Massachusetts Film Office

April 25th, 2000 - Mass Film Office

Went to the Mass Film office to take a look through their database of Massachusetts locations. I was told when I called that they had filing cabinets filled with pictures and data of places in Massachusetts that were interested in having their location featured in a movie. "Come on down and you'll be able to go through everything." I was told. I got the impression that they cater to all movies shot in Massachusetts, big or small, especially independent slobs like me. Since I was resident, everything was free for the taking.

My independent motto: "if it's free, then it's for me!"

Parked on the Boston common, walked all over fuck and back, THEN found the building. Some guy greets me and seems interested that I'm shooting an independent feature in Massachusetts. "It's great to see people shooting indie films in Massachusetts, yada yada yada." I notice huge lobby-size posters of EVERY major motion picture shot in Massachusetts in the past 5 years. He points me to a room filled with filing cabinets and shows me a huge drawer of locations. It's filled with thousands of pictures! Oh boy! My independent little heart was getting all excited. What luck.

Then I notice that it was ONLY pictures. No addresses, no contact person, no phone numbers, no day rates, no biz hours. Just friggin' pictures. I ask the guy, "how do I find out where they are, who do I contact and what do they want?" He looked at me like I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. He must've been thinking, "you're a MOVIE fa chrissakes, you throw MONEY at it. Get your army of assistants to do the research, why you askin' US that?"

I was looking for locations that other way 'round. I'll take ANYTHING (for free) and work my script into the location. It's about the story anyways..right? Who CARES what kind of crap they have on the walls. I can imagine what professional set designers go through to be happy. "I MUST have blue carpeting, I don't care how much it is, tear it up NOW."

May 7th, 2000 - So much for shootin', let's drink.

I was going to shoot the party sequences today at my house. I just got all of the film back from the last 4 weeks of shooting from Cinepost. I've been basically broke for the past month because I haven't received a client check for a substantial amount. I SHOULD'VE been paying for the developing each week, but I didn't have any money.

Much of the footage was STILL out of focus. Apparently I was correct, the back focus was off, unfortunately it was STILL off. FUCK.

Here's the deal with film cameras: unlike video cameras, where what you see is what you get, a film camera can be in focus in the viewfinder, but not in focus on the film plane! Why? There's a little mirror that diverts the image into the viewfinder while the film advances. If the focus of that image doesn't match the focus of the film plane, (what the negative sees) then what you're seeing is NOT what your getting.

I canceled todays shooting because the camera was fucked. The camera was sent off to Optical Electro House, one of the few remaining places that services Eclair ACLs in the United States. I guess the ground glass has to be changed or collated, and the viewfinder image will also be corrected.

What killed me me the most was that I was no consistent with my focus problem. At certain distances from the camera, things WERE in focus, but plenty weren't. Almost all of the shots from the opening "fart discussion" office sequence were "OOF". (Out Of Focus). I'm gonna hafta reshoot the whole thing. (ugh) At the same time, the woman who I rented the office partitions wants to know how come I've kept them 3 months longer than I said I would have them.

The crew had been yelping in their e-mails that they missed hanging around and shooting, and wanted to do some partying. I figured since they were supposed to be showing up here anyway, I might as well give 'em something to do. (i.e. drink) I also brought my edit system home and showed the crew what I had edited up till now. I had assembled the blurry fart sequences together just to see how it would've come together. If they weren't blurry, they would've been great. Damn.

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