Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Production Journal, Heartbreak in ? Cuts: Washing Away

This is the part where I usually have very funny anecdotes about everything that went wrong. I suppose if you’re paranoid and expect the worst then you are pleasantly surprised when nothing goes wrong. Well, nothing did and I’m beyond pleasantly surprised; I’m flabbergasted. Things seem to have worked out beautifully ever since I conceived this story while running my ass off trying to get over my painful break up five weeks ago. Had I not been treated like trash, I would have never made this film. Wait, so am I saying that I’m glad I got dumped so that I could think of this story and make THIS film? Yes, I think I am. I am. That’s how crazy filmmakers are.

I’m reminded of this scene:

This film is me through and through; it represents my point of view.  While we were shooting I told my crew that if you don’t laugh at all the shit that happens to you then you’re fucked.  Does that mean I’m an optimist?  I don’t know and don’t care. I’m just very thankful I get to do this instead of going to a shrink.  Money better spent.

My Crew of Ruiz’s was a gift from the filmmaking gods.  They did the work of 10 people, more or less, but more importantly, they got it and had fun.  They made me cook them breakfast but I let that slide because I was in a generous mood and because of them I was free to focus on the creative aspects of directing and ordering lunch. 

My DP (Giancarlo Ruiz), Ruiz 1, got what I wanted to do visually (maybe because we both have twisted senses of humor) and delivered it.  How often does that happen?  It was so easy to let go of my anal attachment to the camera because I trusted him.  And I’m loving the results.

The sound dude, Ruiz 2, was a close friend/family who had never been on a film set before.  He learned to operate the sound equipment right there and then and as far as I can tell, he got great sound.  I never doubted him.  The AC, Ruiz 3, was also new to a film set, worked her ass off and did a great job.

I was pretty nervous about working with a new actor.  Sylvia (Panacione) was a joy to work with.  She was willing to try anything and took direction very well. That’s the mark of a trained professional.  She had great instincts and came up with some very funny improv on the spot.  I told her she could try anything and if it wasn’t any good it wouldn’t be on the film.  (I learned that from Lelia Goldoni). Yes, it’s true, 90% of directing is casting. 

It’s the trust that John Cassavetes and his people talked about.  It’s about who’s around you helping you make your vision a reality.  When it works, it’s magical.

And then there was my Peeps.  Pepa. Pepita the untrained supporting canine.  She would hit her marks perfectly, but mostly when the camera wasn’t rolling.  She was happy to have a house full of people, but I think at some point she was too tired and just wanted to go to bed.  She’s a method actor and it worked out perfectly.  It was a huge risk to write her in, but it paid off.

My confidence wanes and I have to remind myself constantly I don’t want to let down those who helped and supported me in this endeavor.  So yup.  It’s really up to me to fuck it up or make it work.  

“I’m making this film to exorcise a pain in my soul that just won’t go away, like oil stains. I wash my clothes with movies.”—Alex de la Iglesia


S.K.Epperson said...

Diane Keaton... :)

dizzydent said...

She's the best.

Delayna said...

So awesome!!! I'm glad everything worked out. I really want to see this! I'm sorry you're hurting, but honestly, dude was an asshole, and you deserve so much better. Because you're amazing! :)