Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Verse Chorus Verse"

Feb 21st
I work on some scheduling for upcoming March rehearsals with the cast and head out to a location scout/meeting at Southpaw in Park Slope for our big concert venue. Getting this location right is crucial to me as music (especially of the live variety) plays an important part in the overall mood and story of the film, and the venue is to hold a particular shot and group of scenes in the very beginning of the film with an intention to hook people. I'm about to go all Scorsese with this one... you'll know it when you see the reference shot. Our intention is to use the space to shoot the scenes but first record some liver performances of
the mock-band "Only Hurts When I Oui" which is being assembled by Storm from a grouping of professional musicians from past and present. Storm's eager and cool friend "Boogie" is our hook-up for the meeting and the space is perfect. We set "Boogie" up with Grant to go over how he'll assist on the project, being our go to and picking up needed experience to bring to his own future work. We'll have to negotiate some details with the owners as well as forgo the earlier live recording and play around with the schedule, but it seems like it'll work out and play for a few other scenes as well. Storm and I go over music meeting schedules and put him in contact with Jenna Laurenzo ("Daisy") the actress who'll be doing some singing and strumming in the flick as it's background emotional vibe. He is all about trying to recapture the "Once" phenomenon both in song craftsmanship and award potential. I say rock'n'roll, because if anyone could do it... Lee joins us and exchanges some banking paper work and conferences with Grant. I catch-up with him on the subway ride back into the city and his new gig, getting home and doing some writing until I crash by the light of a full moon.

Feb 22nd
I send off production emails through most of the morning and work on my own "David budget" for the next two months. I also touch base with Hugo who is flying in March 23rd from France and put him in touch with the other actors to start chatting and skyping or whatever the kids are doing these days. The day turns into night quickly and I conference call with Grant about our big post-production meeting the following afternoon. I did online research all day for the best possible output and Grant worked over some of the Red1 work flow. We finalize exactly what will serve us best and what to pitch the representative of the company: color correction and mastering of the final film with a backup amount of money reserved to do so if it doesn't work out. I run off to have a drink with my former 2nd AD and introduce him to a bar owner to host a screening/wrap party for his new short. We all discuss the upcoming TIDU shoot that he'll be working on again, a mixture of memories and catching up and learning about a ridiculous, "borderline offensive" movie called
Tiptoes ...No, seriously. How did I not know this existed???

Feb 23rd
An early rise and off to Grey Dogs Chelsea to grab a coffee with Grant before our meeting with the post-house. Its more relaxed, friendly chatter before we head over as we've decided help or no help we'll be completely fine, so since it's all cherries on top the stress is off... I wasted pacing around the city for a half-hour listening to early 90's rap music to pump myself up for nothing. I'm joking... but also kinda serious...

The new office the company recently moved into is amazing with a great view of the city, fitting for one of the top coloring/finishing houses. Grant and I wait in the seating area until we're met with the excited and scurrying feet of a familiar face and led to our destination. We talk to one of the partners or he mostly talks to us after some quick introductions. I prefer it this way as he is pleasant, understanding and already willing to help us with an offer. This does not give me a chance to blow it by rambling or badly pitching the project. The company offers to help us with our color correct and mastering and give us a tour of the facility. This coup pretty much assures that, coupled with my agenda and Gus's eye, the film will have added production value and be the coolest looking thing I've ever done. While anything can happen or change, Grant gets some number specs (though not enough for his liking in the head of the moment and double joy of being offered help) and talk some locations on our walk out of the meeting. This conversation spurs us to schedule a meeting the following morning to go over a location breakdown piece by piece and be exactly on the same page as we'll both being doing location duty. Starting to fade, I chug some caffeine with little effect (I seem to be building the tolerance of a meth addict) and attend a reading of a pilot and give some notes. Shaking off exhaustion I run home to check/send off some emails, touch base with wardrobe and look over the first pitch for our publicity artwork/photo shoot session from the DirtySugar folks. It's great concepts, clear and well packaged that I send off to be refined with some ideas, references and a great deal of looking forward to working with them. I grab what is supposed to be a quick catch-up drink with a Canadian actor friend but, though I'm rocking ice water only, I do not make it home to bed until 3am. It was half professional as I offer her a role in the film and a chance to not only show off her gymnastic abilities and comedic timing but get some stunt work on her reel.

Feb 24th
An early 10am meeting with Grant to go over locations at Grey Dog's Chelsea. We line it up in order to get on the same page towards what we can compromise on because of our budget/tight schedule and what to splurge or find a way to make work by hook or by crook. Grant quickly digs through his old archives from past shot projects to pull up some good hospice and office possibilities as well as recommending some new actors for some last-minute casting/re-casting. We look at some bars online and set-up an agenda for a location scouting/bar hop trip for the next day in Greenpoint. I say goodbye to do some work at the library and then back home in the bat cave and begin digging into season 1 of HBO's "Deadwood" while running some home errands and cooking dinner. It's way to detox from the stress of production and kill some brain cells... God, it would be fun to do a really good western.

(Pencil Factory in Greenpoint/potential "Wander Bar")

Feb 25th
Awake to torrential rain storm (perfect location scouting weather!) and find out a commercial I acted in(no, seriously) won a Clio award. I share it with a few "lucky" souls, rejoin an ongoing Friday afternoon Facebook kiddie photo "cute-off" with a TIDU actress and get ready for scouting. Luckily the storm clears before 5pm meet-up in Greenpoint to look at different spots for the Wander Bar location, the home away from home, uh...right below the home of the main characters (another thing that'll make more sense when said film is screened). Greenpoint is beautiful, blurring the line between industrial and modern Brooklyn and it's possibly the first time I've ever done a bar hop without getting wasted by the last stop (more professional then pleasure). A few drinks are imbibed out of necessity to protect from the ridiculous wind and damp air from the earlier storm and by the waterfront area. There's a few great possibilities my personal favorite space is the "Pencil Factory" with it's ambient, low-lit rustic interior and great on-the-corner exterior, it just feels right. Also take photos and pass a few great locations to be our light-adorned "indian restaurant" and "coffee shop". There's also plenty of space to both shoot comfortably, set-up the acoustic singing are and plan for a few stunts. We finish up our scouting and head back to Grant's place where he whips up some White Russians and non-TIDU related chitter-chatter over the Wu-Tang Clan on vinyl. The night devolves into more White Russians and a shit-ton of scotch at a friend and set-photographer's birthday party. A lot happens, none of it film related and what little I can remember will still be omitted from here on out until--

Feb 26th
730 AM. Daylight. Woozy. Up painfully early and hung over to help a friend of a friend of a friend move a mattress down and up a few flights of stairs. A beautiful day I work on the park and. another first for me, I receive an email from a fictional character I created asking me to have coffee and a drink. Lest you think I'm loopy from sleep deprivation and moving mattresses, an acting exercise devised by Molly and myself is for her to, after months of working on "Violet", do a Q&A with me as said person. Okay, maybe you really think we're both loopy now, but it's fun and interesting and a great way for her to test drive the character in a 3D setting without scripts and actors, to really feel inside of who this person is. It's potentially also a chance for her to dig up some good blackmail worthy stories. Proceed to continue working on the upcoming week, set up a meeting with make-up and arranging schedules with actors while finishing up the first season of Deadwood. I now know Ian McShane is an extreme bad ass, prostitutes can be feminist role models and have many new ways of saying "cock-sucker"...

Feb 27th
The Academy Awards. I have no TV. I don't feel like hitting a bar. I decide to spend the day writing and working on some storyboards in the lovely weather in the park...
I'm rooting for "God of Love"... go,team, go!

Coming up next time...
Locked down locations, some sample storyboards, a Violet-date and what exactly starts burning only a month before a feature starts to shoot... Apr 3rd is 5 weeks away....

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