Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monters in the Woods: 1st day of shooting.

Monsters in the Woods Production – Day 1

6 am. Didn’t have to be up til 7, but woke up a bit early.
7am leave the house, gas up the car. Pick up Norm (Assistant Editor, PA, all around nice guy). We stop by ralph’s real quick to pick up some food coloring and starbucks for a coffee traveler (which by the by, barely got touched)

8am leave Burbank heading for Malibu. I had anticipated a 45-minute to one-hour drive. It took us an hour and 10. Norm and I arrived at 910 about 10 minutes late. But, because of the remote location, it turns out we were not to be the latest. All cast and crew were scheduled by 10am. It was almost 1100 before everyone arrived.

910 -1130 arrivals and set up. The sky is completely overcast, which is ok for even lighting, but there’s also a slight mist a brewing. Rain, became a big worry. (Fortunately the weather held and the sky stayed pretty much constant.)

While most of our shoot is legit, permits, insurance, ect.. this one day of production was completely guerilla. The location is on the outskirts of Malibu in a remote ravine fairly close to the PCH. We had everyone meet on the shoulder of the PCH and then shuttled back and forth. That way only one car would be close to our actual location at a time, drawing less attention to us.

This particular trail and ravine is not traveled often. We also chose to shoot on a weekday to lessen the chances of bystanders even more. The one big draw back to the location is once you’ve made the trek into the ravine, you’re pretty much there for the duration in the shoot. It’s difficult to shuttle in and out. We made the mistake early on of not bring absolutely everything we needed. Our thinking at the time was it was best to travel light and only bring things in when needed. Well we never encountered another living soul out there and the time we wasted making trips back and forth was great.

Fortunately this was a very light day of shooting. Basically we covered the 1st three pages of the script. A sex scene in a tent. A murder outside the tent and a quick chase through the woods ending in another death.

1245 – 230 sex and 1st kill scene.

After our delayed start the shooting went fairly smoothly. It took a few takes to break the ice during the sex scene, but once everyone was comfortable it was smooth sailing. We were particularly lucky with our cast. Kristian and Jamie got along famously. I have to admit that coming into the shoot, that was one of my biggest concerns, but they hit it off well and were able to joke, laugh and then get down to business. This was my first time shooting a full nude sex scene and they both took what could have been a very awkward and uncomfortable situation and made it fun.

230 – 330 bloody running and neck gag.

Jamie then spent the majority of her remaining time, covered in sticky blood. Mostly nude, running through the thick foliage, trying to avoid poison oak and rattlesnakes. She was successful on both accounts and never complained once.

330 – 5/Turkeyneck shots and promo stills. Bravo got ants under his turkeyneck mask while putting on a bloody shirt. His screams of “The ants! The Ants are under my mask!” was reminiscent of Nic Cage’s “The Bees! Not the bees!” tirade from The Wicker Man remake.

Our schedule wasn’t exactly followed to the T, but we did finish in plenty of time and were also able to get a bunch of good promotional stills. There was no real drama, other than some misplaced keys at the end of the day. It was overall one of the smoothest days of shooting I’ve ever had. Thanks Bravo.

Special thanks to Blaine, Norm, Debra and Angela for their help and patience. I couldn’t have had a better guerilla crew. I hope they can all come along for the rest of our shoot. Which will be a lot more comfortable, for the most part.

Oh, and our food was 1st rate.


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