Guerilla Filmmaking
March 25, 2000 - There goes the crew!

Indie film actorWell, we were SUPPOSED to do a bunch of small scenes and pick-up shots for this indie film. Johnny has some stomach virus or something and has been blowing chunks all week. He's out. I decided to shoot anything that didn't involve him. Geoff had a partched throat thing goin', so he wasn't in too good of a shape. Juliet had to cancel the night before because she was sick and totally out of it. Since she was gone, I had to tell Robin not to show up because I needed both of them at the same time. We were all set-up to do Scenes 25 and 28, where Geoff and John Horrigan berate Mr. Disgusting from the other side of the office. Geoff didn't have the correct shirt, so that blew that scene. The only thing I could do were the few scene between Dan and Phil. Ended up shooting an additional close up of Phil while Dan tries to pawn off Mr. Disgustings computer to the others in the office. (Without them there.) Then did the remaining scenes of Dan in his office.

Friggin' backfocus. I think I've finally gotten to the bottom of my focus problems that have been occasionally hounding me. I've been noticing that certain shots have been out of focus. (Some more than others.) I've been assuming it's my fault, or maybe the actor has leaned out of the plane of focus. Since I've been using a zoom lens, the standard way of focusing is to zoom all the way into your subject, focus, then zoom back to your final position. (This is how it's done in video anyways.) A bunch of my shots looked like the focus was about 6-12 inches closer to the camera than I had set it. I didn't notice this because the only way to properly frame my shots was to look at the video tap, and the little B&W camera isn't too sharp on it's own.

When I got my footage back from Cinepost, I had a long shot of Sparky and Dan discussing the computer sale from Geoff and Horrigans point of view, the focus had moved a good 4-5 feet towards the camera! That footage was totally unusable. At this point I KNEW that it wasn't me, because I had carefully set the focus while zoomed in. (But had zoomed back to my final position.) After testing the lens with a focus chart, I found that the focus changes while you zoom in or out. Back focus problem. DAMN IT.

[Note to self: If I buy another camera from a guy on the Interstate, not only should I check for scratches, frame hashmark alignment, but back focus problems too!]

This is starting to make sense, who ever did the Super 16 conversion of the camera never bothered to check the alignment of the frame to what was being actually photographed, but the original Eclair lens mount was replaced with a standard Arri mount. They also didn't check to see if the lenses will focus properly, they probably threw the mod on there and never really checked these things closely. Oh well, it's still a good deal even if I have to get these things looked at. (Which I didn't in the first place, my fault.) And another thing, I've noticed that my zoom lens has some sort of faint aberration in the corner. The thing works, but is sort've noticeable when you pan. It looks like I should replace the lens with something better. (Good lenses START at around 2-3 grand.)

April 1, 2000 - Assorted pickup shots.

Indie film actorsFinally got Geoff and Horrigan together (with the correct shirts) to do their sportscaster voices while watching Dan buy Mr. Disgustings computer. They had rewritten the whole spiel from what I had originally in the script. It sounded fine by me, I really didn't have any strong jokes in there, I just needed something for them to say so they could do their announcer voice schtick. Horrigan has announced many sporting events in the past, and Geoff has a natural play by play voice, along with the usual tone that corporations just love to hear on their tapes.

Juliet and Robin improvised a scene where John is over hearing them talk about what they would love to have a guy do to them. This whole scene is motivation for John to do all these things at once (on a beach) to Irene. Originally I had John moaning that his relationship with Irene wasn't really working out (AGAIN). I then had Amanda and Janet give him suggestions on what to do to win a girls heart, but Juliet pointed out that Amanda would never offer this advice to John since she saw what Irene did with Rob on a videotape that was shown at her Party earlier in this indie film. (Irene is revealed to be having sex with Rob.)

Indie film actorThen did a quick shot of everyone following the camera cable back to Robs desk. (Hopefully that is in focus.) I'm pretty sure I've solved the focus problem (for now) buy making everyone hold a focus chart up to their face while I NOT zoom in. I can't just measure the distance from the lens to my subject (as a "professional" camera person would do with a professional rig) because the numbers on the lens itself are no where near their proper settings. (Because of the back focus problem.)

Redid a few sequences of Phil, Horrigan and Robin talking over a cubicle wall to Geoff and John. Phil threatens to bring his "Rubber Ass" tomorrow. Apparently there weren't enough people here today for the proper emotional impact. :-P


Cast in elevator

Cast in deli

Deathmask Johnny

Deli table eating

Eric directing 60

Horrigan & Robin

Outside Deli

Phil & Robin

Phil & Robin order

Johnny & Robin

Scene 60

Emery slate


April 2, 2000 - Phil's "Rubber Ass"

Indie film actorsWe shot the opening office sequence today, where Todd (John Horrigan) starts up a conversation about what comes first in a relationship, saying "I Love You", or farting in front of that special person for the first time. I wrote this sequence to quickly establish all all the characters in this office. We then reshot a portion of Sparky's Mr. Disgusting sequence at Amanda's desk. (Certain shots were out of focus.) We then redid the close ups on Darby in 2 scenes because I fucked up camera placement originally. (Broke the 360 degree rule big time. I sensed something was wrong, but didn't have enough time to think it through in my head when I was shooting it.) We finished up with the "payoff" shot between Irene and Rob which is seen at the end of the movie in the big presentation to Mr. Williams. Those guys were laughing their heads off while doing it, but I only needed a few moments of "acting."

This day was a real bitch and it practically kicked my ass. All clocks were "sprung ahead" for the springtime change over, so that make up for the lost hour, I had call time an hour later. (Pretty clever huh?) Problem was, a couple people were late getting there, so we didn't even start shooting till around 2 pm. I wanted to get out of there at a reasonable hour because my sound crew (Emery and Brandon) had to go to school the next day, so I was rushing the whole day so I could get everything I needed so no one would have to come back to the location.

We also had to deal with Phil's "Rubber Ass." Phil had mentioned that he bought the domain name "www.rubberass.com" during our post rehearsal beer on March 15th. He said that he initially bought this prosthesis device of a woman's lower midsection as a joke. He wanted to show pictures of him going out on dates with it, (him with it at a restaurant table, on a ferris wheel, etc.) then posting them on this website, all for a good laugh. We (naively) thought it was going to be a rubber ASS, something you would display underwear with in a department store, not a RUBBER VAGINA. (Normally NOT used by gynecologists to practise, say, a speculum insertion. It's most likely used for OTHER THINGS.) Apparently in a twinge of bashfulness, he went out and bought a pair of woman's panties to cover a small aspect of it. We all agreed that a website dedicated to this prosthesis device WOULD be funny to take a glimpse at (if only momentarily), but who would expend the necessary energy to BUILD such a site?

Back rubs 4 all

Cast w. rubass

Dan & Phil Scene 7

Eric directs AGAIN

Juliet reacts to rubass

Sheriff Verge

Phils secret kiss

Phil presents rubass

The horror

Rubass on computer

Sparky on guitar


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