Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 11 of Take Me Home: A Parking Lot and a Day of Surveys

Day 11 was a tough day. It was punishment for the relaxing beach shoot of the day before. 

We went back to the parking lot of Day 1 and filmed some more green screen. The day was hot and set ups were slow. 

I went off with our location manager to survey the neighbors for our last day's location in steamy Santa Clarita (about an hour away). I was super sick at this point and chugging Emergen-Cs all day long. I'm surprised I didn't overdose on the stuff. 

I have always thought handling craft service was the worst part of set. I now know that location surveys trump crafty. 

Part of the reason crafty is so painful is that you can never please everyone and you always run out of water at the worst time possible. I don't care how many cases of water you have; you will run out. I'd like to have my own waterfall for the crafty table. And a pallet of beef jerky, gum, coffee, and coke.

Back to surveys. Location surveys are required when you shoot at off hours or on the weekend. We were shooting at night at a mobile home park so we needed to survey the neighbors -- about 100 of them in 24 hours. So imagine, a blistering sun beating down on us and the unpleasantness of knocking on doors and interrupting people to let them know you will be really interrupting them the next day. And getting them to sign for the inconvenience. Really not fun.

One of the best interactions I had was with a man who thought more movies on Iraq needed to be made, not romantic comedies. He tore me up over his beliefs for a good 15 mins. He called the director and the permit office too to give them a piece of his mind. I clearly understood and sympathized with his position but this film is a rom com and I couldn't change that. I will definitely be back should I get a film on Iraq greenlit.

In any event, the location manager and I had a miserable day of surveying 100 homes, twice (they want three attempts). We then headed back to set. By then, my head was the size of a hot air balloon so I checked in with my producing partner and proceeded home to bed so I could be alive for the next night. 

And the fun did not stop there. After I left, a few Santa Monica neighbors starting harassing our film crew. One woman came home drunk and began yelling out her window telling us to go away until she passed out. Another told us to move our generator immediately. We did.

The cops stopped by too, just to make sure we were legal. You know, for being a town filled with filmmakers I have to say it's one of the least accommodating. And it's definitely one of the most expensive!! I love LA! (I really do.)


Phantom of Pulp said...

LA sure hates filmmakers, eh, Jane?

Your grisly exploits are making me homesick for the simplicity of shooting in Melbourne and its suburbs.

When the cops stop by there, they want to know if you have any beers left over.

Free Film Scripts said...

Wow, glad I never had the pleasure of location surveying..I was just stuck back on set or in an office doing mundane tasks till my fingers fell off...oh well, dues are now paid.