Sunday, August 8, 2010

25 Months Ago: Day 11

DAY 11 – July 8, 2008

With all of Karyus' present-day scenes completed, he went and got a shave and a haircut so that he could play his clean-cut younger self in flashbacks.

We filmed a scene in which the young Bert walks through a park, contemplating his destiny. A funny, improvised shot had Karyus sleeping under a strange tree, like a fairy-tale troll, but this shot didn't really fit and I ended up not using it.

Next, we returned to Tobey Village to film a scene of Bert being fired from his old office job. We went to some trouble to dress Bert's cubicle as a squalid pig-sty, which I thought was hilarious at the time, even if it doesn't quite have the same impact in the finished film.

J.D.'s character, Josh, was in this scene, as was an obsessive engineer whose cubicle was next to Bert's. Originally I'd wanted someone older for this small role, to clearly differentiate him from the main cast. But this was another role I had trouble casting, so J.D. came to the rescue by bringing his friend and co-worker Michael Sackley onboard, and Michael had a lot of fun with the part.

I also had failed to cast an actor as Bert's manager, so Jesse Conklin, who'd played Josh's boss the day before, became Bert's boss as well, in another piece of serendipitous continuity.

The events leading to Bert's termination were being narrated by present-day Bert, so Karyus and Mr. Conklin were required to ad-lib some material that wouldn't be heard by the audience. Of course, this improv material was funnier than expected and I ended up using some of their dialogue in place of the narration that was meant to cover it.

Another funny ad-lib occurred between J.D. and Karyus during an establishing shot, and I'm pleased to say that it is featured in the finished film. While J.D. did a terrific job on this movie as a dramatic actor, it's kind of too bad that this character didn't give him more chances to show his comedy chops.

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