This summer is being pretty hectic filming. We are all assigned a slot to shoot our films in and whether it is your own film, or you’re crewing for somebody else’s, the fact is there’s been very little time to rest. 12 hours days or even night shoots, one after the other, while also transcoding your own footage, attending casting sessions, location scouting or checking out props. This is the life, isn’t it?!
These are some pictures of what’s going on on my colleagues’ films.
Right after the filming slot for “Drones Don’t Fly”, Jake Houghton’s “Life Mates” had me as a 1st Assistant Director to run the show in Moorpark. The story of two buddies that talk friendship, relationships and weed was filmed in three days and all exterior locations. In spite of Jake’s efforts with sunblock SPF 50, we all got pretty sunburnt! But the worst part was a crash accident I had on my way to set on the first day that wrecked my car. I have been ubering since, still waiting for a second quote on it, but it doesn’t look good at all :(.
Following Jake’s buddy comedy, Maria Mitkovskaya’s film about a couple’s 5 year aniversary and how it can go real bad is set for a couple exterior days and an interior day in a soundstage. As a gaffer I love shooting in soundstages: they are comfortable, have great AC, green room, kitchen and a million power sources and stingers. She was having some communication issues with the DP, but I still think we managed a pretty nice moody lighting. The actors were amazing however, improvising 5 minute scenes on every take. It is definitely going to be a nightmare to edit, but we had a blast just by watching this show play live.
And… it’s the time of “H.A.M”. this is the most demanding shoot I’ve been in to date. Set up to use all 6x 12-hour days allocated. We would practically live in this soundstage with a two-story house that Momo amazingly designed. Boise Esquerra wrote this period story in the sixties of a boy trying to fight back school bullies by showing them his nutjob father’s H.A.M. radio. But they didn’t imagine that astronauts and aliens would also be listening. Definitely the project was inviting and intriguing, something in between Close Encounters, The Goonies and Alien (omg, just like Stranger Things on Netflix –> MUST WATCH). I was 1st AD and Boise’s very ambitious shotlist and special effects heavy scenes did pay their toll in the end. We were clearly undercrewed and timing constraints finally derived in anger management issues that would force relationship and even friendship break ups. It’s sad, but it happens, and once it does you cannot go back. I hope Boise still managed to overcome his fears and finished the movie as good as it was coming out up until I had to leave. These are some pictures from the filming.
Ernest & Lauren
The last production I was in, Amber’s social drama on homelessness, took us directly to Skid Row in DTLA. While it was naively unsafe, it was also exciting to undertake such an stance and go directly to speak with the source. People approached us to tell us their story and the tricks life had played on them. Another very interesting scene as a gaffer was the restaurant scene, set up in a Greenleaf restaurant during an overnight shoot day.