Director’s Journal: Day 15

Monday, Day 15.

Day fifteen begins at my Alma mater, dear old Macalester College, in St. Paul, MN.  We set up shop in the Art Department, where I majored in Fine Arts about nine years ago.  Earlier in the year, when I called Macalester looking for suitable lecture halls for the scene where Flora projects slides onto the wall, I was already set on the particular hall in the Art Department where I had studied Art History.  I got a small […Read more »]

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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 […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 13

Saturday, Day 13.

The day goes smoothly, possibly because we are all rejuvenated from a lovely day off, and possibly because there is a strong sense that we’ve crossed into the final bend.  We are at Kareem’s house, and we shoot a comfortable scene with Mohannad, Flora, and Adam at the breakfast table.  The sun shines in beautifully, if not somewhat unevenly, and the orange peels glisten on the table.  The dialogue feels natural today, and I am satisfied.  We work […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: My Father’s Advice

Friday, Day Off.

As I look back on the previous two weeks of shooting, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that I have never felt before.  I have found a rhythm to the work, and a method to which it is being completed.  Communication between most of the crew and cast is in healthy functioning order, and the glitches seem to be isolated to certain personalities.  Everyone is working to the limits of their abilities, and I am grateful […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 12

Thursday, Day 12.

Today we are meeting at 5pm in the evening.  With a number of scenes to shoot at night, we decided that it would be best to rest during the day, and come prepared for a night’s work.  I have trouble sleeping much past 7am.  My internal clock forces me up around that time, in spite of the lack of sleep and overall exhaustion from the previous 12 days of shooting.  The day is spent running errands, calling producers, […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 11

Wednesday, Day 11.

The scenes slated for today’s shoot have worried me for a while.  We haven’t had much time to rehearse, particularly with Mohannad and Adam.  I arrive at Kareem’s home at 8am, and we set up the first shot.  The performances feel a bit awkward, but I feel the relentless pressure to move forward, knowing full well that if I get stuck on this scene, which is not one of my favorites anyway, the later scenes will be rushed, […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 10

Tuesday, Day 10.

I wake up and stare at the call sheet.  We have to be at the University of St. Thomas radio station, KUST at 9am.  Sara Abdelaal is Program Director, or some big name there, and has offered to let us shoot the scene there.  The actors and crew amble in on the late side, and I don’t say anything.  They are all working hard and are tired from the previous night’s work.  Parking is almost as terrible as […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 9

Monday, Day 9.

It’s supposed to be hot today.  Luckily, we are moving to a new location: star Kareem Aal’s home, where we will shoot the majority of the rest of our film.  This move is reason for some celebration.  Moving locations is hard, and we’ve made it through the majority of moves.  So it should all be smooth sailing, right?

The first scene of the day requires Mohannad to pull up to Flora’s house on the Triumph.  This morning I ride […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 8

Sunday, Day 8.

I wake up with what feels like a healthy mix of anxiety and ambition.  It is my brother’s birthday, and I leave a message in the car on my way to Uptown where our real-life doctor/actress has offered an office at her clinic where we can shoot the examination sequence.  Happy birthday, to you.  I hang up and park.  Dena Gad, a beautiful and talented actress, also happens to be a doctor, and fit the role of Doctor […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 7

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 […Read more »]

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