Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Day of Shooting*

Production: 95 % complete.
Post-Production: 88 % complete.

Yesterday was our fourteenth and final* shoot, in which we tackled Sequence C-- the interview scene. We shot at an office building roughly .01 miles away from our house (also known as, "across the street"), with the kind permission of Mr. Gary Kuhlman, who is certainly getting a special thank you in our end credits.

Besides David, we worked with two other actors. One was immensely talented, and we'll get to her in just a moment.

The other, though, is The Worst Actor In The World.

That's him in the green shirt. To say he is a ham is an insult to Porcine-Americans everywhere. He has no sense of timing, of character, or of taste. We're not even going to do him the dignity of naming him. I don't know why we agreed to work with him, and now we're stuck with him, and I hope to God he doesn't ruin the entire movie with his gaping comedic black hole of a performance.

And, to top it off, he's lazy. Just look at him!


Luckily, though, we got to spend most of the shoot working with the Amazing Mariya O'Rourke. For those of you unsure of how to pronounce her first name, the third syllable should be delivered as a loud karate yell, accompanied by a karate chop.

Neat Party Game
Here are some photos of Mariya O'Rourke and David Schonscheck. In order to win this game, you need to figure out which photos are of Mariya and which are of David. BONUS HINT: Mariya is female; David is not.

The thing that's great about Mariya, both as a person and as an actress, is that she has a very palpable force of personality-- it's a strange mix between cheerfulness and ass-kickery. She really brought that friendly toughness to the part of Penelope.

It's a difficult part, too. Many other actresses would have played the character as a bit of a ditz. But Mariya brought intelligence and aplomb aplenty-- which is exactly what we wanted and exactly why we wanted Mariya to play the part.

Extra Bonus Dash of Pretension
If you compare the screenshots from the two parts of the scene-- David and Mariya versus David and The Worst Actor In The World-- you'll note that, in addition to the fact that one scene features two good actors while the other features one good actor and The World's Worst-- the quality of the visual image is different as well. Not that one image is necessarily better than the other-- though the images from the David and Mariya scene, obviously, do not feature The Worst Actor In The World-- but that the colour temperatures are vastly different, lending a different "look" to each scene. This was intentional.

The scene with The Worst Actor In The World finds Nick, David's character, waiting to be called in for his interview. He's anxious about the interview, but also anxious about one of the potential end results of that interview-- i.e., moving up into a full-time job in an office environment. The dreariness of the room is meant to reflect on these anxieties in a subtle way.

The interview itself has a warmer feeling-- her red suit and his orange are more vibrant, there's more colour to the face, the walls are brighter. This is a reflection of her personality, and also on the ultimately confrontational nature of the scene.

Looking at the screenshots provided on this site, you'll note that each scene has a slightly different look. Sequence E, for example, features much brighter colours and far fewer shadows; Sequence F is much darker and grainier. That's not because we couldn't get equipment-- we own all our own lights and they're available to us at all times. It's because we had a very particular look and feel in mind for each scene.

We don't get too "arty" with it-- we don't switch into black-and-white, and we stay away from gross overexposure. But we do put a lot of thought and time into how the film looks.

And so, in this particular case, we thought it'd be nice to share some of that process with you. (You're welcome.)

*-- Well, it's the last regular day of shooting. We have one more tiny shot to pick up with David during the next week, and we're still waiting on some second unit stuff. But we're more-or-less done, mostly, sort of.

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