|MAY 2002 "THE
So after 6 months of preparation it all comes down to this. 4 days in May. The days leading up to the shoot went pretty good. Kurt and I went thru the script line by line. We walked thru every location and camera set-up. We wanted to make sure if we were gonna have any disagreements directing we had them before we shot one take. The last thing we needed was to be on the set arguing in front of cast & crew. That would send a splinter down the shoot and people wouldn't know who to look for direction-wise. The biggest fear of mine was "would Fred Berry actually show up?" I'd talked with him numerous times but until he was standing in front of me I wasn't gonna be able to believe it. So when I got a call from him Wednesday afternoon telling me he'd just checked into the Berkley Carteret in Asbury Park I had reason to be relieved. We went over to meet him and the first thing that went thru my mind was "He looks even older than I thought." I'd seen recent photos and knew he was lookin' old, but in person he looked older. I asked him if he was cool with us putting him in a shopping cart and he was up for anything. No cares. He was cool. Next up, Joe calls me from LAX. His flight has been canceled. Here we go. Once he got up to the counter he found out he could take a later flight and end up in NJ about midnight. So now already my plans on going to sleep by 10PM are shot. But whatever, I probably wouldn't have gotten much sleep anyway. So, the shoot. Everyone was in good spirits. Until the original script supervisor shows up. She just brought bad vibes with her. The minute she walked in. She claimed she didn't know it was a DV shoot, etc, etc. I basically told her to leave if she wanted to. I had to walk away and let Scott the AD handle her. If i had stayed it would've turned into a huge argument. I should've known though. When I had talked to her previously there was always something a little "not there" about her. But she decided to stay and really I wish she'd had just left. She seemed to pout the whole day, didn't do her job well and made everything a lil' less fun. Luckily she wasn't coming back. She sent a friend of hers the next day. This girl Jodi - who was like night-and-day compared to her friend. She was into it all, helped out, offered suggestions. I wish she was there from Day One. Dan and his crew, Bill and Jeff all worked out great. Dan's a nut. There's no question about it. But he also works his ass off getting the job done. We also had a PA Brain Spatz who really stepped up. He became a grip and really helped out the crew tremendously. You never know when you bring people in how they're gonna perform and this dude just probably made it harder for anyone to work with us in the future because we'll be expecting them to be as good as Brian was. The friends we called in to play minor parts all showed up on time, did a good job, and had fun. The weather which was the biggest question before hand was good to us except on Saturday. It was probably one of the worst days of the year. Strong winds, heavy rain. We just sat around all morning waiting for it to clear. Scott and I ran around Asbury trying to find somewhere we could shoot something. The one thing I wasn't gonna do was shoot something in the rain. I didn't care if it meant not finishing filming this weekend. I wasn't gonna have our actors one minute running in bright sunlight, then suddenly running in a downpour. So we waited...and waited...and finally the rain died down. We found a new location where the wind was being controlled. So we went to work. And when the day was done, all we had lost from the day's schedule was one scene. We made it up Sunday, so all was cool. Saturday nite was our last nite so we decided to take Joe out for a semi-bachelor party. He's getting married in June, he'd really done us a huge favor by acting in this for nothing, and was doing a great job so he deserved it. By the end of the nite Dan was lying in a bush laughing. Billy (the midget) was pissing AT US on the sidewalk. One of my friend's Rich who was in the film as Lord Homeless was asking some dude "Why the fuck are you in my face, you cunt?" It was 2AM we had to be up at 6AM and it didn't seem like the night was gonna end. It apparently didn't for Dan and Billy. When they got back to the hotel, the both stripped down to their underwear, rode the elevators to the lobby - hitting the Emergency Alarms the whole way, and Billy ran to the front desk and yelled "Hide me! Hide me!" which is when Dan came chasing after him yelling "get back here you little bastard!" The next day was the final day. I think Kurt was a little panicked that we wouldn't finish shooting. We had already agreed that we probably would have to lose one scene. We had to make up for the rain on Saturday which meant going all the way to Colts Neck which is like an hour round trip from our main location in Asbury. There was just no way we were gonna get it all. But I think Kurt was keeping hope alive that we would. This, I think, lead to one of only two minor arguments we had on the set. For the most part I think we handled double-directing pretty well. I mostly stayed with the camera crew and Kurt mainly worked with the actors. If either one of us had a comment to make regarding the other's "department" we generally talked between ourselves and let whoever was handling that pass the word on. This way the actors or crew didn't have 2 people shouting directions at them. I guess it worked. Would it work for a feature, where we're shooting a hell of a lot more than 4 days in a row? I'm not sure. But I think it would. In the end, I think we got some funny footage. A lot of our bits seemed to work out just the way we needed them to. We do have to reshoot some stuff but it won't require any of the actors to return and crew-wise we probably only need Dan. Now it's up to Phil to pull off some magic and edit this into the epic comedy it could be. Hopefully, we have the footage for him to do that.