Monday, September 23, 2013

And... that's a wrap...

) Day 19 was long, cold, and eventually windy, rainy, and very hard on the actors and crew, though it made for some amazing photography. Thank goodness the end of the day, and the shoot, was indoors. The last sequences were some interstitial shots of Billy and Mariana, with Billy clean-shaven; in the "past". The very last shot was of Billy walking past a vaguely cross-shaped key-holder on the wall. I cried for the last five setups. Folks let me. It is SO tough for the shoot to be over. When you put something together for years...not-doing it suddenly is pretty tough. (
) I stayed for awhile, drifting around base camp taking pictures, then went up to the flood-lit house to watch the guys load equipment. T.J. was pitching right in helping - that's my D.P. I tweaked my ankle in the dark, walking over the cattle guard to make sure wrap was going ok. It hurts today, among other things. (
) I cried a little as I forced myself to leave the farm, eventually, and drive to the dive bar where the wrap party was. Even though I had stayed late wrapping, Mary and I were the first ones there. But then the party got going, and eventually, after a hard cider, I stopped mourning and begin to celebrate what we had done, along with everyone else. T.J. toasted everyone who had helped him with "his first feature". So sweet. (
) Now we start post-production. Okay, well, after I lie around doing nothing for a couple of days, resting my ankle and back, then get myself to Seattle. I am taking it very slowly today and icing a lot. (
) Post-partum? oh yeah. But...we DID IT. Thank God for every single member of the team. I love them all to pieces. Thank God for this movie. This crew was utterly amazing, few as they were. (
) I want to curl up on the couch at my Mom's house and tell her all about it...wish I could tesser...think I will call her, and Terry.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

So Day 18 was wonderful...we basically drove all around the wheat fields with Billy in a truck all morning, "crashed" a truck, then did interstitial Billy shots outdoors on the farm, then inside, sorting boxes. It wasn't Hamlet. But it was very good. And the sunset was stunning, and Billy walked through it toward camera as it magically set behind the hill. LArry and I watched it fade from the porch as they lit the interior of the house. And the stars were so beautiful that they made me cry, and I had to call my wonderful 88 year old Mom to talk about how beautiful the Big and Little Dippers were, and how lovely Draco was between them, just like the star decals were that she put over my bed at home to make me comforted at night. I told her how the farm smells reminded me of all good times with her and with horses, and the huge bowl of sky, and the singing coyotes, just led me to celebration. She told me I should go up Mount Spokane and get her pine branches:) Ever the Adventurer :) Then, after calling Terry too, I went back into the 1880s farmhouse to shoot the penultimate scene of the penultimate day of the film. Tomorrow we wrap. I can't believe it. I drove home in a tired and happy daze of disbelief that it is nearly over. I work for years to get to do this, and live so intensely during a shoot, that sometimes real life is hard to adjust to after. But for now, I am making a wonderful, moving movie, and savoring every second of it. Tomorrow we film a gun going off. God bless us, every one.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 16 Tomorrow

I have been remiss in writing all this last week, and now I have had two days off, in which I stayed mostly in bed resting. I did go to the chiropractor and got a strange not-good massage today, as my neck and back hurt so very much, but other than that... down time. Sure needed it. It was a very intense week, in which we said goodbye to Kevin on the last night; that fun, jokey, magical night in which we filmed Youngblood arriving at Keller's door in the rain (we created the rain rather magically, a big thank you to Mike Kjelso and Mike Castle; riggers thereof). Last week, among other things, we filmed the very intense final fight, which was a super tough day that took a lot out of everyone. We filmed lots of Youngblood driving in the beater truck for the final sequence, which made me very happy, including the very final shots with Rebecca and Keller. Also lots of lovely scenes with Rebecca and Keller, magic hour, bicycles, sweetness, and squabbling. And we sent Kevin back to the barn for some pick up shots we had been pushing for the first two weeks. "Just when you thought you were rid of the barn, dude..." Now he is off to the set of Arrow, after a brief fly-by of L.A., and after finally doing his EPK over French toast the morning he left at our house. Suddenly, this weekend, it was fall! Sarah and I had to turn on the heat in our house. What this bodes for tomorrow, Day 16, and the following last week of shooting, I am trying not to worry about. Home stretch. God bless us, every one. I am tired but very much looking forward to Day 16!!! Hoping the old bod and mind can get me there. It's worked so far...well, mostly lol...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 10 was the most intensely emotional day I have had on set yet. I cried, as privately as I could, many times, through the morning work's tough emotions, and was very worried, mid-work-day, as the rains hit us, rolling across the wide fields as they had been threatening all day. We held for about an hour, huddling under popup tents, with gear under tarps, then bravely went on to try to get the romantic second scene of the day, rain or shine. It rained only a little on the lightly-dressed-summer-clothed actors, and at the end of the day, miracle after miracle occurred...the scene was supposed to have been at sunset, but instead we had a grey sky. Which was all right, and we shot out all angles that way, in our typical "it is what it is" indie attitude. But then...right as we were nearly over with the day and the "Marsha" setup was up (third-to-last shot of the day), wonder broke over the crew as, low on the Western horizon, the sun busted through the cloud cover and we had...a sunset. Quickly we reset everything and everyone and went again. The actors walked lovingly up the hill again with the real sunset behind them and did the scene. And THEN it got BETTER. Pink streaked clouds exploded under the grey. Back they went again. I began to cry, this time for joy. Probably unprofessional of me, but I could not help it; I was so happy. And on that take, with the pink sky, as the dialogue ended, a flock of birds flew up right behind the actors. And THEN it got BETTER. I kid you not. A rainbow appeared. We swung the camera on it. And then we shot the scene again. And got better. Coyotes started to sing. And Kevin, standing at the top of the hill, next to Mariana, improvised "Did you hear that? Coyotes singing." And Chris turned his mic on them. And the actors sat and did the scene a last the color went out of the sky, and the sun set... I was the happiest director in the world. Most of the day, I was in a thankful, tender, raw prayer-state. I felt more alive than I had in a long time. When you get as emotionally open as we all got that day, I think the numinous feels closer, or at least more accessible. Some of the usual barriers are down when you are making art of that kind, I think.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

W.o.R at War

Today was the War Day; an entire day dedicated to getting our footage of the war flashbacks. It was a very intense day in a big cow pasture, shooting the same short sequence over and over to get it from all angles. I absolutely loved the footage that we got, although the rain was scary and intense, mid-day. TJ and I had some tense weather-related moments for awhile. But, thank God, it let up enough to shoot, and the lovely cloudy sky made everything look amazingly beautiful.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mostly Rain-Free in Fairfield

Today we had an extremely enjoyable shooting day in the lovely town of Fairfield, Washington went off with much relief, though the skies were very threatening; and at one point mildly did let loose. Mike Vukas showed up to say hi on his way back to Portland, and Grimm. The "kids" rode bikes through the town, laughing and being adorable. They chose a lamp and a bike by the "lawn" of the amazing Rita (Suzy Hunt). Then, too-soon, we had to go to lunch, which was in itself amusing, next to the Seattle contingent of Suzy, Hans Altweis, and Chuck Leggett. With whom we filmed scenes 1 and 2 of the movie, respectively. SO much fun to have Seattle friends here! Rich Cowan and Danny Heigh also shared a table with Chuck, which was a hoot. And tonight we just had a wonderful "Seattle wrap party", with Kevin, Mariana, Larry, Sarah, Suzy, Hans, and Chuck. Such fun; the mingling of different worlds. And now I am way too sleepy to stay up one more is supposed to rain tomorrow...hope it is wrong!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Small Town Life

Day 7 - So far the threatened thunderstorms have held off...please keep those weather-handling prayers coming! After yesterday's very tough and intense day in the barn, today we filmed in the sweetest small town ever, with the inimitable Billy, and the astonishingly-lovely and gracious Mariana (her first day), but also with three wonderful members of the Seattle theater/film tribe Carol Roscoe, Richard Ziman, and Scott C. Brown. I love them all SO much!!! And tonight we got the Keller Meets Rebecca scene at sunset...and they literally walked INTO the sunset, as their love story began...oh so very sweet... Then we had an incredible dinner at the E.J. Roberts restaurant, and as we were finishing a discussion of ghosts, angels, and flying saucers in Greece, three people walked by... our three day-player actors for tomorrow! Chuck Leggett, Hans Altweis, and Suzy Hunt! We had a fun reunion. We are in a very friendly town, that gets more wonderful in summer when eating outdoors in the warm air. Of course it started raining at the end but it was minimal, and the thunder and lightning were just lovely at night when not filming...praying hard that we get sun or at least lack of rain tomorrow... Tonight in honor of Mariana's first day working, the proprietress brought out a bottle of Prohibition-era Scotch that had been hidden in the floorboards of the mansion then. It does not get more surreal than that. We each got a tiny sip. Amazing. Back to town tomorrow. I can't wait. We get to film Kevin sans wig for the very first time, when he rides around town with Mariana on bikes, courting. And film the tribunal and hospital and yard sale scenes. Did I mention that I love my life? I so do. Miss my family tremendously, but I love. My. Life.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Letter to the W.o.R. Crew Today

Dear W.o.R. Dust Warriors, I really cannot thank you enough for being a part of this show. Through dust and through heat, through bees and through bondage (in Kevin's case), you are all utter champs. I know we are few, but it is my goal to someday, in reflection, have you say "We few, we happy few…" rather than... less…nice... things… Every one of us is bringing his or her "A-Game", and I could not be more grateful. I have never worked with a feature film crew this small, or this dedicated. You are all doing the seemingly-impossible, with utter skill, great grace and good cheer. You are very much my heroes. "And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." I hope you are getting a little excited, as I am, about the amazing footage we are getting. We are getting it because of you. And for your reading pleasure, here is an article by our own Larry Estes:) Love you all more than sleep! Corrie

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day Four was yet another day of Billy and Kevin in the Barn...this time, scene 55 where the chess game really begins. Poor Kevin has been lying or sitting on a concrete floor and hog-tied to a post with manila ropes for days. He is the MVP of this week for sure. Never once did he complain, say no to anyone's request, or ask for any special treatment, all week. The man is a hero of the shoot. His performances make me cry daily with their beautiful, heartfelt, full-bodied power. He is utterly gracious and kind to every person here. He, in the way of well-raised Texan men, sometimes calls me, and the other ladies on set, "Ma'am". It melts every crew member he says it to up here, but then again so does his entire polite, generous, sweet manner and utterly brilliant talent. His antagonist, Billy, has been incisive, terrifying, multi-layered and astonishing in performance, and hilarious off-camera. The man is a force of nature. I cannot say enough about these two, or about our brave, dust-blown, sweating, yellow-jacket-dodging, ever-so willing and talented crew. I am pinching myself. I actually get to work with these two!!!!!!!!! And with many of my friends from "Camilla Dickinson", though not all because the crew is much smaller this time of course. We have...count them...ONE P.A...for example...Super-P.A. Tom... My wonderful Tallis drove my car over last night and was on set today, which made me the happiest of mothers. I had a fun day working and coming out of the Barn to get to (sadly only briefly) visit with him. He had to catch a plane at 4pm...I was very sad to see him go, as he goes back to college in 3 days. Billy and Kevin, who have little kids, commiserated. After an incredible day of work, in which all my dreams came true and were exceeded by miles; T.J., Tony, Marc, Pete and I went out scouting to replace a location we had lost...and I came home and showered, and now Sarah and I are watching dailies before crashing. I am utterly and completely grateful for the rather sudden chance to do this amazing script with these incredible people. This is the shortest Pre-Pro that Larry and I have done (3 weeks!) and will have to be a pretty darn speedy edit also. But, miracle of daily miracles, I get to go back to work at 6 am tomorrow with two of the best actors working today. God bless them! God bless this crew!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nearing the End of W.O.R. Pre-Pro

Getting super exciting! ("This is the exciting part, Corrie" - famous daily Larry quote for about a month) After working so long, we are approaching Day One of Principal Photography on Tuesday:)) The past couple of days we did so much that it was almost mind boggling. Tech Scout and Production meeting on the same day (!), then shot-listing, and going through the script with Tony and T.J., creating our pink pages, and poor Larry and Sarah and Mary and Marc and Terry wrestling and wrestling with SAG, who have stiff and incredibly-tough new demands suddenly...Critter and I sorting wardrobe...making hostess items...everyone doing three jobs, as the crew is so small... so it goes. Mr. Zane arrives tomorrow night...we are about to actually make a movie!!! Tonight the out-of-town folks, with no families in town (Larry, Tony, T.J., Critter, and me) barbecued in my rental house back yard. Tony made SCADS of meat to eat all week long - smartie that he is. I am full of excitement and terror. I know that, as always, I won't sleep Monday night, as I never do the night before First Day. Also I need to be at work at something like 5:30 a.m. for TJ and I to go catch scenics. Good times!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 13 of W.O.R. Pre-Production

I realized that I should tell my prayer partners, who have not heard from me in this blog in nearly a year, how the Eternal Nine Days of Casting Hell that they were praying for finally turned out! At long last we have deal memos with Billy Zane, Kevin Alejandro, and Mariana Klaveno. I could not be more thrilled to work with these wonderful, talented, gorgeous, generous people. As the last deal memo was made only yesterday, I was given their email addresses at that time, and have had nice correspondence with them. The wonderful Kevin Alejandro has even run all over Vancouver, where he is shooting "Arrow", on his own time, while not on set, and has helped us out with hair and makeup and wardrobe concerns. I already love working with him! Today on the phone he said "This movie is probably as important to me as it is to you." See why I adore him? T.J. Williams, my D.P., and I have been shot-listing and having a blast planning the show, and today we went out to the farm, just the two of us, and planned the tricky bits, including all the fights. My third time scouting the farm was my favorite one, even if the skinny barn cat that I always want to rescue never stopped head-butting T.J.'s and my ankles. We found a shot for a very crucial sad scene that made my tear up when I told it to Larry after the scout. YAY! We roll cameras at around 6 am a week from yesterday, August 27th! I am so excited! I have been strangely not too pumped, but more worried and null, emotionally, for weeks, with all the stress. But it is finally starting to sink in, after such a harrowing first nine days of Pre-Production, that we are actually going ahead and doing this. After a year and a half of planning, money-raising, and most importantly, working with our incredibly-talented writer, Meagan Daine, we have our cast, we found our last location today, and we are, God-willing, set to go in a week!!! I have been living in my little rented house for several weeks, and am finally settling in, though it is gonna be a boarding house for girls quote soon, as all the bedrooms will be full at various times, which is fine; we all have a door to close. Critter Pierce, our Wardrobe Designer, is living with me for one week, and Sarah moves in Friday. Various actors and other folk will stay in the non-Sarah bedroom, and in the laundry room, during the shoot. It will be wacky... Praise the Lord indeed. We are actually making a movie. I almost believe it, after so long not being able to... ((Picture is of Vince De Felice, rock star Art Director, and I plotting a scene in the house on my wonderful office chalkboard wall..))