Choose Your Own Blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

August 15th, 1999

The motley crue outside the movie theater.
Shooting without permission, of course.


This was a busy day. I remember it. Good news is that it turned out that we weren't missing a reel, we had just misnumbered one.

I remember driving through Baltimore too slow for traffic behind us, and the light we had gaffer-taped to the car ceiling kept falling down into Rick's face as we shot. (you can see one take in the bloopers on the HH disc)

But I don't think it was one of the tougher days.

August 15th

Houston, we have a problem.

We can't seem to find reel 17 of the film we shot. It's just missing. Which should be a notice to you: Log all your footage. We've been doing it most of the time, but we were real short-handed for a few days, so we stopped briefly in a point where we had no sync-sound.

The day started late and I'd gotten a lot of sleep, so it was the first day that I felt a little better. My head was clearing and I didn't feel as sick.

We went up toward the movie theater where Aric kills five people while they're watching a movie. We shot the outside scenes as he walks toward the theater with not much problem, and then the scene where he exits the theater with a bloody shirt and knife.

We took a break while we waited for darkness to fall and I began to look over the schedule and script. I tried to keep track of how many scenes we'd missed and where we could shoot them. Gil wanted to go visit his relative in D.C. while Mun wanted to go visit his sister in New York. They both wanted to do it Saturday, but that's the only day we can get the office again to shoot the missed scenes, so if we end in time, they can split.

Our other problem comes by the fact that we have about six rolls of film left. Each roll is 400 feet and shoots about 11.5 minutes of film at 24 frames per second.

We've got a lot of shots ahead of us, and 69 minutes of film ain't gonna cut it.

We headed into Baltimore to shoot some city scenes as Aric looks for more prey. We got some scenes from inside Ganz's car, then we tied up traffic as we shot from my car toward Ganz.

The light we rigged in Ganz's car made his face light up, so a lot of people were looking over at him. I decided if anybody asked that we'd say we were second unit for The Replacements, which is the Keanu Reeves/Gene Hackman movie that was shooting in town. They were actually shooting as we drove by PSI-Net Stadium to shoot our scenes.

We moved back into Glen Burnie to shoot the scene where Aric leaves the movie theater and sees a stranger that he believes might be another serial killer. I played the guy he sees.

We pulled our cars up to the light, essentially blocking the road in that direction. We started to shoot, and it wasn't very long before an unmarked car comes driving up, turning on his blue lights.

He rolled down his window and asked what we were doing. In the manner I've perfected I said, "I'm shooting something for class."

"You can't shoot here," he told me, looking at our setup. "You'll cause an accident."

"Oh, no," I assured him. "Everyone is driving by here slow."

The cop looked like he didn't believe me, but he didn't want any part of it. It was about one in the morning. "All righty," he said and sped off as fast as he could.

Gil and Mun couldn't believe it. They were cracking up laughing. They said if we’d been in Arizona, we’d have been jacked-up against a wall by that time.

We shot some more footage. A close-up on me from Aric's disturbed point of view. Close-ups on Rick. Shot of me from Rick's car as I pulled up.

Another cop pulled up, this time fully marked. A black officer stepped out as I walked up to him. "What's going on?" he asked.

"I'm shooting something for class," I replied, which you'll memorize if you're smart and shoot a lot of guerilla stuff. Them's magic words.

"Oh yeah. What school?"

I've always been a good liar. "Anne Arundel Community College."

The cop seemed familiar with the school. "What class is it for?"

"Film Production," I slipped out, then smoothed it over. "Actually, Video Production, but we're gonna shoot on film and telecine to video for editing." I figured that throwing in the big words might help.

"What teacher is that?" he asked. "Mr. Sparks?"

My mind reached for a name and came up with one. "No, Mr. Hamburger." Which I then realize happens to be the name of the realtor I used for my store.

The cop frowned. "Hmm, don't know him." He asked me some more questions and seemed genuinely interested. I told him about the story and he said it sounded like it would make a good movie.

He asked if we were going to use any guns and my warning lights went on. Sure, I told him, but we'd already shot those scenes. My warning lights went off when he volunteered that he had a prop gun that shot blanks if I needed one.

He said a Good Luck and Be Careful before he left.

We finished up our shots and I made a long list of things to do before we shot the climactic fight tomorrow, not the least of which was, try to find some money for more film.

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