Wednesday, November 05, 2008

7. Jimmy Black (post mortem) [pt 2]

So we reconvened with the crew, rented gear, wonderful actors & of course the fabulous Cadillac on the following Saturday. The crew hooked up a couple hours before the cast was called to get the rigging set, to shoot some driving sequences, etc. It was all going okay.

Down under the bridge our actors joined us, the temperature dropped to about 40 degrees with a probably 20 degree windchill. And then the anti-freeze started pouring out. Not just dripping but gushing. So much for the car being 'fixed.' I called my 'car guy' - he recommended not leaving the cap on tight on the radiator (um....) and just to use water & anti-freeze. The car hadn't been driven in 10 years! (I was earlier told it hadn't been driven for 1 year). so we clunked along. There was a slick of anti-freeze along the path that we were driving; there was a virtual lake at the turnaround point. Ah 4 Track Films, killing the environment, one gallon of anti-freeze at a time. Ugh.

We wrapped up that segment of the shoot and headed up to my house. We had a quick scene to shoot in front of my house. Nothing like having a diesel chugging LOUD ASS Cadillac idling in your new very very quiet neighborhood - oh and lighting up the front of your house with big ass lights at midnight. Good times. Luckily we didn't wake the baby up. That part of the shoot was relatively uneventful in a catastrophic sense so that was good.

We headed over to Erin's for "lunch" - on the way Zach & Jason were going to drop off the Caddy at our next location, Enger Park, as we were already mostly up the hill and we didn't want to push the Cadillac. There is a LOT of black smoke when driving up the hill with that Cadillac. Once at Erin's I get a phone call....it's Jason.....AND we're LOCKED OUT of Enger Park! Argh. I had actually gone to the trouble of getting for and paying for a permit from the City of Duluth to shoot at Enger Park and there were are...not only LOCKED out - but there was a BOULDER in front of the gate rendering it impossible to open without a bobcat! WTF????

I called the police and got a very nice cop to call me back (it's now about 2am). He started brainstorming ideas for us. The reason Enger was perfect was because the parking lot is secluded AND there was AC power...so we were trying to figure out what else would work...Leif Ericksson park? no, Lester? too loud...Lincoln Park? Not secluded enough. Brighton Beach? No AC...argh. We ended up shooting at Twin Ponds and running 2 inverters off car batteries for our lights. Not at ALL ideal....but it ended up working okay in the end. But it did contribute to my stress level that's for sure!

After Twin Ponds we limped back over the bridge to Superior to get our last shots at the bar parking lot - where we started the week before. Still gushing anti-freeze, still billowing black smoke. We had to move fast because it was getting light out. We only had time to do a couple takes of each shot, I had to scrap a lot of stuff that I wanted to get due to all of our problems and lack of time. And THEN we killed the battery. We were running lights off the car battery (again) but trying to be mindful of how long they were on when the car wasn't running. Apparently not mindful enough. Of course no one had jumper cables. You'd think that among 8 Minnesotans SOMEONE would have jumper cables with them. Ugh. Luckily Erin was our runner and she was able to go back to Duluth to pick some up from Jason's car. We finally got the car limping along and tried to get the last shots off.

The end was rushed. Everyone was tired, cold and sick of all the fiascos. We got the last shots off and I *think* I got what I wanted but I wish I would've had more time to get a couple more shots.

It was the longest night of my life and soooo incredibly stressful. I just couldn't believe how much stuff kept going wrong. I figure that was my directorial debut-hazing ritual or something. Good lord.

This weekend I'm not doing ANYTHING.

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