Saturday, May 03, 2008

Reshoots, Actor-Students and In-laws

I'm knackered. The kind of tired that's bone deep physically and a fog has rolled in mentally that seems will never lift. Which isn't to say I'm unhappy. We reshot some scenes from But A Dream today. It went really well and was well worth doing. It was all just boots on the ground, but all of our stuff in that category was pretty shite. Usually cutaways to feet would be weird, but in a film about the fear of taking a step forward lest you be blown to smithareens, cutaways to boots are pretty important.
I guess it was meant to be because the weather was absolutely perfect until we were loading the gear and Greg was unloading the mags. It started sprinkling and it was pouring as we drove home from Sauvie Island. We had a soft, even cloud cover for all of our shots. Beautiful. Brendan did a great job standing in for Joey who is now in NYC. He got the all of the movements and took direction wonderfully. Not only was he efficient but he got the sort of fearful awkwardness that Joey brought to the role. I was concerned a stand-in would miss that part of it and see it just as move here, move there, but Brendan took it seriously and wanted to get the inner life of the role. It shows.
I have to thank Heath as well. He came out there for half a day just to do one shot. He also helped schlepping the gear and gave Greg a hand with the camera.
The biggest thanks of all go to Greg. He brought out his Arri 235 and an Optimo for the shoot. We were going to use a set of primes that was available to us, but the longest lens was an 85. I really wanted something longer but I couldn't really spend the dough. Greg surprised me with the Optimo this morning. Which was great as we used the longer end of the zoom for many of our shots. I think our shortest focal length was 100. When we talked about rehoots initially there was just one shot that really stood out as needing to be replaced. So Greg said just get a 200' short end. I added some shots to optimize our day of reshoots and didn't really buy enough film. Once again Greg came through with two additional short ends. We used only the second, but it saved the day. I could have sweated out everything on the 320' short end I bought, but it was much better to have a little breathing room to make sure I got what we needed.
I got in my truck this morning at 5:45 and checked my email as the engine warmed up. First up: a message from one of my students backing out of class this month but wanting a refund. I want to be fair. I'm certainly not looking to rip anybody off, but I'm feeling ripped off. It's the kind of shit that gets under my skin and a big reason why teaching is a big pain in the ass sometimes. I've been preoccupied with it all day. Aside from when we were shooting, thankfully. This month I had eleven people tell me they wanted to take class. As of now, four of them will be in class on Tuesday. This unpredictable inability to commit on the part of actor-students really turns me off. It saps my energy for the craft. I think the solution is to set the policy and stick to it, letting go of the coddling and emotional investment. Enrollment may go down in the short run, but may preserve the joys of the teaching experience in the long run. I'm going to give this student a credit as she's new and hasn't been signed a contract detailing the terms of enrollment. Everybody will be given those this week and the co-dependence will come to a gentle end.
Lastly my in-laws have been here for the past week from Scotland. We've spent a day at the coast and and an evening at Timberline Lodge. Oregon is a breathtakingly beautiful place. I'm happy to share it with them and growing more proud of my native connection to this earthly paradise.

I'm not blogging much anymore. I miss posting things like seeing Dreyer's Ordet last week. But my life is better for spending less time on the interweb.

Signore Direttore

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