It Was a Dark and Dreary Day (Pt. 1)

Almost two years ago I wrote and directed a short film. The first half was some of my best work up to that point in my life. The second half…not so much. I had a lot of fond memories, however, of the production of that film. Specifically, the longest shoot day of the production schedule.

On that day in April, we were supposed to film from roughly 8:30 A.M. to about 5:00 P.M. with a break for lunch in the middle. Looking back on it, that was the most fun day of the entire shoot. At the time, however, it was one of the most stressful. We were about to film in a location we had never been to before, which meant we would have to block the scene as it happened, (something I do not recommend at all). There was also to be a special effect shot involving a homemade squib for a blood splatter effect. It was going to be a long, long day.

There were many obstacles, however, that stood in our way of accomplishing that scene. For starters, some of my actors didn’t know their lines. This wasn’t a case of missing a few lines and improvising around them; this was a case of them never even looking at the script! I can’t entirely blame them, they weren’t actual actors, but feeding lines on set can become tedious and bothersome rather quickly!

I didn’t know it at the time, but some of my actors were also hungover from the night before! If I had known that at the time, I may have blown a gasket! Luckily, they didn’t tell me until almost a year later and we’ve laughed about it ever since (including the lack of line memorization). All these little things that slowed down production have actually become inside jokes between the cast, crew, and myself.

One thing that stands out in my memory of that day’s shoot was the rain. It was a dark and dreary day. Clouds hung about all day long. It rained for quite some time in the middle of the day. I had to take some of the cast & crew in my car to get from our set to where we were having lunch. Unfortunately, I own a small car, so we started putting people way in the back where there were no seats! It was a bumpy ride for them, I am sure of it! It was little moments like these that still make the memory worth remembering. Despite all this, we still had a lot of work to do that day.

(More to come; including all the issues we encountered during the actual filming of the scene…)

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