Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On the Set: Day 12

Last year: while editing the scene that takes place at Union Square bar, I saw that I desperately needed some pick-up shots to fix it. So I decided I'd plan for yet another day of shooting. Then I decided that while I had the crew out, I'd shoot another scene that got cut long ago. See originally, there was a comedic scene in the script that had to get axed due to time and budget. Then, while editing the movie in post-production, I decided the scene needed to go back in. Without this mysterious scene, the pacing was off, and the comedy/drama ratio was off.

The scene involves a sexy girl character, so the casting call began. Then, through a series of networking, I got in touch with the manager of adult film star Bree Olson. We reached a great deal, and Bree was cast. Once I realized how popular Bree is, and how she's having pretty much the best year of her career right now, I decided to re-write the scene completely to give her more screentime and add some new gags in. And that's how we got "Untitled Ralph Project Scene 24A."

Bree flew in to JFK on April 26th and was escorted to her hotel by Darren of Five Star Elite car service. Darren's a great guy, he was very helpful, and they have awesome rates and services. Just saying, for future reference. I met Bree at the hotel and checked her in, and then we spent some time chatting, going over the film, and just goofing around. She is just an awesome person with a great head on her shoulders, she's very approachable, and she's got a personality that's very easy to fall in love with. She signed a few things, we rehearsed some, and then she snapped her hair extensions on me and took some pics with her iPhone. Loads of fun.

The next morning, we had Mike LaVoie back as director of photography, which is good because he almost couldn't make it. However, the rest of the crew was a new second unit: Clayton Combe as 1st AC, Tom Cryan as grip, and Frank Intorcia on sound. All three of these guys took the same train on the morning of April 27th 2008. Then I started getting the calls...the train was held up at a station nowhere near my area, and they had no idea when they'd be in. So with 3/4 of my crew missing indefinitely, I went to pick up Bree from her hotel and bring her to the set. So I pulled up, exited the Elantra, shut the door, and realized I locked my keys in there. And that, folks, registers somewhere in the top five embarrassing moments of my life.

At this point, I feared the day would be a disaster. But while Bree and I waited for the spare key to be dropped off, we got a little rehearsing in. The way I see it, we would've been doing the exact same thing at the house anyway since the crew was late. Soon after, we got to the house and it was time to start the shooting day. Tim Kelly returned for his new scene, and Angela Benedict returned to help on make-up. I also had a production assistant on hand and he was a tremendous help the entire day. We shot the scene, which was a lot of fun, and then we filmed a mini-interview with Bree for the DVD (although some of it will appear on this blog in the next mini-doc).

Everything went pretty smoothly. It was a lot to coordinate, but I had two months to pull it together, and I had a better idea of how to do things from my experiences last Fall. Even Angela called me later on and told me I did a much better job directing and keeping cool and the day was so smooth. Last Fall when we shot the bulk of the film, it was the most hectic time of my life, but half the reason was because I barely knew what I was doing. I'm glad it was such a learning experience, and it actually is a lot more fun for me to film now when I have a better idea of how to run the show and what to expect. And it's easier for me to not have panic attacks.

After dropping off Bree at the airport, the crew and I traveled to the Union Square bar to get some pickup shots. Our audio guy Frank got to go home early since we didn't need audio for these quick shots. At the bar, I met up with friends Alex, Keri, Kristina, and Jay. We filmed some much needed footage that will really help out with the scene, and then we wrapped production on the whole feature. For the third time.

Something crossed my mind at the end of the day. I remember when we first shot at the bar, it was just a bad experience for many reasons; our biggest being the rush factor. I wanted to get at least some pickup shots back then but we didn't have any time. Now months later, the idea to get those pickups turned into the idea to also shoot a scene with Bree. So I guess it's okay that things didn't work out the first time we were at the bar. I think what I'm saying, and I think the biggest thing I'm really taking away from this whole project, is that - for anything, not just the movie - every problem you come across is also an opportunity to make things better than they would've been.

I'll have a Side Panels mini-doc sometime soon. In the meantime, here's Bree Olson on the reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians:


Caleb said...

Damn Ralphy.

I am glad to hear that you are still plugging away at this feature.

I am sure it's gonna be huge!

I gotta shoot some little skits and stupid stuff now that I have a bit more time on my hands.

Anonymouse said...

It's amazing to think that this film stars both a young woman I have jacked off to a hundred times and also Bree Olson.

Anonymous said...

The last Anonymouse is not me RS OR PW Thought I would put this disclaimer in, will ther be a day THIRTEEN 13????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Whats the title of the film again??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? CHECK MY LAW AND ORDER THIS WED 10PM COURTROOM DISASTER HOMELESS GUY RUNNING RAMPANT HAD FUN poultrygeist finally hits nyc friday did promo for it last weekend am zombied to death am working on a thriller playing an OCD ELVIS nut right up my alley called SCHISM CHECK THEM ON MY SPACE SCHISM THE MOVIE??

Anonymous said...

Evan is that your new babeeee?????? Got three words for Ralph RALPHY RALPHY RALPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually four ANGIEEEEEEEEE April Jennifer BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE LOVE AND KISSES THE BASTARDO HIMSELF PW rs comics cookies ladies! Still tryin!

Anonymous said...

Was just told am in a Capital One commercial have not seen it yet RS