Saturday, August 28, 2010

25 Months Ago: Day 18

DAY 18 - July 28, 2008

Today – a Monday night – we shot another of the most important scenes, in which J.D. and Reuben reunite for the first time in years. Diane Conway once again played the wife of Reuben's character, and Wendy provided some props.

This scene was shot at Dana and Fran's house, as they had generously given permission to use their living room to film. I relied on source lighting for this scene, which is a fancy showbiz way of saying that we used lights which were actually there in the room. (As on Saturday, I chose to rely on available light sources because I was concerned about the amount of money I'd spent so far on this project, so even the relatively small expense of another lighting kit rental seemed like something to avoid.)

Due to the long summer days, a portion of the scene in which Reuben opens the front door had to be saved for last, since the scene is supposed to take place at night. (The relative lateness of sundown would affect another shooting day, but more about that later.)

The shooting script also contained a scene of Josh sitting in his car, hesitating, before going to the door, but by this point I must have decided that this was unnecessary. Again, low-budget filmmaking was tightening up the script out of necessity.

All the actors were in fine form, and Reuben in particular gave it his all; during editing I would later find myself selecting the more toned-down takes, which suggests that even I will occasionally resort to subtlety. J.D. got in a good ad-lib or two – although the meek character he had to play may have been stifling, he continued to handle the underdog comedy well.

After this shoot, I had all of the “without these scenes, there's no movie” scenes filmed. But I still had several “I could maybe do without these scenes, but it would be extremely challenging to make the movie work without them and would completely change the structure” scenes. So I wasn't out of the woods yet ...

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