Production Day 11

Day 11 was a good day. But let’s be honest: even the tough days are good days. I woke up this morning reminding myself that even if it’s a tough day – I’m making a movie.

We had a major shift on our set today. Let me tell you the story. Many months ago, we got a really great AD who I worked on a commercial with a couple of years ago to agree to be our First AD (What does a First AD do?). I love this guy and how he runs a set. Well, things happened (as they do in the production world) and one of the projects he was on pushed into our production – basically, he committed to them first and they had to postpone or do reshoots, and it bled into our production, which meant he couldn’t do it. This guy helped us prep and got us to a great spot before having to leave us, so not all was lost.

Then we brought on another AD who has worked a ton with the previous First AD we spoke with so many months before. She kicked all kinds of ass, but we knew we would be losing her to a big project after the first week, so she was named our “Prepping First AD.” She basically got our schedule all together, and helped run set for the first few days. But we knew someone needed to take the reins and drive the beast.

After a ton of discussion, we brought on a guy we all love, but a guy who didn’t have a ton of AD experience. This was a risk we were willing to take, hoping it would work out for all parties involved. As the production trudged forward, we all felt that it wasn’t the best fit for us or the person we hired to run the set.

This weekend, many conversations were held, and we made a change at AD. Here’s the thing: the guy we hired at first is still an awesome guy we love having on the team. In an act of magic, we have moved this guy to a position he had more experience and comfort doing, and we brought in a new AD. I cannot begin to tell you how much of a win this for everyone. I really believe everyone wins.

Our new AD has run so many film sets and has worked with so many people in our crew so many times, that his slipping into the First AD spot was seamless. It’s very exciting. AND our previous AD jumped right into his new position and started crushing it right out of the gate. It’s pretty incredible, really.

We captured some of the funniest scenes of the movie today. And we got to film in 3 brand new locations. We had steadicam for many of the scenes, as well as some hilarious close ups on our actors. One of our actors caught the bug that seems to be sweeping through our crew, but she was incredible. She was able to deliver unreal performances while hopped up on Sudafed. Our team really made some magic today.

And let me take a moment to talk about extras. Extras are so great. They are one of the more the under appreciated parts of a film. Without extras, every scene feels naked and barren. Our extras have been a vital part of us capturing believable locations. And we have a top notch team helping them know what to do.

One of the things that has been so fantastic making this film is this: I usually get to focus on what I should be focusing on. If everything is operating the right way and people are doing their jobs, I get to make sure things look right and direct actors. I get to answer questions between takes and set ups. It’s not my job to run the set. It’s not my job to tell the extras what to do. I tell the 2nd 2nd AD what to do, and that person wrangles the extras. It’s so amazing. This allows me to make sure we’re getting what we need to get. And my script supervisor is right there to help me make sure I’m not missing something.

Having the right crew is so vital to making a film. And having the right cast… I can’t even begin to think about how important it is.

We have a big day tomorrow. I get to meet a new actress. I’m very excited about everything that’s happening right now. Especially the fact that I get to crawl in bed soon.

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