My first experience as a PrimaDonna production assistant (a PDPA, if you will) was on Dating Danielle, almost exactly 5 years ago this weekend. I have a lot of great memories of those 48 hours, but one of the greatest has to be the spirit that developed between cast and crew, as we all bonded while shooting on one of the hottest days of the year.
August is funny that way…
We began principal photography on Magnolia yesterday, with one of the film’s key sequences (the same one whose rehearsal you read about in my first dispatch). And so the day saw our cast and crew braving one of the warmer days we’ve seen this year.
In front of the camera, Gabi, Shane, Kareem, and Sergio were joined by David Dean Gomez (who was also rather generous in offering to help as one of our PAs), with future Nightwatchman Jason Scarbrough on standby for his scenes. Behind the camera was Chadd, with Nikki as assistant director and Oscar Laun on sound. Eddie Felan and Laurie Green were our other PAs, and Hailey Medrano was our craft services dynamo. I was there to help make sure all the forms, props, and other crew needs were in order and in place… especially the water, towels, and misting fans.
By now, of course, you should know my style well enough to know that “one of the warmer days we’ve seen this year” is a bit of an understatement. And in this case, even the phrase “bit of an understatement” might itself be an understatement. This was epic heat. Spectacular heat. And two of our actors (that would be Sergio and Kareem) would be wearing black suits right in the middle of it. To say that they, and all our cast and crew, were absolute professionals through it all would be a colossal understatement. They were the dictionary definition of the word trouper, and through it all, we saw that same kind of bond that united us on Dating Danielle.
So, while we didn’t complete all the shots we’d have liked (as Nikki said with some amusement, “mother nature is sometimes so heartless”), we were still able to accomplish a lot, thanks to the incredible dedication of everyone on set. To that cast and crew, I’d like to think I speak for everyone at PDP when I thank you for committing so much of yourselves to this film. It means a lot to all of us, and we’re grateful to have you on board.
We’ll be back at it next weekend, and I’m really looking forward to having two of my favorite actors join us on set. It’s all coming together…
Thanks as always for following along and supporting us. Until the next dispatch, “be seeing you…”