filmmaking from the margins...
on the MUNI didn't work out too well. It was frustrating -- we couldn't
position the camera like we needed to, and we ran out of light. I don't
think we got a lot of the shots. We'll probably have to reshoot it. Tonite
buy food for meals for Saturday & Sunday. Finalize Saturday's shot
shot the (day & nite) apartment interiors for Leslie's character. (Sydney's
living room and fantasy scene). We started at around 7 am and didn't finish
until about 9pm, but it was a great day, I was nervous at first, but I
had a lot of fun. The flat was full of people dressing the sets, putting
up lights etc. Everyone was in a good mood, and really creative. We shot
the fantasy scene different than I had originally planned, and the lighting
was killer. Revise tomorrow's schedule/shot list.
We shot in the apartment again for Terry's character's bedroom, bathroom,
and fantasy scenes (day & nite interiors). The bedroom scene was first,
and it was a real bear. Robin (camera) had a great idea to dolly around
the bed while the character (Ayo) is talking on the phone, but our crude
little wheelchair dolly was so noisy on my hardwood floor, it was impossible
to record sync sound, and the room was just to small to steer the thing
smoothly. Finally, Robin and I caucused, and I decided we had to can it,
we were losing time and wasting film, but all the other scenes went really
with the old guy at the laundromat to get the okay to shoot there. I screened
last weekend's dailies with Jean and Robin at the film lab -- all the apartment
stuff looks great, but the MUNI scene will definitely have to be re-shot.
shot list. Jean's going shopping for food for Sunday's shoot. Crew meeting
and sandwich making party tonite for tomorrow's shoot.
day from Hell!
we're shooting the cafe street scene and the post-laundromat scene. We
won't need any lights today (Yeh!) Hope all my extras show up. Finalize
Monday's shot list.
planned laundromat location did not work out -- everybody and their mother
decided to do laundry. None of the camera set-ups worked. I decided we
needed to find another location, and Jean saved the day. She found another
laundromat while we were breaking down the lights -- she called us and
we jetted over there with a quickness. We only lost a couple of hours.
After we got the lighting set up again, (which took forever) things were
still not going smoothly. I was losing it. Somehow we got through the laundromat
scene before the afternoon. We broke for lunch around 1pm. Everyone jumped
in cars and met a couple miles away at the cafe where we going to shoot.
The cafe scene went a lot smoother, and it was fun too.
Went to Club G-Spot to pass out flyers for more extras for the dance club
scene on Tuesday.
Get everything prepared for tomorrow's shoot -- it's gonna be a long
intense day (lots of light set-ups, and extras).
Crew call was at 7 am. We shot the bathroom scene at a dance club near my
house, and then went to the Co Co Club, where the scene actually takes. We
spent the afternoon shooting inside the club. So much was going on -- there
must have been forty extras. We set up lights for the scene that gets shot
outside the club, while we were still shooting inside (very efficient!).
There was a lot for me to direct and keep track of -- you really have to
concentrate and think fast on your feet. It was stressful in a cool kind
of way, and I was loving it. I was determined to stay cool, calm and collected,
and I did, mostly.
Robin to go over the equipment list and arrange a time to drop
off the film to her so she can load the camera. Buy food and
finalize shotlist for tomorrow's shoot.
shot the ocean scene today -- it was a long, cold, windy day
by the water. We got started a little late, because one of the
actors got lost. And the old guy at the rental place left out
one of the pieces of the tripod head. I had to send one of the
P.A.s back there (about fifteen miles away) to
get it. I cut some of the shots from the shot list and we shot
until we started losing light. Everybody was really great though.
I love my actors, they were incredible -- real troopers.
last day of shooting. We re-shot the MUNI scene today. We rode up and down
that N Judah line all frigging day. We shot while riding up on side, then
reloaded the camera and rehearsed while riding back down the other side
(so we could keep the light on the same side of us for continuity). All
the MUNI drivers were real cool, but some of the passengers were a pain
in the a___. It's a wrap damnit!
Saturday, December 17th
we are having a cast and crew wrap party at my house. Everyone
worked their asses off and we gon' tho' down! Well,
that's pretty much it, except I had to go back and re-shoot the
ocean scene. Robin was already working on another project, so
I hooked up with another camera person, and she worked out great.
- A couple
of stressful months went by that I couldn't screen the work prints from
the last few shoots (I was praying that the footage was okay),
I had run out of money for lab costs. Eventually
I got all my work prints from the lab and was able to start editing,
which took about 40 hours total. Luckily, my editor Dee Dee, had her
own editing suite, which saved me from having to rent one.
- I still
had tons to do to get the film ready for it's premiere screening
in June; compose and record the music (which I did with my brother),
to videotape transfer made for mixing on Pro Tools, get the negative
cut, and have answer and release prints made.
had learned so much about the entire production process,
and that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Producing a film
is a "big work" as my good buddy Mo would say. So many things
have to be done before shooting: raising money, writing a
script you can realistically shoot, breaking it down to a
shooting script, making shot lists and
casting and crewing, location scouting and securing, renting
transporting people and equipment to locations, providing
meals for cast & crew
and more. I ran out of money at the very end when I was almost
finished, but due to generous donations that I received from
many fabulous friends and supporters, I was able to get my
answer and release prints out of hock from the lab, just
in time to screen to very appreciate audiences at the June,
Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival. I want you to
know, making this film wrecked my last nerves, and I can't
names were changed to protect the innocent.
content © Lenn Keller. All Rights Reserved.