Okay - so I started directing my first film last weekend. It's just a 12 page script...a short film which will be a part of a larger, feature length project. I was excited & nervous about it. I had written the script based on a friend of mine's short story and I cast two fantastic actors, hired an awesome director of photography and had the best crew I could hope for.
Last Friday we started at about 10pm in Superior, Wisconsin at a bar called "The Thirsty Pagan Brewery." It's a cool place and I have a friend who manages there so that worked out well. The first issue that came up - one of my PA's called and said that the guy that was going to give him a ride never called, never showed up, etc etc. While that sucked, the bitch of it was that this other guy was also "in charge of" setting up my extras and handling that portion of the shoot for me. I still have not heard back from him to this day! Flakey? To say the least. Ah well. We had the PA picked up and moved on to the next issue.
Rain! Rain and COLD. Wow. Nothing like shooting outside in 40 degree weather while it's raining...using rented gear & lights - not good. The lights get VERY HOT and when it's raining & cold they can blow easily so that was a big challenge. We had to scrap some shots but overall got what we wanted & needed. The bar interiors (which we started around 3am) went great. Thank God. I think that was all the problems for that night - oh we never DID have any extras but we modified the scene/script to suit our needs, threw in any extra crew or bar personnel in the background and went with it.
The next night we had to shoot the driving sequences. Since the film is called "In the Back of Jimmy Black's Cadillac" the Cadillac was quite an integral part of the film. Well, after doing a couple passes with the camera mounted on the passenger side, the Caddy started leaking anti-freeze. And not just leaking....LEAKING - pouring out in great quantities. We pushed it as hard as we could, we filled it with water & more anti-freeze repeatedly....eventually we called a tow truck. We were going to tow the vehicle and continue the shoot but there was too much other stuff that we needed to SEE the car moving...Oh I forgot to mention that prior to the tow truck arriving....we killed the battery! We were running some internal car lights off the battery and that killed it. So not only would it not move - it wouldn't turn over - sweet!
The tow truck mananged to get the battery charged but by 1:30 I decided to cut my losses and suspend shooting for that night. We all could reconvene on the following Saturday so we called it a day.
MOST of the fun happened the next weekend.....