It pretty effectively goes without saying that filmmaking, especially independent filmmaking, is a process of adjustments. The unexpected will happen; there’s no way around that. And while I’m not entirely convinced it’s possible to expect the unexpected – if you could, it wouldn’t really be unexpected, would it? – it’s still possible to prepare for it, to be ready to make the necessary adjustments to get the shot.
Over the last few days of production, Magnolia has been an object lesson in how to be ready.
You’ll recall from my prior dispatch that we didn’t quite get all the shots we needed that first day of shooting. But we still accomplished a lot, even in the heat, and so we pressed on with our shooting schedule, preparing to shoot two more scenes in the script on August 19 (last Sunday) before returning to finish the scene we began two weeks ago.
And then it rained.
It rained a lot.
While it stopped well before our call time, the wet location meant we had to revise our schedule, rearranging the scenes we’d planned to shoot in a drier climate. After a few hours of effort, time enough for the sun and heat to take care of those last vestiges of the storm, we were able to salvage the 19th and shoot one of the scenes we had planned for the day.
The next scene was rescheduled for yesterday. As the scene we were already scheduled to shoot was dependent on the sunlight, that gave us the evening hours to shoot a night scene between our two leads. So the day reunited most of our cast (Shane, Gabi, Jason, Kareem, Sergio, and Dean) and crew (Chadd, Nikki, Oscar, Eddie, Laurie, and me, with Katelyn Ceselsky joining us as PA).
It was a long day, and an involved one, but through force of talent and dedication, we managed to make up most of the time we’d lost to the storm. With a day for pick-up shots (the term for scenes you shoot to “pick up” anything you may have been unable to complete during principal photography) already scheduled for the near future, we’re more or less back on track.
And so we look ahead to next weekend, two crucial scenes that help establish the characters and the film’s place in The Arrangement. If it’s anything like the last two days of shooting, I’m pretty confident that our cast and crew will be ready.
It’s coming together…
Thanks once again to our fantastic cast and crew for stepping up and making this weekend happen. We couldn’t have done it without any of them.
Or without you, the readers, friends, colleagues, and fans who have supported us throughout the process. I hope you’ll continue to follow along – it’s going to be fun.
So, until the next dispatch, “be seeing you…”