25-year-old woman told police she was lured into the trailer by Witherspoon, who then exposed himself. Anderson, she said, joined in the assault. She said her clothes were removed and she was sexually assaulted by both men.

She said the two held her down and took graphic pictures with a camera telephone. Investigators said a camera-phone had been recovered, but not the photo chip.

Little, who said he first assumed an inmate had caused the commotion, described the woman as "distraught."

Deputies "questioned a number of folks," he said, and escorted the two men off the set late Tuesday. Little said his employees secured the scene and kept everyone on the set until the officers arrived.

Et cetera.

Even though it happened late in the day, it was already the gossip du jour all over town by this evening, particularly among the film community. There are a number of conflicting emotions: mild shock, dark amusement, some pity for Craig Brewer, a touch of indignation, and just a hint of schadenfreude. My own responses have ranged from, "thank god I'm not working on that film," to "how the hell is Craig going to pull this one off?" to "well, this is what happens when you bring Hollywood types into the local community."

I really do feel bad for Craig. He's a bit of a smoke-blower, but every time I've met him he's seemed like a decent guy: cordial, friendly, accessible. Some are envious of his success; that's understandable. But even though this ugly incident doesn't necessarily end the shoot, this is some bad mojo for the film. Or, at least, it seems to be at this point. It's just such a mess... certainly Craig didn't deserve anything like this. I have a feeling the men accused won't be quite as exonerated as they claim they will be, although to be sure the facts are far from clear. For the moment, I am blaming it all on the Hollywood influence... often as not, when the Hollywood people come (especially the lower-rent Hollywood people), negative things ensue. This hasn't be the case so much for Walk The Line, which is also shooting in Memphis now, and I hope it won't be. But certainly the Forty Shades of Blue people caused some problems while they were in town... I don't think anybody walked away from that shoot happy.

There just seems to be this assumption among the lesser Hollywood folks that whatever works in LA works here, too. But Memphis is like Mayberry compared to Los Angeles: you can't get away with as much. (Of course, my feelings about LA are conflicted anyway; perhaps I'll try to explain it sometime if anyone's interested -- I have lots of vaguely-metaphysical theories about Los Angeles -- but now's not the most opportune time for that.)

But what a mess for Craig; what a mess for Memphis. I hate to see stuff like this happen, it feels like a big black mark on a film community that's already fragile, even if the worst always does seem to be perpetrated by outsiders. This is the part of the film industry I revile; I wish these leeches would just go away.

Moral: when Hollywood comes to town, you best be on your guard. They bring money and possibilities, but they bring a lot of darkness, too.

Anyway, when I saw Lee today I tried to use it as a teaching model: see, your problems could be so much worse. Another crew member and I are gradually coming to the conclusion that Lee's really just not production material. He'll likely be happier in post, when it's just him and the material, but first he's got to survive this. I try to help him along, but it gets frustrating; he has no feel for the routine, the method, the system that helps get you through a shoot. He doesn't respond well to the pressure (and hoo-boy is there a lot of pressure), he's not that good at creative problem-solving (which is a huge part of production), and he's not much of a multi-tasker... all crucial abilities. He gets too involved to communicate clearly with the crew, and he takes everything too personally. Like I said, he should be great in post; first, however, we have to get him through production.

Thing is, everything he hates about this phase of the process, I love. Film production is one of the few things I've found that really makes me feel like my mind is fully occupied, that I'm using all my abilities well. I like the fact that there are always a dozen entirely-different things to do at any given moment -- creative things, organizational things, strategic things, mechanical things, abstract and concrete things, the lot -- and I like the structure that keeps the process contained. There are elements of the larger film world that I dislike, but I don't assume they have to be relevant to my work; I generally ignore them as far as I'm able. I just love the process, I love it for what it really is, the way you love a person for who they really are, complete with issues and shortcomings.

Would it sound strange to say I have trouble understanding -- I mean, really understanding -- why anybody would take this beast on without loving it that way?

PS: Yes, they were shooting in the same prison block we were shooting in just a few days ago. And yes, that's pretty freaky.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004
The First African-American President?

I have once again been spending the night watching the main speeches from the DNC: Howard Dean, Ron Reagan, Jr., and Teresa Heinz Kerry. I think I'm in love with Teresa; that's my kind of woman: smart, funny, wise, and not taking any shit off anyone. May she remain that way once she's esconced in the White House and taking the full brunt of endless Republican attacks.

But the killer speech of the night was given by a new guy, Barack Obama. He's running for the Senate in Illinois this year (he's the one who's all but a shoo-in since the Illinois Republican Party imploded after the Jack Ryan scandal), but I gotta say, if he keeps on like this, I think he's got as serious a chance at the presidency as any black man has ever had. He's good-looking, charismatic, a high-energy speaker (potentially even better than Clinton), eloquent, passionate, and has all the potential that a new, unspoiled political prospect always has. And he's got a hell of a story behind him; that alone is political gold.

Since he's so new to the game, his stand on the issues is still a little vague, but there's time to fill in the blanks. What I see so far, I like. And obviously it'll be a while before we see how far he can really go. But the day has to come when we have somebody other than an old white guy in office, and Obama's got the goods.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation -- not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is the true genius of America -- a faith in the simple dreams of its people. The insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time.

(...)

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there's the United States of America. There's not a Black America and White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats.

But I've got news for them, too.

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about.

Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

(Read the transcript here; watch the speech here.)

That's what I'm talking about; that's what we want to hear. I'm telling you, I've got chills.

In spite of my reservations about the direction the Democratic Party is moving in, I'm feeling pretty good about the convention so far; it's low on the negative stuff, and big on an expansive, generous, inclusive America. Don't get me wrong: people are pissed off. But they're not stewing, they're coming up with ideas for ways to repair all the damage we've taken in the last few years. I know, of course, that energizing the base is what these conventions are all about, but getting the base excited is very necessary for the Democrats this year; we have a big (but imminently doable) job ahead of us.

So yeah, I'm digging it.
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Non-Journal, Days Thirteen and Fourteen

We've had a couple of pretty easy shooting days; all evening, "golden-hour" stuff. A cold front has created some unseasonably cool weather (without the usual attending thunderstorms), so shooting in the evenings has been very pleasant. The scenes we've been shooting aren't anything too exciting: the main character goes out on his first streak, and the attendant bits thereto. We're doing more of the same tomorrow.

There has been some mild drama just the same. Lee is really having a hard time with the stuff DeVere said the other day, in addition to a new issue: DeVere has apparently decided he won't allow any frontal nudity in the film. Now, this isn't, y'know, that kind of film, but it is about a streaker. There was never any intention of having the lead actor run around naked (which would have been my way of doing it, damn the torpedoes); Lee has found a way to do it quite convincingly through CGI. He's good at that kind of thing. The problem is, DeVere has decided he doesn't want even a suggestion of frontal nudity... which is to say, he's not even cool with a bare-ass CGI stand-in.

This raises some tricky questions. First of all, DeVere has known from the day he signed on that this is a comedy about a streaker... and let's face reality, a naked guy can, under the right circumstances, be a pretty comical sight. You'd think at the very least that this would have been hashed out before we started shooting. But as things stand, DeVere is a member of SAG, and Lee had to sign a contract with him and SAG to secure his performance in the film. That contract stipulates that nudity is by the actor's consent only; the issue is that that consent, for whatever reason, has been "clarified" (or possibly altered) since the contract was signed. If DeVere refuses to allow even a CGI representation to flap his phallus around a little, then Lee's lost a tiny bit of creative control over his film to his lead actor. It's a classic struggle, and Lee is not at all happy about the situation.

Having said all that, Lee is really letting this get to him. You have to have a thick skin in this business, even on the lowest levels. Lee is straining under the pressure, and I think he's taking it much too personally. This shit happens, it's as much a part of the process as anything else; to be honest, it could be a LOT worse (I've seen it, it ain't pretty.) The problem is, Lee's despair is threatening to rub off, and that's bad mojo for the film. He's at a disadvantage in that he lacks anyone to handle this stuff for him (I'm sure as hell not going to volunteer), so he has to focus on too much stuff that has nothing to do with the production work immediately in front of him. It's a lot for anyone to take on; I fear that Lee's risking being overwhelmed.

My advice to him today was to carve out a day off for himself. He's filled his (and our) schedule so thoroughly that he literally doesn't have a single day off until the end of August -- an insane work schedule in any endeavor, possibly suicidal for a film. I don't know if he will or not, but he really, really should. Burning himself out before the production is finished will only mean that all this work was done in vain.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2004
My Favorite Bit Of Convention Commentary So Far

I'm staying up, watching the best parts of the convention on c-span. Apart from the 9-11 memorial (coming on at 3:30 AM), I've seen all the major speeches. My favorite comment so far comes from Atrios:
Carter speech. Knife. In. Twist. Smile. Brilliant. Leaders cannot mislead. Meet Mrs. Carter. Meet President Carter. They begged for an honest man, and they drove him out of town. Bastards.

The Carter speech was great. He wasn't much of a president, but he's a damn fine human being.

And as for Gore: why couldn't he speak like that in 2000? I know that the pressure of the campaign must take some of the edge off, but god, what I wouldn't have given for such an impassioned speaker back when he only needed a few more points to nullify the Bush campaign. And credit for the self-deprecating kiss with Tipper -- and I don't even like Tipper.
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Monday, July 26, 2004
Non-Journal, Day Twelve

Today was one of those rough days. I did something I've never done on a film shoot before: I completely spaced on the call time. I had checked the online calendar, but looked at the wrong date without realizing it; I thought we were starting at 6 PM, when in fact we were starting at 1 PM. I didn't catch my error until about 2:30 when I noticed I'd missed a call on my mobile phone; it was from Lee, wondering where I was. I immediately called back, embarrassed and apologetic, and told him I'd get there ASAP. At about 3:15 I finally arrived in Midtown, apologizing obsequiously to everyone. Nobody was angry; I was more upset at myself than anyone else. On a big shoot that degree of lateness is a pretty major offense; I could easily be fired for such a mistake. I was mortified.

As it turned out, my lateness was the least of Lee's concerns; he blew it off and told me not to worry. I sensed that there was some tension in the air, although nobody had quite enough time to explain it to me. Basically, what it boiled down to was that DeVere had complained to Lee, and told him that the entire cast and crew was unhappy. That apparently cut Lee very deeply and left him frustrated and distressed. He got through DeVere's stuff quickly and sent him home, then focused on getting the rest of the shots for the night.

Hearing about all this, I began to feel very bad for my own dissatisfaction on the set. I and another guy hung around after the shoot letting Lee vent and shoring up his confidence; we tried to explain to him that film crews just complain no matter how good the situation is. Actors, for their part, often have a tendency to be a bit moody and tempestuous. We told him he shouldn't take it personally, that the crew was fine, that we knew he was doing his best, etc. I've never said anything to Lee about any of this -- for what it's worth, I do recognize that my complaints are pretty niggling and not terribly consequential to the shoot -- but I still felt bad for thinking the way I did.

Which isn't to say that I won't still whinge when we have another long, hot shoot... just maybe not quite so much.
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Sunday, July 25, 2004
Oh, Hey, By the Way...

I am vexed to discover that I'm working evenings clear through the Democratic National Convention this week. I'm sure I'll read about anything interesting that transpires, but I hate to miss all the fun... I don't suppose anyone would be willing to tape/TIVO the Daily Show for me duing the convention? I'd be awfully grateful.

Also, one brief announcement. A little over a year ago, after watching my country invade another country for reasons I deeply distrusted even then, and being stuck in one of the most Republican counties in the US and despairing of ever finding a group of people with whom I could safely commiserate, I ran across a political web forum hosted by a liberal talk radio guy, Mike Malloy. A few months later, duing a massive board schism, I was inducted as a moderator on that same forum. Mike's old station went under a while back (not long before Air America launched), and finally AAR has seen fit to add Mike to their programming. Starting August 2, Mike's show will air on AAR from 10 PM to 1 AM. Unlike many of AAR's personalities, Mike's an old hand and a born rabble-rouser; he kicks ass. If you can get access to the show (they do webcasts), I highly recommend it, especially if Al Franken and the rest have felt a bit too tame for you.

The mods on the forum are currently shitting a brick over what is likely to become a tsunami of new posters, not all of them friendly. But that's what we're there for. Sign up today and get instant old-timer cred for the new arrivals.

Also on this day in history: today is the birthday of my first boyfriend (somewhere in Seattle, he's turning 29 today) and also the second anniversary of my paternal grandfather's physical death. (He'd already been mentally dead, or all but, for a decade.) Day after tomorrow is my maternal grandfather's 78th birthday; he's still very fit and well for a man his age, and a really good guy.

Dunno why any of that would interest you, but it seemed to want mentioning.
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Non-Journal, Day Eleven

We spent the morning shooting at the old Courthouse on Adams, downtown. (It's the same place they shot all the courtroom scenes in The People Vs. Larry Flynt .) Most of the shoot was spent collecting a series of plates for some computer jiggery-pokery that Lee wants to attempt to make a crowd of about a dozen reporters looks like many dozens of reporters. Lee told us to trust him, but I have to admit: I'm pretty skeptical about the effect. I just don't see how it can work the way he says it will, for a number of reasons. However, Lee knows a fair bit about this stuff, and I know next to nothing, so it could well be that he's right and I'm wrong. It doesn't matter in either case... the footage has been taken, we made the 24 plates, and nobody really wanted to do it, but we did it anyway.

Lee was skirting dangerously close to a mutiny on the part of the main actress, but then again, she's an irritable type anyway. She's not a bad actress -- I wouldn't have chosen her for this particular role if it were my film, but it's not, so that's a moot point -- but she is the kind of woman who tends to rub me the wrong way. A bit -- y'know -- spoiled. (She seems to think that she's the only tired/hot/sweaty person around.) But if it works for her, I guess that's cool. Whatever.

We are, all of us, getting fed up with the heat. It seems like every other day entails prolonged shooting in direct, southern July sunlight or stuffy, poorly-ventilated enclosed spaces. As one of the actors put it today, if we were all dogs or children, Lee would be in jail now. It would be okay if we got regular breaks to remove to shade or air-conditioned interiors, or if we had more than tepid bottled water to help with the heat, but we don't. I suppose I shouldn't complain about it, but the noon sun in mid-summer in Memphis can be very harsh -- dangerously harsh -- and we're spending a lot more time in it than I think any of us were led to anticipate.

Still, at least the early-morning shoots are over for a few days. I didn't sleep at all last night, so when I got home in the early afternoon after the shoot, I retired directly to bed and didn't wake up until 8 PM. I laugh at your puny mortal sleep patterns! I am Film-Crew Woman, and I require no such regular cycle! Two hours a day, twelve hours a day; morning, noon, night: it's all the same to me! Mwahahahahaha!
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