Friday, July 30, 2010

25 Months Ago: Day 3

DAY 3 – June 30, 2008

On Day 3 I checked out a rented lighting kit from Hahn Photographic to use over the next 2 weeks. (Day 1 was shot with available light, and Day 2 was lit using gear available at the location.) Today was also the first day of my 2-week rental of a vacant space at Tobey Village Office Park to shoot various office scenes; this first week would involve piecemeal construction of the sets, with the actual shooting to take place the following week.

In terms of actual filming, Day 3 was pretty light, and consisted of a brief shoot at CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, made possible by Liz's connections in the Buffalo arts scene. We used a small room at CEPA to shoot a brief scene in which Karyus' character, Bert – employed as a university videographer – is instructed by his director to log and digitize some footage.

The director was played by Roberto Petrilli, a professor friend of Liz's. Roberto – who is from Italy – became the first of many supporting actors in the film to ad-lib embellishments to his dialogue, finishing his single line with “comprende?” After a few takes this changed to “capisce?” which I remember being uncertain about because I associated the word with stereotypical movie mobsters. But I must have warmed to it, because that's what I ended up using in the finished film.

With some tight reframing I used the same room to double as a TV control room, for some cutaways in which Roberto's character directs Bert during recording of the aforementioned footage (which would be shot the next day).

Finally, I shot one more scene in this room, of Bert working at his computer, editing some different video footage from a later scene. Because this room had a large glass window facing a hallway, I was able to shoot this scene from the hallway, with the camera facing through the glass so that Karyus's grinning face was visible from behind his computer screen (which wasn't actually displaying anything anyway).

If you've seen any edit of the finished film, you may have trouble placing this last scene. This is because the scene was never used. Although many scenes in “Saberfrog” were shortened during editing, this is the only filmed scene not to appear at all in the finished movie.

It's unlikely to appear as a deleted scene on a DVD or Blu-ray, though. Unless your idea of entertainment is seeing a static shot of John Karyus sitting at a computer with a goofy grin on his face. Hmm, maybe it is.

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