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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Production is wrapped!

We wrapped. I am overjoyed. We are done.  Kind of.  I have a few more minor scenes and a pick up scene to shoot due to lens flaws, but it's pretty much over.

Our apartment is a mess. My cat misses me and bites me in the mornings to let me know it. I look aged with fatigue and want nothing more than to find some body of water somewhere and just lie down near it, nap, drink beer, eat expensive cheese, and watch the sunlight bounce off the water's surface. I'm mentally exhausted.  This has been the most grueling production I've been on.

This is due to two reasons: working a full-time job while shooting, and...multitasking on set to the point of being overwhelmed.

The small crew meant that most of us had to take on more than one job. Some jobs were learned on-the-fly. Not really a problem but I've had to babysit more than usual. When I attended a talk and screening with Joe Swanberg at the Alamo last month, I recall him saying how much he really disliked having to spend so much energy on set attending to the egos of his crew, that he basically got rid of the crew and shoots his films mostly on his own.  I understand this issue greatly after this film. I guess it's like a relationship.  Things might seem rosy at first, but the more time you spend together becomes the true testament of your ability to really create a harmonious relationship.  Hand pick your crew very very carefully even if you have a small crew, and if you can afford it, get a good sound recordist.

Generally, with the exception of that chubby man walking his dogs I mentioned in the last article, most of the people in Austin have been wonderfully accepting of our presence.  Police have passed us without as much as a glance, letting us shoot unbothered. A convenience store owner allowed us to shoot in his shop, and even acted for us. A barber allowed us to shoot him giving a character a haircut in the shop he worked in.  A few days ago, a bus driver permitted us to shoot in his bus without charging us fare, and even asked other passengers boarding to keep it quiet so we could shoot.  While out in public, we've had people try to to convince us to shoot their rap videos. People wait for us to finish a take before crossing frame.  Strangely enough, the one individual that has been the biggest pain in my side has been my landlord who had some false logic about us shooting in our own apartment complex.  Her rationale that we were making noise and shooting on private property honestly makes no sense as I am a paying tenant.  I am not shooting other people's apartments, and kids screaming and shouting at a pool while their parents blare their radio make more noise than a crew of four and one actor swimming. This further contributes to this notion that some people are more threatened by the process of making a film as opposed to other artforms.  A group of musicians playing in public are unbothered while a group of filmmakers shooting is suddenly a big deal. 

Anyhow, it's over and now comes my favorite part of this long process: post-production.

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