Archive for the ‘Locations’ Category


A Day at the Beach

April 28, 2009

[Editor’s note: I meant to post this last week.  I’m not sure why it didn’t go up.]

Nothing is ever easy.

The end of the movie calls for Shooter and Angel to sit on the beach, watching the sun set over the water.

Being in Los Angeles, this seemed like a simple proposition.  We’re on the west coast, the sun sets in the west; ergo, we go to the beach and roll.

Yesterday, I found, to my surprise, that this is not necessarily so.  I stood on the sand next to the Venice pier, looking out at the horizon, and the sun was to my back.

Turns out, Venice beach curves around like a crecent moon, and we were basically facing southeast.

So, we packed up and moved waaaay down the beach, and managed to at least get the sun setting behind the mountains.  Not exactly what I’d planned, but it still turned out looking pretty.  I think it worked out okay.


Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

April 18, 2009

I started Day 3 at 6:30 this morning. After feeding Felix, I banged out a quick draft for next week’s shoot.

Yesterday, Danny, Curt, and I scouted next week’s location, which will be Curt’s aunt’s house. (She’s a very lovely lady, and we’re grateful she’s opening her house to us.)

Her house will play as both Archie’s and Flint’s homes. After seeing some of the geography, we decided a quick rewrite was in order.

Originally, Don’s office (where he is editing the film) was going to play as Flint’s office, but we decided it didn’t match the kitchen we’d be using next week.

So, today is turning into a light day, with only Shooter’s apartment and some voice over to film.

We’ll see if it turns out tpo be as easy as it sounds.


Parks & Recreation

April 8, 2009

Turns out, shooting on state land isn’t as easy as we thought it was.

Next weekend, Curt had scheduled the remaining outdoors scenes– day exteriors at the beach and park. At the California film commission offices, we found a state beach and state park near each other that we liked.

But yesterday, just as Curt, Danny, and I were leaving to scout the location in person, Curt received a call from the guy in charge of filming at state beaches. He told us no one is allowed to film there on weekends.


We spent a little while calling the actors, to see if anyone could shoot on Friday or Monday. Monday was ruled out, and it’s going to rain Friday.

Curt found another park that might work, up in the hills, so we drove over there. It looked great, until we found out that it would cost over a thousand dollars to shoot for under four hours.

Luckily for us, Curt’s a resourceful guy. He’s making more calls, and thinks he’ll find something today or tomorrow, at least for the park scenes. The ending at the beach is still going to have to be shot another day.


Pretty, Pretty Pictures

March 27, 2009

More photos of our cast are the cast page.  Take a look.

In other news, Danny, Curt, storyboard artist Joey Schell, and I did some location scouting.  Curt knows a guy who knows a guy, and found a place that may serve as both the rooftop in the opening sequence, the parking garage (now a parking lot), and the warehouse from the flashback sequence.  Curt’s good at finding stuff like that.

We’re still considering a few options, because the roof is pretty plain.  Luckily, Joey has some ideas for sprucing up the look, if we don’t find an alternative.  More on that later.

Yesterday, Curt, Becca, Danny, and I had a big production meeting.  We worked out a rough schedule, talked about costumes, and debated the merits of black-and-white versus color.  Before that, Joey and I met to talk about storyboards.  I acted out several scenes, with park benches serving as cars, railings, and warehouses.  I probably looked ridiculous, but at least Joey now knows what my shotlist means.

Tomorrow, they will run a test shoot with our stars, Blaine and Christine, to see what costumes look best in which style.  They will also film the security camera footage of Angel killing Drost (hi, Shawn!), and take photos of Angel and Shooter for set dressing in Shooter’s apartment.

Unfortunately, I will be out of town, but I trust they’ll do a fantastic job without me.  Who needs a director, anyway?


Learning From Others

January 27, 2009

Last weekend, I helped a friend on a shoot.  It’s a bigger production than this noir short, and far more likely to make its money back, in the end.

On Sunday, we shot at the Westmoreland Lofts. The location was versatile, with varied looks inside, outside, and, yes, even on the roof.

Totally noir, right?

Totally noir, right?

I fell in love with it, so I asked my buddy how much it cost him to film there.

I probably shouldn’t say the amount, but it was pants-shittingly expensive.  They had the gall to charge half a month’s rent to film for one day.  Why didn’t he just rent it for a month?  Because they won’t accept leases for less than a year!

Basically, this confirms my thinking that I’ll have to rewrite the script.


(PS: Sorry about the bad link for the picture in yesterday’s post.  It’s fixed, now.)



January 26, 2009

When you write an independent movie, you have to consider practicalities: limited locations, limited cast, limited action. Basically, you want to write two people talking in a room.

Ethan Hawke can't believe Uma Thurman agreed to be in a movie with him.

Ethan Hawke can't believe Uma Thurman agreed to be in a movie with him.

I didn’t follow the rules strictly, but still, a good quarter of the movie is Shooter moping around in his apartment. I thought I’d be okay.

After last week’s disastrous location scout, I’ve come to realize I wasn’t quite as practical as I thought. To avoid paying for locations, I’m going to have to rewrite the opening scenes to take place where can actually film them.

At first, I thought this isn’t a big deal. The locations weren’t particularly important to the story or the theme. They just seemed like cool places to shoot.

I realize now that I’m faced with a crisitunity. Since I’m going to rewrite the scenes to fit the new locations, I can come up with meaningful ones.

Now I just have to figure out what that meaning is.


Run and Gun and Run Again

January 22, 2009

As I said yesterday, I used to be able to shoot wherever, whenever.  This was partly due to the fact that I was young and invincible, and partly due to the fact that I just didn’t care what the movie looked like.

For interiors, my friends and I just use an apartment or dorm room.  For exteriors, we generally wouldn’t even light the scene; we’d just roll the camera.  If someone told us to leave, we’d leave, and then find some other equally suitable place.

The results were frequently less than stellar:

I realize I need to take my time, now.  Run & gun just won’t cut it anymore.  I have to start taking time for lighting, composition, rehearsals.

And that kind of time means I can’t just steal locations.  Which means I’ll have to meet people, make deals, maybe even pay them money.

Which kinda sucks.