I’m moving out of my film’s set in 5 days

I am about to enter freak-out mode. Just to give you a heads up.

I have three more scenes that need to be filmed inside my apartment, and two that need to be filmed outside of it. I am trying to organize people to film some of these on Thursday, since I may get to take some time off from work that day, having worked all day Saturday. We’ll see.

Saturday’s conference really wasn’t that bad; I got to do what I love for three of the eight hours I worked, as I filmed members talking about why their jobs are important to the public. I have to admit, I had my doubts about what our workshop’s turn out would be like, or that anyone would be interested in speaking on camera, but I highly underestimated our membership. We had way more people attend than I had expected, and nearly everyone spoke clearly and articulately. Plus, one woman *almost* teared up a little. C’mon, just one tear for the camera!

Ryan and R.J., at my aunt and uncle's house

Ryan and R.J., at my aunt and uncle's house

On Saturday night when I got home at 5, I shot the confrontation scene between the two main characters, and the climax of the movie. My actors were awesome. They pulled it off just the way I’d imagined it. Also, note to self, never get into a fight with Becca. The fire in her eyes was terrifying. No pictures, unfortunately, because I forgot to take any. This is one reason this movie needs Brandon. Another reason is that he makes sure the mic is on, and that any cables connected to me and/or the camera follow me around the room accordingly, while I absent-mindedly move, oblivious to the consequences. Curtiss and an extra (named Brandon) were very kind of follow me with these cables and equipment in Brandon’s absence.

To accommodate the setting change, R.J.'s character now lives with his parents.

To accommodate the setting change, R.J.'s character now lives with his parents. That house is way too nice to be a bachelor's apartment. Sorry, R.J.

Everyone did great, and some extras were there that night as well to help out. That night I got out my brother’s lended copy of Final Cut Express (not Pro, as I said before). I loaded it onto my computer and watched about an hour’s worth of tutorials on it. I think it would be an okay program to use, but I was not a fan of the tutorial DVD’s style. The video showed you how to do different effects by clicking on what and where, but then it wouldn’t play the footage back for you to show you what the change had done to the original clip. I liked iMovie’s ten-minute video a lot better just for that difference.

On Sunday I filmed another scene with Ryan and R.J., showing them leaving R.J.’s place for the party. The story behind that scene was kind of funny, the way it ended up. I had wanted to shoot it in Cincinnati since John was willing to let me utilize his apartment’s living room as a set, but when it came down to it a day trip to Cincinnati wasn’t going to be the best use of time and resources, sadly. So, I needed a new location. I tried to get Becca’s fiance, James, to let the film crew into the apartment he has with his roommate, but he said no. So, I decided to use the absolute back-up, and film it at (guess where?) the new apartment. You know, like I’ve already done with two other scenes with different settings. This was not ideal, because I really didn’t want viewers to figure it out.

"Still living with your parents, I see..." "...You are a d-bag." Not really. Those aren't the lines. But they could have been.

"Still living with your parents, I see..." "...You are a d-bag." Not really. Those aren't the lines. But they could have been.

But in the end, the choice to not use the apartment was not left up to me. Since Brandon was in Knoxville with the only key we currently have to the apartment, it was unlikely we could get into the front door without Brandon suddenly learning to apparate from 6 hours away. Luckily Brandon pointed this problem out to me well in advance (read: Saturday night as opposed to Sunday afternoon) and I was able to call my aunt and make new arrangements. I was surprised how readily she agreed to my request. She also was instrumental in recruiting my youngest cousin to be a crew member against his will once we got there. Thanks, Aunt Cary!

My cousin held that mic pretty still. Child labor at its best, right?

My cousin held that mic pretty still. Child labor at its best, right?

On that note, now is as good a time as any to point out how incredibly supportive my whole family has been since I randomly decided to make a movie. My uncle follows its progress on my blog and asks interested questions when he sees me. My brother was the first person to read my screenplay – an hour after I sent it to him, back in February – and got back to me immediately with extremely helpful feedback and comments. And the person I doubted the most proved me very, very wrong: my dad, who I, for some reason, had felt convinced would think this project was a waste of time, asks me how filming is going every time I talk to him. He recently compared my amateur film making experience to his own process of self-publishing his four books. “Take steps toward your goal and you will be extremely surprised how far you get,” he told me, or something like that, paraphrasing Thoreau. I hadn’t really appreciated until now how hard that decision to push toward his goal must have been for him. My mom must have been a flippin’ saint about it, too.

Speaking of my dad, after my fun with designing and ordering my “Wilmer Productions” shirt on Zazzle.com, Brandon suggested I tell my dad about it and see if he wants a “Buckeye Books Press” polo shirt (his publishing company). I told Dad about it, and he is so in.

This side note is due to the fact that I started writing my credits last night, along with the list of “thank you’s” to include in them. It really does look like this movie may get completely filmed by May 10, and I have astonished myself. Please, please don’t let something horrible happen between now and then.

On Sunday morning I met Eileen for breakfast at Spinelli’s where we always go, and we made plans to get coffee after I get off work Friday. She left SNP last month and started grad school. She likes it alright so far, and has certainly acclimated herself to the student life of having Fridays off already. I’ve invited her to come watch filming if she doesn’t have class at that time Thursday, assuming I can get off work. Here’s the rough schedule for this week – as always, subject to change. And it will:

April 21, Tuesday

#15 (Meredith’s living room)
7:30-8 p.m.
April 22, Wednesday
#3 (Outside an office building)
7:30-8 p.m.
April 23, Thursday
#38 (Meredith’s living room)
1-2:30 p.m.
#14  (Meredith’s kitchen/hallway)
2:30-3 p.m.

April 25, Saturday
#17,19 (Outside back door)
11 a.m.-12 p.m.
#24 (Outside back door)
12-1 p.m.

If it rains on Saturday, I will cry. CRY. Christina suggested I ask the future residents of our apartment (they are nice bike-riding folks) if they mind if I shoot outside their back stoop one day after we move. That is a possibility, of course. I just hope we can get this done as scheduled, because I’ve already had to re-schedule those scenes due to rain once. Grrr.


More beer, $30

Mini HDV tapes, $25

Snacks, $10

“Wilmer Productions” shirt, $25

Pizza last weekend, $14


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