We had a two day weekend on Friday and Saturday. These two days off allowed the crew to get some rest (or pick up a little extra work), and it allowed others to spend time with their families or sleep or do other things. I spent my first day off combing over footage, having phone calls with the editor and producers, and problem solving for future shoot days. I did get some time with the family, but there are always items needing to be addressed.
When we “officially” started preproduction back in September, we had 20 days scheduled, and for budgetary purposes, we cut two of those days, which, for the most part, has been fine. We’ve found ways to squeeze shots and get some needed b-roll here and there. Here’s where things get tricky, though: we filmed a scene on day 3 of production, and we’re still trying to figure out if it works. We wrap one of our actresses this week and then she flies back to LA, and she’s in the scene. We’ve been problem solving and scouting new locations, but we don’t have a viable solution yet. So we may have to live with what we have, which isn’t the worst thing (the performances are good, so at least we have that).
Producing a feature film is about finding the right pieces, making clutch decisions about whatever is or isn’t working, and then finding a way to make everything work effectively. When you’re on a low budget feature, it adds a level of difficulty, because if you need a new location, you have to figure out where you can save money to get it. Or you have to ask favors. Or other people have to ask favors for you. To this point, our incredible team has made it work and continues to make it work.
Day 10 was filled with odds and ends. We captured some really great stuff. We covered pages, we had jokes, and the lighting set ups were fantastic. The weather was very kind to us, and we were able to film some beautiful magic hour footage. We captured heavy and light moments.
Throughout the day, I felt a little burdened, though. We’re moving so fast, and we’re always thinking one or two or even 10 days ahead to make sure we can pick up things we’ve missed or plan for things we’re not sure we’re going to be able to capture. Our team if flexible and able, moving with us and regrouping quickly when something isn’t working. At the same time, we want to respect them and stay as much on the map as possible, so when we have to reshoot a scene, or pick up a moment we’ve possibly missed, we try to do this while respecting our incredible crew.
There are also a few people on set who have some sort of cold, which is no fun.
The rest of this week will be very interesting. When stress builds up, I often try to remind myself that I’m making a movie. This is it. This is the thing so many of us have wanted to do, and now I’m doing it. I don’t want to miss the excitement and fun of it. I want to bask in how great this is, because it really is great. At the same time, I feel the gravity of what we’re doing. So many people are giving us their time and effort, and I really want to honor them. So it’s a balancing act. It’s fun. It’s difficult. You have to make tough decisions. But in the end, we’re telling a story. Everyone is working in harmony to tell this story. A story I wrote.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am.