Director’s Journal: Day 14

Sunday, Day 14.

I spend the morning trying to convince Sara Abdelaal to skip her prior engagement to come to the shoot.  I‘m not sure how it came to this, but I find myself in this situation, none the less.  I leave a couple messages on her phone, and finally hear through the grapevine that she plans on being on location as scheduled.  We are shooting at an antique shop called Odds and Ends on Nicollet Avenue near 42nd street.  When I scouted the location several weeks earlier, Terry, the owner, took me down to the basement and showed me his extensive antique collection not on display.  I noticed a dark room enlarger, which he said we could borrow for the film, and which appears in the darkroom sequences.  Thanks Terry.  We arrive at the shop, and I am shocked as the thin and mild mannered Terry moves huge couches single handedly out of our way.  You get a knack for it, he tells us.

We shoot the scenes at hand, and struggle with traffic noise and lighting issues from passing cars reflecting from the street.  Sara shows up and we shoot her scene with Adam.  My girlfriend’s mom and sister are shot as extras, and we throw in some of our interns for good measure.

Following the shoot at the rug shop we return to Kareem’s home to shoot the dinner sequence.  With careful calculation, we mark off the exact location that the camera must be placed in relationship to the red tagine pot in the center of the table, so that when we cut from one shot to the next, the tagine pot will maintain position throughout.  The scene is challenging but we pull it off with time to spare.  We shoot the pickups, which seem to go smoothly as well, and Adam turns in a nice performance.  Though we have found our pacing, we are exhausted at the end of the night.  Mohannad’s pants keep falling down, so he must pull his belt tighter and tighter to keep them up.  When they sag in spite of the tight belt, it looks as though there is a banana shoved into the back of his trousers.  This gives us a good laugh.  By now, we have given up on the trail mix, and are eating out of a large bag of peanut M&Ms.  We send Jules on an errand to get a bag of Reece’s Pieces, Jeremy’s favorite candy, and burst into hysterical laughter after our last shot of the evening, in which Mohannad is directed to look sternly, down.

avatarBy Dan on
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