The Snow Must Go On

Canon XL1sSo the independent short I’m serving as Associate Producer on — Bystander, from Jabberwocky Productions — had finally scheduled the last three (principal photography) shooting days. And there wasn’t a lot of leeway, as at least one of the lead actors would be moving soon. So these days were pretty much locked — no way to change them, short of throwing away a whole lot of already-in-the-can footage.

And in a run of luck I have long since come to expect, the day assigned to shooting a full schedule of outdoor shots was yesterday.

For those of you not in the Eastern time zone, let me clarify: We were hit with a massive storm on Saturday. Enough to shut pretty much everything down. We held out hope that the meterologists would be completely off base (as they often are), but no such luck. So Sunday at 6:00 a.m., Adam and I headed into the city to start our oh-so-long day.

Damn it was cold. If ever I doubted my decision to (eventually) move to the West coast, this clinched it. I hated snow before, and I hate it even more now.

Not that I had the worst of it — the cast, of course, had already shot several scenes before the weather turned. Which meant they were dressed in attire wholly inappropriate for the new environment. So they were bundled up right until we were ready to roll, then had to strip down to their costumes, run through the scene, then bundle back up (and given our tight schedule, there often wasn’t time for that “bundle back up” part). The script had to undergo some last-minute changes as well, to at least attempt to explain the sudden change (it remains to be seen how successful it’ll be, but we’re optimistic).

The extreme cold also wreaked havoc with our equipment, causing the camera to be... well, temperamental is putting it kindly. While almost everything appears to have come out all right, in reviewing the footage, it looks like we lost at least one shot thanks to the camera’s decision to arbitrarily stop keeping timecode — a fairly critical function.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. We did get some decent shots, we managed to commandeer a coffee shop as our base of operations for the afternoon (thanks, Caribou Coffee), and, most importantly, we “made our day.” There’s still one more full weekend of shooting (though not for me, as I’ll be in California on vacation starting next Friday), and there’ll no doubt be occasional pickup shots (the aforementioned lost shot, for example), but it’s looking more and more like they’ll be able to wrap on this thing and get to editing.

Which (since everything does revolve around my own selfish interests) will allow me to focus their attention on this spring’s double-feature.


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