The Death March, or An Evening with Heinous Feta

We were now in the middle of the second week of shooting and had moved the set to Kim and Kareem’s house. Exhausted and strained after the first week of shooting and hardly having recovered during the single day off the we’d got after seven or eight days of 14-18 hour days, we hadn’t yet adjusted to the rigor and intensity, which I think we had by the third week.

We had decided to start our day late, at noon, because […Read more »]

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Wrap Party

Tonight is the T67 wrap party and I’m hopeful everyone can make it. I know a few of our cast and crew are out of town and are mightily bummed to be missing the merry-making. This will be an evening of “fancy” dress and drinks and I think based on our busy shooting schedule that everybody will be eager to relax and blow off some steam. There may be a small surprise in store, too!

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That’s a wrap!

Officially we were done shooting principal photography on Triumph67 after 18 days on-set last Thursday… unofficially we (Dan, Kareem and myself) went out and shot four more scenes yesterday afternoon. I believe now we are done. We just needed to get an establishing shot, two retakes and a brand new scene in the can to fulfill the entire list of scenes needed for the film. And the last shot was a heck of a happy accident that may well be […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 18

Thursday, Day 18.

A skeleton crew arrives at my home at 8:30am.  We caravan to Lake City, Minnesota in two cars, stopping at a gas station just out of town for bananas, candy, and pop.  We are on our way to shoot the final scenes of Triumph67, on my parent’s sailboat on Lake Pepin, the widest point of the Mississippi River.  It is a sunny day, and we are on our way to finishing on schedule, with minimal need for pickup […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 17

Wednesday, Day 17.

Our last day with the full crew arrives, and there is a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that is noticeable with most of the cast and crew.  The interns play soccer in the yard with Kareem’s four-year old son, and smoke cigarettes in the shade of the trees in the yard.  There is laughter, accolades handed out freely, and a feeling of relief.  In spite of this, we quickly come up against some challenges.

We race against the clock […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 16

Tuesday, Day 16.

The sixteenth day of shooting Triumph67 is a dream.  We pull into the parking lot of the Lock and Dam under the Ford Bridge, and the breeze and air feel great.  It’s an easy enough scene.  Sami takes photos of Mohannad.  We’ve been here before for B Roll, but today is cooler, and the air pressure feels comfortably high.  The shots look great, and nobody bothers us.  Actor Kareem Aal’s 4 year-old son gets a cameo, and the […Read more »]

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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 »]

By Dan | Posted in Journal, Production | Comments Off on Director’s Journal: My Father’s Advice