Indie Film Production

August 26, 2000 - Back to the office, one last time

Indie film actorThat fucking camera. I got everyone to schlep back up to Beverly, Massachusetts to refilm a couple of the sequences that ended up friggn' fuzzy. (Due to the stupid back focus problems with the camera and NOT my bad focusing.) Due to scheduling conflicts, I had one hour to reshoot the first half of "the fart sequence." (Horrigan/Todd starts a conversation regarding what comes first in a relationship, saying "I Love You" to your new partner, or farting in front of them. A few people thought it was just another of series of fart jokes, I thought that it would get a strong reaction out of the characters, thus, introducing everyone to the audience.

I guess one of the good thing about reshooting a scene is that you can fix whatever bothered you in the first go. This was the first scene in the office, so I wanted to make sure it started everything off right. One of the things that was pointed out to me, after a bunch of people saw the initial rough cut of the first version, was that it seemed to stagey. When I initially wrote the scene, I had the Horrigan/Todd character literally call out the names of the characters to get them to respond to his inquiry. On paper it seemed like a nice 'n easy way of TELLING the audience who everyone was. On screen it appeared to forced. What was needed was more overlap in the dialogue, but trying to shoot a scene from multiple dialogue is a pain in the ass, if not impossible. (Woody Allen solves this problem by shooting most scene within one take and moving the camera when needed. I only had a tripod.)

Indie film actorWe practised the scene with additional subtle comments tossed in just after someone speaks. I then had everyone remember what they were doing individually, then filmed each person speaking without the others overlapping. (The scene now appeared to play much more slowly.) The theory is when I edit it together on my Media 100, I can overlap the heads and tails of each take's audio with the other angles. I guess I'll hafta let you know how it comes out.

We then redid Phil's close up during the scene where Dan tries to pawn off his new computer that he just bought from Mr. Disgusting. Since we had the playback of the original long shot, we were able to match the heads pretty closely. We also got some reactions out of Phil when Dan tells him that the company has a very liberal policy on hiring minorities and that he'll "fit right in." We had a few feet of film left on the roll, so I shot some random footage of Johnny walking down these very long hallways. Maybe I'll use it for some transitional sequence.

Fart seq LS

Bongo Johnny


Smutty computer


September 2, 2000 - Amandas Party SEQ #1

Indie film actorsI needed a generic living room setting for two scenes involving the gang at Amanada house. I was going to use my dinky condo home to shoot this stuff, but my friend Dave Chubet (from my defunct rock band "Fingle Bunt") offered me his home in Foxborough, MA. (His house has nice 'n high ceilings with a large living room.)

I guess it's interesting to note that we totally improved two scenes. Robin Frank has been acting in "King Richards Faire" for the past few seasons. It's basically a whole community of actors dressed up in medieval costumes who live their parts while ordinary people pay big money to interact with them. (Of course they charge additional money just to see the additional features that take place behind closed tent flaps...and forget about buying a lousy hotdog in there, it'll cost more than at Disneyland. I can only guess why they charge so damn much, maybe they WANT you to walk around hungry, just so you can get the true ambiance of being a medieval serf. Starving.)

Anyhoo...Robin's get-up was something that looked like a milkmaid. One of the notable things about her costume was her "personalities" that protruded above her corset. (Our term that originated in the e-mail exchange leading up to the shoot.) She joked that wouldn't it be funny if Janet shows up to Amandas party wearing this costume. (Robin claims it would be in character, Janet always ends up as the butt of the joke.) I figured, "fuck it, let's do it." We banged out a scene where Robin walks into the gathering, says something to Amanda, then Irene makes a crack (referring to her breasts/dress) with "Got Milk?" Lauren tossed that line in, I have to thank her for that one. :-)

A few weeks ago during some filming, Juliet Bowler made a comment about women selling their panties on ebay and making a dandy profit. We all had a good laugh, but then I thought, "Hmmmm..ebay, we haven't mentioned ebay in this movie...I kinda like it." I imagined a cat wearing these panties to give them a nice scent, then we came up with the line, "the cats wearing them to give them a real 'pussy' smell." Kinda crude, I like the visual, Juliet had no problem saying it, it was in. The one thought the entire crew has been pondering is, "what will our PARENTS think when they see this indie film?" I kinda like the thought of doing a premiere showing for parents only. Have them all get worked up together and express a sense of dissatisfaction in unison. Maybe it'll make a good promo. :-P

At the end of the day, we needed a shot of Lauren and Darby that looked like they were having sex. (It'll be seen on the TV just for an instant, just to establish WHO is doing what.) The shot was done on video because it's supposed to be what was on Johnny's tape. (He thinks he's about to watch something called "Banned From Broadcast") It's pretty difficult to get two people to look like their humping when they're laughing so much. (Same problem with the "that's my desk" sequence in Dan's office.)

Since budget always seem to be of great interest in indie filmmaking, here's an interesting budgetary side note: My check book was recently down to $21 during this weekend. The cast had to buy it's own pizzas and beer because I'm such a poor slob. I've got money invoiced from by business and it's definitely coming, it just ain't here TODAY. At this moment I've got 5 rolls of exposed film sitting in my littler refrigerator from the past few weeks waiting to be sent to the lab to be processed. The thing is, we ain't outta the ball game yet. Because I own the equipment, (and a few left-over rolls of film) I can still shoot a movie with $21 in my checking account. Go figure. :-P

Dan workin slate

Eric w script

Gang on couch

At Laurens feet

Lauren restin'

The "personalities"


Eric enjoys his work


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