11.09.04 – The Happiest Day Production

Now we’re in full-on-blow-out preproduction mode.

It’s a funny situation these days, because one of the things on this film I worked hard on was lining up great crew & confirming many details early on – but of course, things change – people get studio jobs, television shows go for actors, etc. – so each day has a checked box that suddenly become unchecked, while other items get checked off… or checked off again…

Work on it is going well, though, and steadily everything is coming together. We’ve got super cool people involved in this film – for instance, the DP Anette Haellmigk (DAS BOT, SPIDERMAN 2, SWAT, WEST WING) is a fantastic cinematographer, and she and Ursula have been working out the shotlist. There’s a challenge in that Ursula’s vision has to be shaped and refashioned according to the equipment we’re getting – the lighting package isn’t huge, so shots must be tighter; we aren’t getting a crane or jib arm, and we’re working on getting a dolly, so a sweeping shot Ursula planned will now need to get its more limited height & breadth from the dolly’s parameters; we don’t have unlimited crew or shoot days, so more complicated shots must be mindful of set-up time. This is the fascinating thing about making films – one relies so much on money and other people to realize one’s vision. If one tiny cog in the wheel goes out of whack, the whole wagon is compromised. So it feels right now (and will continue to until we’re done) like we’re spinning about 40 plates in the air, and running from one pole to the next to keep them all afloat… So far it’s working, but days are long (last night finally made myself sign off from email at midnight) and nights are filled with dreams of those unchecked list items.