Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Five Gaffers

Indie film making can be war and when the director is also the Assistant Director, Producer, Script Supervisor, Continuity Director and four other positions, it can be tempting to go into freakout mode from time to time (like Donald Duck). Here's one story where no one is at fault, and a series of unfortunate events lead to a some extra stress and planning. And my spoiler to you is: like many other stressful problems that arise, with this one everything turned out fine in the end.

We began shooting on December 1st, which in the film world means a whirlwind of new problems came down on November 30th. One unfortunate example involved the gaffer I hired coming down with some illness.

Let's back up. Originally I hired my pal Sean King to be the gaffer, but when Sean's availability became an issue, he suggested I try Steve Glassner, who's reel looks amazing. Steve came right on and was rocking this job; he was working with DP Mike, handling our gear rental with Elefant films etc. But then Steve fell ill the day before the shoot launched, and he hired Ed Ordonez to fill in for him for the first 2 day.

After those 2 days, it looked like Steve wouldn't be better in time for the rest of the shoot. We had 3 more days to shoot, and the good news was that Sean was able to come back on for the last 2 of those days. So at the last minute, on Steve's recommendation, I hired Carlos Valdes-Lora to act as gaffer for production day 3.

But after the call sheet went out, Carlos saw some difficulties in working on both Halina and another production of his. So he gave the gig to John Blazzi. John was great and everything turned out fine, and on day 4 Sean returned to the project and did an outstanding job.

That's FIVE gaffers associated with Halina (and three that will be getting credit for the finished project). All of these talented gaffers did their best to make this work. In fact all of them still contributed to moving the project forward, and all of them came with solutions for any issues that occurred on their end. And in the end the film still looks amazing...but these are the kinds of uncontrollable factors that take place behind-the-scenes . . . and why I always say filmmaking is 99% problem solving.

Stay tuned for a post and pictures for production day 1!

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