La Drogheria

Work on The Italian Film has continued, primarily scouting locations and looking for props. Tuccheti has agreed to allow us the use of the patio for the cafe scene. Last weekend, I got in touch with the President of the Alfa Romeo Owner's Club, and it seems we will have access to a classic Italian automobile. Wednesday, I toured the Hotel San Carlos and selected a room that will serve as Leonardo's apartment. All very good.

Thusrday, Friday, and today, we visited nearly every Italian grocery (drogheria) and deli in the Phoenix area. There were some good ones and some that were too modern. Here are some pictures of the better locations.

New Jersey Italian Grocery & Deli
Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix

The New Jersey had just closed when we arrived, so these pictures were taken through the front door. It doesn't look overly modern, except for the crazy Italian t-shirts hanging on the grocery racks. Brock liked the pass-through window looking into the kitchen. The path from the front door to the back door is fairly short and straight, but we could fake the door off to the far left and have Leonardo walk across from left to right and behind the counter to the back door.

DeFalco's Italian Grocery
Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

We visited DeFalco's Friday and had a bite to eat for lunch (prosciuto sandwich). This store is more cramped, with lots of racks packed with fine groceries. The metal racks are a bit modern looking, but there were some great possibilities for through-the-rack shots, which would have looked cool. Plus, they have had film students working there in the past, and one of the Manager's produced a film, with quite a few films having been shot here.

Calabria Italian Grocery & Deli
3rd Ave & Roosevelt, Phoenix

We almost didn't visit Calabria. We couldn't find it the first time through. We went back today, on the way for a second visit to DeFalco's. Well, we never made it to DeFalco's. Armed with better directions, we found it today. We grabbed some canolis and talked to the Manager/Owner Maria, who is game to help us out. The shop is small and simple, but has nice rich colors on the walls, with neat racks of groceries to one side and a stocked deli case on the other. There is a long hallway between the two. This should work out very well for the scene we need to shoot.

Any thoughts on the locations?

Hey, bonus photos...


Gabe said...

If we could shoot at "New Jersey" during the same time as you took those shots, that lighting would be awesome.

I've been to DeFalco's. It could work.

Calabria looks nice.

Joshua Provost said...

Gabe, yeh, the more I look at NJ, the nicer it looks. It actually does look the most aged of the three. It might fit the period best, if it didn't have so much English language signage hanging around. We might be able to work around that.

It was about 7pm, I think, the sun was setting and all the windows had vertical binds drawn, except for the front door was uncovered, allowing us to look in.

I'm a little afraid of actually shooting at sunset, because the light will change slightly as we shoot and we may lose our light if don't work fast. I do think we can light the place as though it were sunset (or sunrise) and I hope to try that out. According to the screenplay, it should be night or early morning by this time.

New Jersey is the only place I haven't talked to someone at yet, but I'll give it a try probably Tuesday. Calabria, at least, doesn't have any dead giveaways as to the period.

Deinitely between Calabria and NJ.

Brock said...

Question: If it's late at night, or very early morning, what is a mother and her child doing shopping in the store? In the screenplay, it's like they're picking up items for the family meal or something, but if this is in the wee hours of the morning, wouldn't that seem a bit peculiar?

I like Calabria. It's got nice colors on the walls, and like you said, it's not outright obvious what period or location we're filming in. If the owner is keen on letting us film there, I say we go for it. Plus, doesn't it have that advantage of being in close proximity of the San Carlos?

Joshua Provost said...

Brock, good question. The timeline needs to be better motivated.

It makes sense up through the hotel/apartment scene. It's late afternoon/early evening at the cafe, dark by the time he drives off, still night back at the hotel.

From there, we need to get him to the grocery, but we really don't have a good way to do the car scenes any way but at night, or with enough light to indicate the sun is coming up.

If we play the grocery as though its early morning, I don't think that it much of a problem. People weren't so lazy fifty years ago, they were up and out to do their shopping early.

However, that does not explain the boss and his sons playing dominos in the back room. They wouldn't be up early to get to their all-important domino playing.

So, the last scene really should take place at night. Maybe it's the next night, or the next evening?

How bad a plot point do you think this is? And do you have any suggested work-arounds?

Brock said...

It's not a big deal. You don't have to work around it at all really. Only the hyper-anal will notice.

Joshua Provost said...

No, it's a good point. The woman and child were placed there to increase the tension in the scene, they are not critical to the film. If there is a better way create come tension, I'm all for it.

I was actually thinking that on his way in to the grocery store, he could toss the picture in the trash. Or even toss it on the table after he kills the boss.

I'm sure there is a lot of room to improve the screenplat to highlight certain character points.

rgl said...

In my humble opinion, whenever you need to add tension, add a shark.

Okay, I admit it. I got nothing.

Brock said...

Actually, I'm all for the shark. I know we got a theme to play up here, so he can be an Italian shark.