Eleven hours, three cups of coffee and four hours of sleep. After scripting our short we arranged the scenes for last night so Jim and Cami could be done. There was a moment where we wondered if those two would even be involved. I arrived on set (ie. Andrew’s house) to find the actors huddled on the street corner; pacing. What’s up? I’m not doing it. Doing what? He wants us to do a gay love scene and I’m not having a love scene with my brother. Huh? Do we need a gay lesbian theme on top of the romance genre we pulled? On Utah Pride Weekend? About a gay couple trying to be lured into heterosexuality? Let me talk to him, said Liz as she pulled up with her husband for the weekend project.
Ten minutes later. We’re not doing that but we all need to get in there and help brainstorm. Pet rocks, parties, killings in the basement were bandied around. We had to have a briefcase, the line- “as per his instructions”- and a character named Tom Percival who’s an historian included in the script. Thirty minutes and we had our new outline that everyone agreed could work and we left Andrew to type. The weekend was saved.
We sat around the front living room, texting, Facebooking, chatting; even working on scenes for our acting class. Andrew climbed up the steps with the first draft. Read and edit, he said as he handed us each a copy. He ran downstairs with the notes for tweaking. It was 9 p.m. We began shooting the first of our night scenes at 11 p.m. Those ones involved Jim and Cami. When they were shot, those lucky two would be done completely. I crawled into the upstairs bedroom for zzz’s as I wouldn’t be needed for a couple of hours. I heard the muffled voices below and thought I’d never fall asleep but then, dead silence. Everyone had gone outside for the shoot and I passed out.
It was 3 a.m. when they woke me for hair and makeup. My scene was simple- walk in the house, talk to the prop, distraught, and leave. The trouble came in the form of incessant auto traffic from the busy street outside. Even at 4 a.m. we had to work between the roar of motorcycles, trucks and motorhomes. Six takes later we had my scene in the can and Andrew called for a break until daylight. That meant two more hours to sleep. I had just opened my sleeping bag on the floor of Andrew’s daughter’s room when Joe knocked and asked to share the room. He took the twin bed and passed out before I had my pillow fluffed. It seemed minutes before there was another knock but it was 8:45 a.m. and time to set up the yard sale scene. After those, I’d be released! The final day (Sunday) was set aside for post production.
Our crew was a bit groggy; the morning spread barely took the edge off. While Tara did Liz’ hair, I snuck down to Jared for a peek at the dailies. The first thing I noticed was the too-soft focus on my scene- on every take. Uh Oh. Soon enough Andrew and Jared were discussing the situation. Looks like I’ll be waiting around for nightfall to reshoot the scene.