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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Director’s Journal: Day Off

Friday, Day Off.

The producers decided that Friday’s would be our days off in the shooting schedule.  Taking off a normal weekend day like Saturday or Sunday wouldn’t make sense, since, most people have the weekend off, and it was easier to schedule people to show up on set when they don’t have to take time off from work.

On my day off, I decide to accompany my brother on an excursion to Banana Republic.  Lisa is working, after all, and I […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 6

Thursday, Day 6.

When the alarm goes off in the morning of the sixth day of shooting, I pounce from the bed, somehow trained to be in attack mode.  I’ve been working on all cylinders for almost a week now, and my body is used to the strain and constant adrenaline.  I keep having grandiose thoughts about myself directing this film, which I try to reject quickly in an effort not to become an asshole.  I haven’t buckled under the pressure […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 5

Wednesday, Day 5.

After the first four days of shooting, I am beginning to feel more confident that I can make this film, more or less, how I intended.  Though we are a little behind schedule, we didn’t fall any further behind yesterday.  The crew is great, the actors are great.  Everyone has a remarkably positive attitude toward being here.  We meet in the morning to sum up how things are going.  We send Jules Ouanes (Assistant Production Manager) to fill […Read more »]

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Director’s Journal: Day 4

Tuesday, Day 4.

In many ways our fourth day of shooting is a breath of fresh air.  Though we spent the day in Mohannad’s stifling basement again, we shoot all morning and afternoon on my Super8 camera, in order to achieve the look of the memory sequences.  This also means that we don’t have to worry about airplane sound, quieting the set, boom mics or lavalieres.  It is a director’s dream, in that I can yell out direction while we are […Read more »]

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