Director’s Journal: Day 7

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Saturday, Day 7.

Day arrives, and almost by surprise we are moving our set to an apartment that we rented for a day from the tenant of our Light Man, Jason Blumenthal.  There is a bit of annoying drama involving getting into the apartment, which takes up way too much energy considering the task at hand: complete everything that’s on the schedule for this location without screwing up.  After all, we only have the apartment for a day.

The apartment doubles as three locations, and we steadily set up shots, shoot, and tear down props and lights.  Throughout, we wait patiently as the upstairs tenants chop the head off a large pig, and butcher it into smaller, consumable pieces.  All of the chopping makes it difficult to record the dialogue, and we waste about three hours.  Finally, the upstairs tenants quiet down, and we get some difficult scenes knocked out, as the temperature in the apartment climbs well up into the high eighties.

We continue work, including a vast effort to shoot a night scene in the middle of the day, in which Guy Harrison, Gaffer, blocks all the sun off from the outside of the apartment so it looks dark outside.  Wow.  At one point there is a squabble between Producers about how to pull of some of the upcoming scenes.  Normally I am very tolerant to ideas, but noticing the rate at which time is slipping away, I make a firm decision and it doesn’t sit well with the producer.  I’ll have to attempt to smoothen out the exchange later, but there is really no time to perseverate over options now.  I wonder where Waiel is… Typically it is the Assistant Director’s job to protect the Director from distractions.  I wonder if our pro-bono arrangement is starting to effect motivation.  Stay positive.  Everyone is doing their best.  I tell myself this as sweat pours down my face, and the dark circles under my eyes begin to pulsate.

At one point, we race to set up a shot in time to grab a bit of natural sunlight pouring through a window onto Mohannad.  Miraculously we grab the shot, moments before the sun disappears for the rest of the day.

We work long and hard, and the evening arrives.  The work continues, and I start to battle against an urge to just call it a night, and try to fix what we don’t have in editing.  Jeremy Wilker, Cinematographer, preservers, and delivers a diligent effort, grabbing B Roll that I almost would have forgotten.

The end of the night comes, and we have what we need in the can.  I return home, wondering if I’ll make it through week two.  On the way, I listen to the radio: a story about starvation and lack of medical necessities in Gaza.

avatarBy Dan on
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