Setting up in the woods. So...so...stupid.
One of the worst nights. Hands down. Hot, sweaty, bug bitten night.
I got up early and started to go down my written list of things to do. First on the list was to call Kodak and get five more rolls of film. I used my girlfriend's credit card. That was all we were going to have to finish up, so I resolved to be a little more rigid on what we shot.
I had to get a replacement bulb for the Lowel DP light that blew in the rain. I knew we were going to need all the light we could get for the shoot in the woods that took place that night. I also needed more fake blood, as the stuff I've made up just isn't cutting it.
I also found out that Lisa, the girl we needed for the office scene on Saturday, couldn't make it on Saturday. I scrambled and told Rick to try to get the office for Sunday instead. Now I've got to try to fit Gil and Mun's mini-vacation in before that, and that also means we'll be shooting the morning of our wrap-party.
I picked Gil and Mun up, and we headed to a lighting shop. We picked up two bulbs for the light and some more gels. Gil is acting a little weird again. I don't know what throws him into these moods, but he seems to snap out of them pretty quick. Hopefully, he'll be out of it by tonight.
Fast forward a couple of hours and we were on our way to the woods across the street from my parents' house. We got there a little later than I would have liked--darkness had already fallen--but we found a little clearing where we could shoot the final fight between Aric and Dark, the serial killer who has been stalking him.
We started setting up lights. We ran all the extension cord we had across the street from my parents' house, but it wasn't enough. We couldn't hook up more than one light per cord or we'd blow a fuse at the house.
A cool neighbor let us plug into their house, which helped, but we were really running behind. It was 10:30 and we hadn't shot a frame. I had us scheduled to start shooting at 9:30.
Then, the asshole neighbor had to show up. "What's going on?" he demanded to know. "Mr. Lally?" I asked.
He said yeah, but still didn't seem to recognize me. "Kevin Kangas," I told him, very friendly. "I lived across the street from you."
He nodded, but didn't seem to care. "What's going on?" he asks.
I tell him we're shooting a movie in the woods. He wants to know how long it's going to go on. I lie and say about three hours. "So you're going to be shooting until midnight?" Nice math, Einstein.
"About one," I correct him, even though I have us shooting until 3:00am on the schedule, and most of the time we ran over.
"You have permission?" he prompted me. "No," I said, still nice. "I just thought that since I grew up in this neighborhood, I wouldn't have any problems." He told me he can't let me shoot a movie in the woods until 1:00am. "Come on," he said, "you're going to be shooting a movie in the woods until 1:00am?"
I told him he probably wouldn't even hear us, because we're in the woods and we won't be loud--though I guess I forgot to mention that we needed to fire some blanks. "Frankly," he said, "if I hear you, I'm calling the police."
He went back in. I made a mental note to throw a brick through his window later.
We moved in to shoot the fight scenes, but we didn't have enough power to record any of the dialogue, so once again, ADR is the word of the day. The similarities to Robert Rodriguez astound me.
The night stretched on. It was hot and there were a lot of bugs, mosquitoes included. I was real unhappy at the start, because I'm not sure anyone besides me knows exactly what we need to shoot. Gil is shooting some stuff and excluding others, and I think it's because the lighting is very tough to work with.
The hours went by and we finally came to the end. We were saving the gunshots for the end, but we had a shot of Bubby(Dark) getting shot in the head. I hooked a hose to his head and attached it to a pesticide sprayer filled with fake blood. When I squeezed the lever, blood shot out.
We got a couple of scenes shot and I was hunting for something on the ground when I accidentally squeezed the trigger when the pump was not attached to the hose. A shout, then people were laughing, and I looked up and Bubby's face is covered with fake blood. I'd sprayed it all over his face. He was laughing, so it was cool. We wished we'd had it on video.
We finished at 4:30am, firing off the blanks and bolting. Of course, Rick forget to wear his gloves the first time, so we had to shoot a second take.
I had brought the van around to the baseball field side of the woods, and had to navigate a tiny path that was bordered by a ditch on one side and a fence on the other, THEN drive on a hill that sloped about 40 degrees. I prayed that the van wouldn't flip.
It didn't. I went home, sweaty and smelly and miserably tired. If you think you're going to shoot an indy movie--and you don't absolutely love movies and the process--save yourself a lot of trouble and go do something else.
Oh, and don’t schedule any shoots in the woods in the middle of a summer night. That’s an important rule to remember.