I dropped Winter's Day off at the Phoenix Film Project office today, just after four, a full two hours before the deadline. That's not half bad for me.
I'll admit it, this shoot was rushed from the start. We were scrambling for wardrobe the night before, altering Old Navy clearance items (sorry to ruin the illusion), raiding WalMart for cheap tech gear, and jumping into the strange world of weaponry. Then, the day of the shoot, it sat down to write the screenplay, moments after calling all the actors and telling them to meet at my place in an hour. Fortunately, it was an adapted screenplay, but this just emphasizes the chaos involved.
On the set it was hot, we didn't have anything to drink, and the actors are all geared up in thick black vests. That's a no-no in the PHX. We rushed, rushed, rushed for two hours, with me setting talent up in multiple locations and running back and forth to get shots as people were ready. I had a vision for what I was doing, but one of those "I have a feeling" things, not anything I could readily communicate. So, there I was, harrassing Brock after each shot, "OK, what's next? Did we get that? Remind me to get that."
There was a general feeling on discomfort for me, being that I don't typically make, or even watch, action films. I wasn't comfortable with the fake guns. We took off the orange tips for realism, but that meant we could easily be mistaken for people with real guns and an altercation, or worse, could have ensued. We were at the construction site, running around as various people came to check in on the progress of their homes (so that's what goes on at construction sites on Sunday afternoons) saying, "Don't worry about it, we're making a film." Then the security guard came we had ten minutes to finish up the last third of the film.
Well, I'm happy to announce that it did work out. We did have all the shots we needed to make this film happen. In fact, we had way too much stuff to fit in the three minute time limit. In the end, I'm actually very pleased with this film. It's very smooth, very slick, very convincing. I'll put it right up there with Intense Math and AGTC.
I'm very happy with the story. I think it's pretty cool that it's based on a solid piece of literature. Maybe we'll elevate the action genre? I'll never doubt JAG again (except maybe about that humanoid-Dinosaur sci-fi thing he's always pitching).