Archive for September, 2008

Day Ten

Posted in Production with tags , , , on September 26, 2008 by Richard Diaz

Yesterday was the day at the actual police station. Since the station is no longer in use it’s a bit rundown. It’s not like the Gary, IN locations but still a bit rundown. When I first saw the location I was scouting it to use as an actual location. When I saw it I knew I couldn’t use it because I don’t have an art department. It was easier to turn an existing office into a police station than to turn an old police station into a working one. When I saw this place I thought it was so cool I needed to use it. So I rewrote a scene to take place there. Originally the scene took place in an alley but I think it is ten times better here. It can also be seen as a symbol for the character of Sam who goes through a bit of awakening as the skeptic cop. If you want to read into it. Otherwise it just works as a cool location.

The only thing is I’m not sure how I want the scene to look. I tried tinting it a slight blue. I know. Blue. Police station. How original. It’s evident in the picture. Not sure I’ll stick with it but I’ll worry about it later. I’m looking forward to editing this scene. Should be fun.

Time is starting to run out. Half the cast is basically moving away so I need to finish in the next couple of week. So I’m going to really shoot as much as I can. I would say there will be another ten days. So a lot needs to happen. And it will all be revealed here.


Day Nine

Posted in Production with tags , , , , , , on September 24, 2008 by Richard Diaz

The longest day of shooting so far took place this past Sunday. The older I get the more I see how much longer it takes me to bounce back.

We shot at the office in the afternoon. This place will be used for two different locations. On this day it was standing in for the police station. Ironically the actual police station would need a ton of work done to it. Something I can’t do. But an actual office fit in nicely. I figured I’d “dress” it up a bit. I grabbed a street map and the night before made up some phony mugshots. I took some friends and turned them into Chicago’s most wanted. One of them was an added bonus. I love this fake mugshot that filmmaker Adam Green, the writer and director of ‘Hatchet’, has on his MySpace profile. I asked him if I could use it as one of the mugshots. To my delight he said I could.

The Adam Green wanted poster.

The Adam Green wanted poster.

Mike was back as Sam and Marco was there for the character of Doyle. That name comes from ‘The French Connection’ from the Gene Hackman character Popeye Doyle. By the way, Sam’s last name in the film is Blaine. A little trivia, that is Rick’s last name in ‘Casablanca’.

We had two full scenes to shoot. One of them I decided to place over by some cabinets just to change things up a bit. While the other was at the desk. I also did a phone conversation with Mike (I’ll shoot the half with Brenden on a different day). Plus I grabbed some extra shots of him thinking or lost in thought that I could just pop in anywhere in the film. I think it’s good to grab that kind of thing if you can. Even if you’re taking stuff down just to have the actor do something and get a few extra seconds. You never know.

I know its not great but its supposed to look like it was drawn quickly.

I know it's not great but it's supposed to look like it was drawn quickly.

After we were done I went back home to prep for the night shoot. I was already tired which wasn’t good. I knew it was going to be rough. We shot a major scene at Fifty/50 but we had to wait for them to close which was 2am. There was a lot to shoot and halfway through I knew it got to the point where you’re feeling like let’s just get this done. Not good when you’re making a movie. Luckily everyone was in high spirits which definitely helped. There was a lot of fun but it was just tiring. Everyone was great but by the time I left I was definitely out of it. I got home just before 9am. I ate a little breakfast (or is that dinner?) and then tried to sleep but it was rough. Even today I am still recovering.

The cast is full of energy.

Tomorrow we’re at the actual police station. Not sure how this will go. I rewrote the scene to take place there but I will have to make it up as I go still. Should be fun though.

A Little Update

Posted in PreProduction with tags , , on September 17, 2008 by Richard Diaz

I’m getting ready for a very long shooting day. We’re shooting at an office which will double as the police station. The following weekend I plan on using the same office as an office. I will be shooting in different areas so hopefully it won’t be obvious. So all of those scenes (around 4 total) will be shot on Sunday. Then Sunday evening I’m shooting a scene at the restaurant. That’ll be around 2am. So come Monday I’ll be dead.

Then Wednesday we’re shooting at the actual police station. That’ll be a bit like Gary, IN in that it’s basically a long chase scene. Some of it will be lit and some of it will be as is.

I’m aiming to get as much done in the next three weeks. Hopefully I’ll have most of it done by then with some stuff left with Brenden. If everything goes right I want to be done with everything before the end of October. That includes small stuff too. But in the meantime there is a lot to do.

Day Eight

Posted in Production with tags , , , , on September 10, 2008 by Richard Diaz

Today we shot the “date” scene which is very important for the two lead characters of George and Danielle. The actors, Brenden and Kimberly, did a great job. The downside? Even though we were on the second level there was a very loud cooler at the bar on the first floor. It is very noticable in the takes. I don’t know if I can limit it or not. Or if I can somehow drown it out a little with other noises – restaurant sounds, music, etc. The problem is it’s not a common sound associated with a restaurant. Just a loud hum. I hope I don’t have to ADR it. We’ll see what happens.

For the first time I am starting to feel like we need to get this finished. A little over a third of the film is completed. That leaves a lot left. However, some of the locations I am close to closing have several scenes. Unlike most of the days I’ve already shot these will be longer days. One office location would include three scenes in one day. The police station will also have around six scenes set there. I’m in a time crunch because winter this year is coming early and cold weather will be a factor. Not for the apartment scenes but for other scenes. Plus three of my actors are moving away. And once they’re gone they’re gone. I don’t have money to fly anyone in. I definitely need to get things lined up fast so I can get the film in the can.

The next few weeks will be quite something.

Day Seven And A Half

Posted in Production with tags , , , , on September 8, 2008 by Richard Diaz

Friday Brenden and I went back to Gary, Indiana. It was exactly a year ago I was there on the third day of the ‘Macbeth’ shoot. This time we were in the old church and some of the ‘Macbeth’ stuff was still there. Not much but part of the blocks that we used to make the bedroom were still there.

Brenden needed to do a small video bit for the play he is putting on My Name is Rachel Corrie. Afterwards we shot a few things for ‘Distortion’. Nothing really specific as there is no scene that takes place there. I figured it could be worked into a montage perhaps.

Tomorrow is the “date” scene which is an important scene as it helps set up the relationship between the characters George and Danielle. I’m a bit nervous about it but I’m also looking forward to it. I plan on getting normal coverage of it. This is a scene where you let the actors do their thing.

For more information on Brenden’s play go to: