Being that this is not a big-budget film, El Director (shall we just call him Ed from now on? Great.) decided to film as much as he could close to his house in Eagle Rock. It takes Phin and I about an hour every morning to get there. Which is great, especially since I'm riding into the sunrise - sarcasm. However, it is fun to do a little people watching along Alvarado street downtown. I'm surprised and delighted by how many parents walk their children to school in the morning.
On a normal set you have a crew of thousands: The director, director of photography (DP), assistant director(s) (AD), artistic director, sound, lighting, makeup, grips, camera operator(s), etc. etc. etc. Because of the nature of our little project we have a crew of 2: A girl who runs sound (We'll call her June), and Ed (who is also the writer and serves as the rest of the crew.)
There are some disadvantages to a small crew. For example, should the need to move furniture arise, we just have to use whoever is available i.e. the actors. Luckily we're all pretty chill and more than happy to help out.
There are several advantages to a small crew most importantly of which is speed. When working on a "professional" set (or even student/independent productions that have a larger crew) you have to wait for the lighting to get set, then the DP has to like what they see, the director needs to put in his or her two cents, actors need to be ready, sound needs to be ready and on and on and on. This often results in extremely delayed production schedules. (Small example: when I was on set for Raising Hope I was called at 2 and didn't start shooting until after 6) Because there's such a small crew here we're pretty much ready to hit the ground running as soon as we arrive and have few delays as the day goes on. It helps that Ed is sort of ridiculously organized (he had pre-printed highlighted scripts for each person during our table read - who does that?).
So, day one consisted of getting some montage shots for a...well, a montage in the movie when I'm trying to break my rhyming curse by concocting a potion I found in some old book of witchcraft. No sound was needed so it was basically me and Ed cruising around town shooting in random places and getting to know each other a bit. He had me hiking through bushes, climbing trees, picking fruit, catching cats and frogs (incidentally we used an adorable kitten and I may have become a cat person, don't judge me.), and driving up and down the freeway. If you're in the LA area and looking for a good place to go walking or hang out or whatever, I suggest Griffith Park.
We were going to film some stuff outside at the Public Library, but apparently they're SUPER anal about that here and some girl from the staff came outside and gave us the 3rd degree within minutes of us arriving in the parking lot. Word to the Wise, do not film at the library during business hours. So instead, we headed to the Subway for lunch.
It was a super chill day (though it was pushing 100 degrees outside) and we were done by around 2 if memory serves me. (Yay small crew!) Ed is a pretty cool guy and I think we'll get along famously during the next few weeks.
And so it begins.