11.20.04 (Day 2 of Shoot) – The Happiest Day Production

11.20.04 (Day 2 of shoot)
entry by: Gabrielle Burton
I woke again about 4 am. Don’t know why I’m waking so early every day. We loaded up the cars with costumes, cases of SMART Water & Vitamin Water (a sponsor –yum). I drank a Power-C, because I’m still feeling a bit under the weather.

Charity said she’d drive the generator, but she couldn’t reach the pedals, so I drove it again. Just as well, since I’m now anticipating the quirky gears and have figured out how to wiggle into 2nd in a way that works OK.

I also drove the 17 foot truck again –and I really like it. I think I’m a trucker at heart.

We shot at a private home in Rolling Hills — crew call was at 7 AM. We had to shuttle crew from parking elsewhere, as well as cast. To keep things moving quickly, Charity & I started the day helping different departments — setting costumes up, blocking off areas of the house, marking where the bathroom was, setting up makeup & hair in a bedroom, offering crew coffee, etc.

The 2nd AD didn’t show up today. She was sick, but no one had gotten her messages, so that took some reassigning & working out with the 1st. Cynthia Damin stepped in & took to it like a fish to water.

The house looked gorgeous, and then the FLOWERS arrived. It was extraordinary. Sandy Rose Floral Design donated the flowers & lent artificial flowers to supplement — all purple & white, mainly — just stunning. The bouquets & boutonnieres were made of orchids & roses. It all looked like a real-life wedding! (We kept saying that someone should take the opportunity to get married, since everything was already set up.) We also got a half-price deal from GREEN SET for shrubs & plants, which dressed up the pool and yard and added a nice texture.

The clothing sponsors have really come through — Barbara Rybka worked on a number of sponsorships. The dresses for the bridal party & for the main guests have been sponsored by JESSICA MCCLINTOCK & ESCADA. The McClintock dresses work really well for the whole bridal party, which is a relief — the bridal party needed a dress that was elegant and simple — comparable to a tuxedo for men. The dresses work well not only for all the different women in the bridal party (including Suzanne Cryer, who’s pregnant!), but also are a good complement to the groomal party’s outfits.

FRIAR TUX donated distinctive tuxes, which was fantastic. It was surprising to everybody how quickly our eyes adjusted to the reverse world — the lilac color on all the men looked pretty sharp, and all the single guys’ fighting for the bouquet (tossed by the groom) looked perfectly normal! My little nephew, who played the flower-boy, had a tiny lilac tux too.

Barbara also got makeup sponsored by CARGO & LAURA MERCIER & BED HEAD. The makeup artists said the products & colors worked nicely for the wedding setting. I got some footage of head makeup artist Cara talking about the vision for the make-up & hair design in case we decide to put together a behind-the-scenes piece. Marc Miller and Aaron Platt were great at videography — a behind-the-scenes movie could easily be much longer than the actual film!

entry by: MD Dundon
Another amazing day and location. Today we headed to our most distant location and our second largest day in cast and crew count as our numbers swelled from 47 yesterday to 90 some people today. The scenes that were shot were the wedding reception and the newly wedded couple’s send off. Our location was yet another gorgeous one in Rolling Hills – about an hour south of Los Angeles. I only had to get up at 5 am today as call was at 7:15 am. Laughing, that may not be an intriguing fact…but when you’re on a film shoot sleep becomes a major accomplishment.

Once you get everything unloaded the crew begins to set up all the little areas and the first shot of the day. The scenes are all being shot in a gorgeous backyard that was decorated with a most stunning array of donated flower arrangements (Sandy Rose Floral Design), tables, chairs (Studio Inn Rentals), table cloths and glassware (Classic Party Rentals) to make any groom blush with pride. Add to that all of the costuming (see Rosa to get your costume – thanks for thinking we’re all beautiful :D), hair and make-up (Cara and Kristin keeping up with it all) for the principles and the entire wedding party and the multitude of extras that played the wedding guests and you have quite the bustling set.

The owners, who welcomed us through the doors and were incredibly helpful in every way, made this day a wonderful one. Today was a hopping day for me because of the increase of people and my first chance to be an extra. That was a grand time as I got to be a drummer (on the cool donated instruments for our “girl band” from Santa Monica Music Center) and a person at the groom’s father and mother’s table; always a treat to get a front row seat to see amazing actors ply their craft. I still get a thrill seeing the different actors do their lines over and over and over again and not lose the intensity and performance, changing their lines and acting to meet up with the director’s vision. The race of the day was to beat the sunset with all of the close-ups and reaction shots needed for coverage when the film arrives in the editing room.

This was also a day where our incredible caterer came through with flying colors and amazing food for all of the cast and crew. Diane Timmons, the owner of Impeccable Taste Catering came out herself to help us with our first two days of setting up the hot meal of the day. On a set where everyone is donating their time to the making of the movie – food is incredibly important. Diane’s staff made delicious comfort food each and every day of the shoot. She was also very helpful to me, navigating the details about setting up and keeping the flow moving with a bigger crowd of folks with ease. I can hardly believe the generosity of the people around this film. I think it’s the magic of this entire amazing family.

All through the film, but particularly on today’s shoot, you got to see and admire the sisters working together. Ursula was the visionary and did a really extraordinary job of being everywhere at once. While she is in a scene she could rely on Anette, Maria and Gabrielle to hold the fort. Maria and Gabrielle seemed really valuable to have around as both have directed and so were able to be extra sets of eyes and ears in every situation. Since all three sisters are actors, they work really well with the actors and extras, giving great feedback and directions that provide the performances that need to be reached in the smallest number of takes possible. Jennifer is the steady source of producer control behind the scenes, problem solving in tandem with the production team.

I made it home by around 10 pm. I was awfully happy to have Maggie Tran, the script supervisor on the film, driving home with me, especially since I got lost on the way back from my parking space to the set (I did not cry–well not very much until I found out I was only a couple of blocks away).